Disobedience in families


Do you tend to push the limits? Drive a little faster than the posted speed limit, eat a little more than you probably should, get a little less sleep than you need, stay out a few minutes past your curfew, slip out a bit early from work? There is no doubt that just about everyone will push the “obedience” limits in life. We seem to be wired that way - it’s part of our sin nature. Most of the time, those small lapses may be harmless; but there is no doubt that there are times when obedience absolutely matters.

This past Sunday at Watermark, as we finished up the series, “My Imperfect Family”, we spent some time unpacking another prominent characteristic in our imperfect families, disobedience. Dr. Andy Lackey, our guest speaker, shared three characteristics of a disobedient family, citing Eli’s wicked sons from 1 Samuel 2.

Three Characteristics of the Disobedient Family:

Characteristic #1 – No Relationship with God

“Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.” (1 Samuel 2:12).

Do you and your family know God? This is far more than knowing about God, this is about knowing Him in a real and personal way through His Son Jesus Christ.

Characteristic #2 – Disobeys the Commands of the Lord. (1 Samuel 2:13–17).

We may push the limits with things that don’t seem to matter as much, but we will get into dire straits when we step outside the limits God has set for us - limits not designed to confine us, but to protect us. Limits that are born out of His deep love for us. Do you keep His commands or do you push the limits He has set for you?

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:” (1 John 2:3–5)

Characteristic #3 – Lack of Obedience within the Family

Dr. Lackey noted that the disobedient family is marked by sons and daughters who fail to honor and obey their parents, and parents who fail to lead their children. (1 Samuel 2:22–25). Honoring and obeying parents is a clear command from God, with a promise. (Exodus 20:12). Do you expect obedience in your home or do you allow your children to push the limits far beyond where they should? Sometimes our children might obey, but they don’t honor. That means they do what they are told but begrudgingly and with a poor attitude. Obedience and honor should be expected in our families.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”” (Ephesians 6:1–3)

No doubt, we will always have work to do with our imperfect families. My hope is that this series will help your family to be happier and healthier. For far more, please listen to the sermons in this series, including, Part 6 - Disobedience.

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