Our world is a philosophical and ideological all you can eat buffet. Because we are people of free will, we must all choose how we will live. What will our values be? How will we view humanity, the world, and God? What direction will we follow in life? This is also true for the family. God said of Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Gen. 18:19). For Abraham and his family there was no question about how they would live, what their values would be, or what direction they would follow. If we will have strong families today, then we must define the direction for our families in the way that Abraham defined the direction for his. How can we do that?
Be determined. The Devil will do whatever he can to push us off of the path of righteousness (Matt. 7:13-14), but that is not a challenge unique to us. Do you remember what Joshua said to the children of Israel in Joshua 24:15? Joshua was determined that his family would serve the Lord no matter what. We must have that same determination.
Be committed. Paul wrote, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching froth unto those things we are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). There were many different avenues that Paul could have pursued, but he was committed to one thing—Christ. Am I, like Paul, committed to the one thing? What about my family? Too often we say that we are committed to Christ but we show something altogether different. Too often we are committed to baseball, football, school, family events, and other things that distract us from what is really important. Our families must be completely and tirelessly committed to following the direction of our Father.
Be realistic. When we define the direction of our families, we must prepare for the fact that it will not always be an easy path to follow. Paul promised Timothy “all who live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:13). Following the Lord requires dedication and sacrifice. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). My family will have to make sacrifices in order to follow the direction of God. We may not have the most money or live in the most luxurious house; we may have to miss some little-league football games and other functions, and we may be the least popular family in town because of it. But, we will follow the direction of our God, as revealed in His word, and we will serve and glorify Him together as a family. We will “follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth” (Rev. 14:4), and we will arrive where He is—with the Father in Heaven.