There is an intersection…A place where culture and your family meet head to head. I believe culture’s aim is to go against the grain of your family. You may have never considered that your family is really a huge part of your purpose; but it is.
Let me define exactly what I’m talking about when I say family. I am using this word to describe a husband, wife, and children…or a single parent with their kids.
Do we all have extended family? Most people do, however, that’s not what I’m dealing with in this post.
I want to talk about your immediate family and the impact that culture has on it.
Now, I’m not usually a person who takes my content from everything in culture. I believe that we can really overuse hot button topics. I believe that for the most part, the world already knows where we stand on certain issues.
I also believe that we sometimes alienate people by only speaking about those hot issues in christian circles.
I think that many pastors and churches make a POINT rather than making a DIFFERENCE.
There are times when issues need to be addressed. Today is one of those times. With this being said, what I hope for most is that you see the culture behind the issues.
Culture is the real culprit.
The basic disregard for God, sin, the Bible, church, and all things connected to God are the driving force behind culture’s decline.
Decline in the MORAL AUTHORITY of our leaders is a direct result of the decline in our morals as believers.
- We blame everything on the leadership.
- We want to elect righteousness into our public offices.
- I do believe that we can vote in the right person and have greater peace, and morality for a time.
But here’s my deeply held belief: Legislation alone NEVER makes up for the direction of CULTURE.
You simply cannot legislate righteousness.
In fact…this same MISGUIDED CULTURE that we’re experiencing is the driving force behind who becomes our elected officials.
The question isn’t: How do we elect the right people?
The question is: How do you counter the cultural problem?
There is a dulling, a numbing, and a desensitization that is going on among believers. We are being slowing desensitized to the cultural problem.
- Culture says, “Sex outside of marriage is okay.” – Eventually you’re seeing christians begin to pick up on this and believe this lie. Young adults are led to believe that this is a normal part of life. Culture says to us that living together or being sexually active outside of marriage is the normal thing to do. They even think that it prepares you for marriage…these ideas are wrong. These ideas are lies.
- Culture says, “Marriage doesn’t last for a lifetime.” – We are seeing christians become one of the largest segments of people who are getting divorced. Let me be clear, marriages don’t have to end in divorce. God created married couples to REMAIN married. You can overcome life’s challenges and problems together. The closer you get to your spouse, the easier it becomes to remain ONE with them.
- Culture says, “Marriage isn’t just between a man and woman.” – We are beginning to see churches and christians that embrace this idea and even cater to it. We are seeing churches that promote the acceptance of this pivotal idea. (by the way, I’m not saying believers shouldn’t love people; but I am saying we cannot condone, or accept as normal and natural this alternate lifestyle). The acceptance of homosexuality as normal has been part of the decline of civilizations in the past. It will be a part of our decline as well. Churches and christians need to be careful, and not be desensitized, or numbed to this cultural problem.
- Culture says, “Putting your work above your family is okay.” – We are seeing christians who work record numbers of hours, all in the name of providing for their families. In the end they usually lose the family they were working so hard to provide for because they were never PRESENT with them.
- (Now, I understand that some people have no control over their work hours, but some do. If you have no control over this area of your life, all the more reason to spend time TOGETHER with your family during your off hours)
- Culture says, “Raising your kids outside church is okay, that it makes them more well rounded.” – Christians are beginning to embrace this idea in droves, and really, it’s the church’s fault. Why? Because we haven’t presented the church as being relevant in the day to day life of believers. People no longer attend because they no longer feel the importance or see the need. It doesn’t feel relevant to them anymore.
- Culture says, “Having a FUN LIFE is the goal.” – Christians are embracing this and leaving behind some of the most powerful core values that they’ve held onto for years. God is not against you enjoying your life. In fact, God wants to bless your life and make it greater than ever, but having all the fun you can is not the main objective in life. As a believer our main goal is to live for Jesus Christ fully. We are to be fully devoted to him first…to his ways…to pleasing him.
This intersection between culture and family is specifically designed to pull your family apart.
Why? Because family is the basic building block of society.
The more families that are pulled apart, destroyed, hurt, damaged by sin and wrong choices…the easier it will be for culture to control your family and it’s decisions.
We were not meant to change the culture. We are meant to counter it.
Christianity has always ran side by side with the culture of the day. We offer a COUNTER CULTURE. We present to the world a BETTER WAY TO LIVE.
The Culture of Christianity is the fabric of a life that is greater than the life worldly culture has to offer.
You may say that early christians changed their culture. I agree with you…they did…in fact scripture says that they turned their world upside down.
But they didn’t do it through:
- Elected offices
- Picket Lines
- Ad Campaigns
- Talk Shows
Early Christians changed their culture by living out and presenting a culture that exceeded the offerings their present day worldly culture had to offer.
They countered the culture and in this way they changed it.
Now, I’m not against trying to elect the Godly, moral men and women. We should do that. God has given us the opportunity in this nation to has a voice and a say in who leads our government. Until that opportunity goes away, we should USE IT.
But here’s the deal:
You cannot change culture with it’s own devices. The rule of law is broken at best. It will only accomplish a degree of change at best.
In no place is this truer than in the context of your family.
- Your family’s culture needs to COUNTER the culture the world offers.
- The way you raise your children needs to counter the culture the world says is right.
- The way you serve God needs to counter the present day culture.
Now, there are many scriptures that we could look at that would show us some specific ideas about countering the cultural problem.
But I think Jesus had something great in mind when He preached one of His most memorable messages ever…the sermon on the mount.
Everything about this sermon of Jesus lays out a philosophy that counters the culture.
We are to offer something different…NOT try to fix the thing that’s BROKEN.
Scripture says this:
Matt. 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
We are not to be mixed in with the culture of the world. When we mix with the culture of the world, we won’t change it. It will change US.
Matt. 5;14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Now that’s some counter cultural stuff!
If You don’t want your family to be BROKEN with the culture…you need to COUNTER OFFER with something different.
3 Things to offer your family different from what culture offers
Culture offers – Do as I say, not as I do.
Counter offer is – Don’t just talk it, live it.
- Your family is the byproduct of who you are not who you wish you were.
- Your example in EVERY situation trickles down to your family.
Culture offers – Happiness filled with empty air.
Counter offer is – Tons of lasting joy.
- Happiness filled with empty air eventually busts or deflates.
- If you want strength in your family then give your family real joy.
- The joy of the LORD is your family’s lasting STRENGTH.
Culture offers – This life is your only hope.
Counter offer – There is hope beyond this life.
- Give your family HOPE BEYOND this life.
- They need to hear about Jesus from YOU FIRST, not just the church.
- If we have hope only in this life, we are miserable
- Jesus offers hope that we can offer beyond what’s broken in this life.
You are the COUNTER CULTURE as a believer, because a new nature lives in you.
- YOUR FAMILY CAN MAKE IT.
- YOUR FAMILY CAN THRIVE.
- YOUR FAMILY CAN LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.
- YOUR FAMILY CAN LAST FOREVER.