[The following is intended for a Sunday School class at McIlwain Presbyterian Church]
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
(The surprisingly challenging task of forming and maintaining good family relations. Or, more bluntly, why is it so hard for sinful barbarians to love each other?)
So what is a family?
How to have a good family life? What saith Google?
What saith Christianity? What distinctive(s) does it add to the mix?
- An embodied spirit: how the heart manifests itself through physical reality.
- An internal problem: the dark stain of sin in the human heart (Matthew 15:11; Titus 1:15-16; Ephesians 4:18; Romans 1:18-32).
- An external problem: the exacerbating influences of a cursed world.
Test Case: Anatomy of a grumbling heart on the eve of a Trinitas meeting.
Shalom’s Twin Challenge: Taming the Internal and External Chaos.
Why is the task of taming the internal chaos of sin so important for family relations? What role are parents supposed to play in the family structure? Why is it critical for them to be advanced in sanctification?
- What lies at the heart of sin’s deadly appeal? What is the central question?
Consider: James 3:13-4:11
Why is the task of taming the external chaos so important for family relations? What role are parents supposed to play? Why is it critical for them to be advanced in wisdom, diligence, and self-control?
- Why exactly do external pressures tempt us to sin? What is going on physiologically? Emotionally/Intellectually?
- How might the roles of a mother and father factor into the good ordering of a family? What challenges emerge when the norm is upset or disregarded?
- Redeeming problems: How might life’s challenges provide teaching moments? Why might such a practice prove to be a clear exercise of faith? How open and honest should we be with our kids?
Consider: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
[*Photo courtesy of Frederik Van den]