by Ryan Kramer
This is part two of a great three-part sermon on family. My notes are below.
The divorce rate in 1967% was 16%. In 1980, it was at 52%. What is not normally discussed re the low divorce rates in the 1960’s is that in fidelity in marriage was statistically high. In order to divorce on grounds of unfaithfulness, the infidelity had to be proven.
Also, rarely considered with the low divorce rates mid-century was the state of Women’s Rights. There were few opportunities for women to provide for themselves.
Due to economics and societal structure, women were essentially stuck in marriages with no way to exit.
Has there ever been an ideal Biblical family?
- The First Family: Adam and Eve raised a murderer
- God eventually had a do-over with humanity
- The Second First Family: Noah’s son, Ham, raped his mother while his father was passed out drunk next to her
- Abraham took side women and divided his household with bitterness
- Isaac fathered and blessed his devious deceitful son over his rightful heir at the urging of his wife
- Jacob’s jealous sons sold his favorite son into slavery
Family has always been difficult, shameful and painful.
Take Three Opportunities
- Take the opportunity to be present.
- This requires action. It’s not passive. It’s a choice that requires a willful step.
- Luke 10:38 Mary & Martha: Martha insists that Jesus make Mary help her. Mary chooses to sit at Jesus’s feet.
- Jesus was an itinerant rabbi. He had no home. He traveled and stayed with people who offered hospitality. Sometimes he invited himself into people’s homes. He also traveled with a posse.
- Martha was busy and overwhelmed.
- But Mary chose the good portion. She chose to spend time with Jesus in proximity and conversation.
Are you Mary or Martha?
Truth: We are all both Mary and Martha.
- We all feel the pull and tension to choose between what matters most and what the moment seems to require.
- “Busy for just a season” becomes a life habit. There’s always going to be a season. There’s always another moment. That’s life. Therefore we have to make choices.
- Take the opportunity to define what family means to you.
Mark 3:19-35 Jesus went home, a crowd gathered and accused Him of being possessed. His family was sent for. They believed the crowd and tried to shut Him down. When told by the crowd that His mother, brothers and sisters were outside trying to get Him, Jesus responded: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35)
- Family has a diversity of meaning:
- Depends on what you grew up with
- Becomes what you’re used to
- Is how you structure your life
- Could be people who choose to be together no matter what
- Or simply people who know each other very well and share their joys and struggles
Have you thought about what family means to you?
What do you value from family most?
What do you expect from family?
What is it about you definition that is different from definitions your family members have?
Go share your thoughts on family with your family. Hear what they have to share in return.
What do you want to do about what you learn?
- Take the opportunity to recognize the gift of complexity.
- We navigate life in compartments. It is exhausting holding our full beings back, keeping ourselves in check. Family is where the “real” is. Family gets the good and bad you – your worries, frustrations, joys, highs, lows, etc. Family is the place you don’t have to hide. You can be your true self. This is a gift.