Last week I was at a GLOW girls camp in Mai Mahiu. To say that I had a wonderful time is an understatement. I had the time of my life! You should have heard me screaming and dancing when I entered the dorm where the facilitators were sleeping. I was running from one end to another, nostalgia. The memories of being in Boarding High School came flowing back. It did not help that the dormitory was almost build like the one I lived in for 4 years back in High School. But there was definitely some differences. Like the tiled floors, fancy bathrooms with beautiful multicolored curtains and the lack of a ceiling on the roof. I chose to sleep on the top bunk and could not stop grinning and chatting my friend as we made our beds. Looking up and seeing the efflorescent long light bulb, the one where we would wind around our socks to dry overnight, I burst out laughing. My friend also shared that they did the same socks drying trick.
Matthew 15:21-28 – the account of the Syro-Phoenician woman interacting with Jesus
In my mother tongue we have a proverb – “a child is its mother”. I just wish I could translate it better to communicate the depth of this saying. Bottom line the child belongs to the mother in life and in death, in good times and in bad times, through thick and thin; a mother would debase herself, do anything so long as her child benefits as a result.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I did make a promise that after addressing the roles of The Father, The Son, and The husband we would one day look into the roles of Sons and Brothers. Looks like we are almost there. But first off let’s start off with the women in their lives. Shall we?
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Gen 2:24 RSV)
The Word of God states in very clear terms that a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. This verse begins with a conjunctive adverb ‘therefore’ which begs the question what happened before this statement to warrant this consequence or response?
Marriage Altar – Genesis 2: 15 – 17, 3:1-7
Family Altar – Deut 6: 1-9
1. Marriage Altar – Genesis 2: 15 – 17 , 3:1-7
In creation God created man first. He then put man in the Garden of Eden and gave him dominion, work to do which included naming of the creation.
Then God instructed man on how to live in the garden what to eat and what not to eat.
After which God saw the loneliness of man and created for him a SUITABLE mate.
NOTE: God after presenting the woman to Adam he did not repeat any of the instructions. WHY?
That was mans job; to teach and instruct the woman in the way of the Lord.
BUT man failed to do his duty, worse still he stood silent as the devil distorted the truth and led the woman to sin.
Let’s apply that to the present day families as we look at the roles of men and women. We also need to ask ourselves if this is happening today, are we repeating the scene at the Garden of Eden as Husbands and wives?
Is there a place for Bible study and prayer as a couple in our marriages to day?
Our scripture reading for today is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”
10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that thou wouldst bless me and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldst keep me from harm so that it might not hurt me!” And God granted what he asked. (1Ch 4:9-10 RSV)
Lets us pray:
Father speak to us. Open the eyes of our understanding and our inner ears to hear what you have to say to us. We are ready to receive from you, speak Father. In Jesus Name we pray Amen!
In school they taught us that a family is composed of father mother and children; it is the most simplistic definition of a family which leaves out more than it gives. Give it to the education system though, at least they gave us a definition to begin with. What they left out is that though everyone is born of a father and mother not everyone is brought up by both parents. Some have one, some have none: because of diverse reasons ranging from desertion, divorce, distance or even death just to name but a few. Other families don’t have children, and we could go on and on about the definition of a family.
Be that as it may today we tackle the topic of family by focusing on the household of kwa akina Jabez??. We are not told about his father but his mother and brothers though they remain nameless are mentioned. Jabez was born in pain and was named pain as the scriptures we have read tell us. I don’t know what your negative name is leave alone what it means or even the negative name your family is associated with but if it is in the family of names like Jabez, be of good cheer you are in the company of greatness. If only you follow in the footsteps of this man Jabez, then that negative name you bear/ the negative name your family is associated with will cease to hold any power over you In Jesus Name!
The virtue of self control is one that will guide us in our study this morning, because if there is a virtue that can ground, grow and guard a family it is self control; lack of it breeds the opposite and sadly many of us are testimonies. We will look at three ways in which the Lord is calling us to practice self control as relates to the topic of family and drawn from our scripture reading this morning.
These three things are:
Self control in words; self control in thoughts; and self control in deeds.
Lets us begin with the tongue, since as we all know that’s where most if not all our family problems begin; are rooted.