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I Need Your Help to Preach on Family

Next week I will preach on the Family as part of our summer series: The Good Life. This is a vast topic, and a controversial and/or painful one for many. What is a family? Is there a ‘Biblical model’ for the family? What do I do if my family is toxic? What if I don’t have a family?

I would love your help in preparing for this sermon. I’d love to hear about your experience with family. Would you be willing to leave a comment and answer any or all of these three questions:

  1. What was the composition of your family growing up? (Traditional Mom, Dad, kids; blended family with two sets of parents; single parent; foster home; etc.)
  2. What are some positive and negative things about family?
  3. Complete this sentence: To me, family means…

I would love to hear your thoughts, both positive and negative, about family.

Below is my initial sketch based on the three assigned texts for the sermon. I’d love your creative input on this as well. Thanks!

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  • Tom Yelle June 9, 2017 at 8:20 am

    To me, family is a place of safety, a place for support, a place to share your burdens and celebrate your victories. To me, family expands well beyond genetic ties. Family to me is very broad but how I apply my time and my commitment to them is the same.

  • Lynda Czarnetzki June 11, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Steve, we discussed your questions at our Life Group on Saturday. Below is a summary of our discussion:
    For the five of us, we grew up in a traditional household. We had two parents and Mom was the primary caregiver. Some of our Moms worked outside the home but taking care of the family was job number one. Positives about family: someone who knows your history, shared memories, relationship that is different than others where we are not from the same household; always there – one you can count on if you need them. Negatives about family – always there (there are positives and negatives for this); aging parents who are not close by or even if they are close by; can be challenging to keep family together. To me, family means a safe place, being who you are with no pretense, unconditional love. Family means “home”. When we are far away from family geographically, we create a new family with those close by – celebrate holidays, accomplishments, share in the lives of one another.

    • stevethomason June 11, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to do this… And for braving the storm this morning!

  • Thankful for Family | Steve Thomason June 16, 2017 at 8:07 am

    […] really love some help on this sermon. I posted a plea here, but haven’t received much feedback. Maybe it was bad timing. Maybe it was too sensitive a […]

  • Becky Gerlach June 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    My “dedinition” of family is this: Its the place where the people there love you unconditionally, support you when you’re down, celebrate you when you’re up. I grew up in a traditional 2 parent household, 1 sister. My parents split when I was a senior in high school. When I married, I got an instant family of 3 boys, ranging from 8 to 22. Our family has grown to include a daughter-in-law, and 3 grandchildren (whom I adore!).
    I’ve always felt bad for homeless people. I can’t imagine not having ANY place to go. Anyone in my extended family (30+) would willingly take me in, get me cleaned up, loved up, and my but kicked (for whatever got me in this position), and helped to put my life back together. Homeless people don’t see mnn to have this safety net. I can’t help but feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have that support. So, I suppose that that support is what is at the core of family. That “family” can be your biological one, close friends, work family, church family, whatever. Just that place that supports you, no matter what .

    • stevethomason June 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Becky. I love the idea of support being at the core of family.

  • Carol June 16, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Still looking for feedback?
    I grew up with both parents in the home and several siblings. Dad worked full-time, while Mom maintained the home and children. Dad’s job was to ‘get the kids out of mom’s hair’ when he was done with work. Both parents were involved in all of our activities, discipline, life lessons, etc. Mom went back for a Master’s eventually and started helping other kids, but family was always first.
    I mostly have a positive thought process when I think of family. I crave time with them. I share my thoughts and feelings with them. I can be vulnerable and authentic with them. We don’t always see eye to eye, but I know the love that flows in my family. We continue to grow closer and closer as time passes on. This is where my human trust formed, my outlook on life, my self-confidence, my loyalty, my desire to help others, my faith formation, my morals and values. I recognize not all people pull these attributes from family, but for me, family is stability.
    I believe family could branch out beyond my bloodline, though I find there needs to be a willingness to grow deep and vulnerable and be authentic for that to happen. There needs to be room for trust and humility. It needs to be rooted in Christ. I’ve discovered the willingness to ‘go there’ outside of the bloodline is a little too vulnerable for many people. There is a lot of self-centeredness, pride and fear of being known blocking the way for ‘family’ to develop. For me personally, the lack of trust in others prevents me from allowing others into my ‘family’.

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