Sunday, October 2, 2011

Family Vision

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, 
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Proverbs 29:18 ESV

In the King James, this verse reads, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he".  This verse is often misapplied and "vision" as it is intended here becomes created vision, as opposed to prophetic vision.

Everyone needs a vision.  Without vision, without a goal, we flounder and our wheels spin.  Without direction, what could possibly be accomplished?  The question though, need not be, "what is our vision?" because as believers that answer is simple.  Our vision should be godliness.  Sanctification.
Our vision is already spelled out for us - written two thousand years ago by holy men inspired by the Holy Spirit- we simply need to follow it.  Our families need to follow it.

Gender roles will be a post for another day, but men it's your job to lead your families and make clear the direction you intend to lead them.  It's your job to communicate the goal, the vision, the direction you are choosing.  Women, we must submit to the leadership of our husbands and praise God if our husband is leading us in the right direction!

The question then becomes, what are we doing to accomplish the vision?  Do ALL of our decisions aid us in or inhibit our attainment of the goal?  As Christians, we must filter everything through the eyes of scripture.
Everything must be tested against the word of God.

Every decision that is made matters.  There are constant decisions that must be made as a family and it's very easy to make a decision based on influences other than scripture.

For example...

I was at the grocery store this week with Isaiah.  We were heading toward the door and I saw a group of Boy Scouts about Isaiah's age grouped near the door.  I thought for a while that perhaps Boy Scouts would be something Isaiah may like to participate in.  He loves all things outdoors.

As we got closer to the door, I saw that the boys were asking shoppers if they wanted to buy popcorn to support Scouts.  There were many boys wandering, and one small table attended only by adults.  I understand the purpose of fundraisers, but the method of raising money seemed so far from what I'd imagined Boy Scouts to be, never mind from what we are teaching our sons.

The method seemed only to be teaching laziness and dependency as opposed to hard work and leadership.  Then, just in case I missed something I checked their website.

This caught my eye:
"While Scouting does not define religious belief for its members, it has been adopted by and works with youth programs of all major faiths." 
Reading further I found,
"A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals."
I laugh at the contradiction!  My only goal here is to point out that nothing can be taken for granted.  Everything must be filtered and tested against scripture.

If the program does not hold to any belief... if a person does not hold to a belief, then what can the vision be?  By what standard are ideals defined?  Who determines what is a clean and fit mind?!  Beyond that, if by "duty to God" they mean ANY god, then what teaching or influence may my son(s) be under?!

Sports could be used as another example.  Our boys love sports.  They are all fairly athletic and Elijah has quite the competitive streak.  For now, Dan has decided, and I fully support his decision, that they will not participate in organized sports.

The reason is twofold.  The first is that Sunday mornings are non-negotiable.  We attend church on Sunday mornings, when most sports hold practices or games.  Communal worship as commanded in scripture does far more to further our family's vision than participation in athletics.

The second reason is that sports involve several practices and at least one game per week.  With three children we would never be home and we'd all be running in different directions!  Family dinners would be interrupted and family worship time would fall by the wayside.

Again, sports are not forbidden in scripture!  It's simply a vision issue.

Where are we directing our children and how are we guiding them?  We must be careful to not send mixed messages.  
We must be consistent and intentional.

Does your family have a vision?  Have you spoken together, husband and wife, about your vision, about how you will strive to attain it?  If your vision is to be sanctified in Christ, do your activities reflect your vision?  How about what's on your iPod?  On your bookshelf?  Your TV screen?

Do your children know Christ?  Do they know and understand your vision?  If they do, it's likely they will partner with you and will grow in wisdom and discernment as a result.

They may be disappointed at not being able to do certain things, but how is that any different from us as adults?  In fact, we are often disappointed FOR our children that the world isn't different, that it isn't a more godly place.  When children know God and desire to follow Him, they will learn to obey you in obedience to the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Proverbs 9:10 ESV

*A kind note to remind you that the giveaway - a baby hat and shoe set from LisaCorinne Handmade- will end tomorrow, October 3, 2011 at noon.  Please join Abundant Fruit & Olive Shoots to enter!  See the post titled "Giveaway" for more details.  Thank you for joining!

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