Sermon Blog - Entries from April 2015

    SunSundayAprApril26th2015 Family Dynamics: Unbalanced
    byJeremy Flanagan Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment
    If you're looking for the Pathway Parenting Survey that goes with this series, click the link below. It will only take you 10 minutes to complete and will hopefully get your thoughts focused on areas we can all improve when it comes to parenting.



    So far in this series we've focused on the marriage relationship. While we will still look at marriage some today, our series is shifting to look at the relationships between parents & children. In our culture today we have shifted toward a very child-centric view of parenting. This hurts our families in two ways:

    First, if we don't have a balance between encouragement & comforting verses instruction & discipline, then our children aren't getting the full picture of the relationship God intended us to model, that is His love for us as His children. When we focus too much on one side of our parental responsibility, we are distorting the view of God that we're supposed to be teaching our children through the way we parent them. We either show them a God that gives in to them no matter how they act or what they want, or we show them a God that is solely discipline without compassion or encouragement. Neither is a true picture of God.

    Second, if we don't have balance between the husband/wife relationship and the parent/child relationship, we again give them a distorted view of God. No matter how much we love and how much we are willing to sacrifice for our children, our primary relationship focus must remain our marriage. Again, the picture of God we are to show through marriage is one of love, commitment, sacrifice, and honoring each other. If we allow our children to steal that position of adoration away from our spouse we are teaching our children that God's commitment to His followers stays strong unless an easier or more rewarding relationship presents itself. Also, many marriages fail because the husband/wife relationship is neglected in order to put an unbalanced focus on the children.

    Today's sermon covers these broad topics along with other issues of balance in our parent/child and husband/wife family dynamics. In addition to listening to this message if you missed last Sunday, take our quick "Pathway Parenting Survey" at the top of this post or read through some of the articles below to help you better evaluate your parenting balance.

    Survey Results - American Views of Parenting Characteristics

    http://www.lifewayresearch.com/files/2013/05/lifeway-research-american-views-parenting-characteristicspdf.pdf

    Articles on How We Must Be a Parent, Not Just a Friend

    http://www.empoweringparents.com/Your-Child-is-not-Your-Friend.php

    http://www.empoweringparents.com/why-you-cant-be-your-childs-friend.php

    http://www.parentingscience.com/parents-be-friends.html

    Articles on Putting Your Marriage First and Obtaining Balance With Parenting / Marriage

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/07/parents-advised-put-children-second

    http://www.boston.com/community/moms/blogs/in_the_parenthood/2010/06/are_you_using_your_kids_to_escape_your_marriage.html

    http://www.parents.com/parenting/relationships/staying-close/happy-parents/

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/07/29/p.stronger.marriage.secret/index.html?eref=ib_us
    Audio 4-26-15.mp3
    SunSundayAprApril19th2015 Family Dynamics: Conquering Conflict
    byJeremy Flanagan Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    The one thing you are guaranteed in life is that the whoever you are close to is who you are going to fight with the most.  It’s that simple.  People you’re not around that much it’s not worth the fight, you just walk away.  The same issues we have with a friend or co-worker that we then have with our family are amplified because we can’t walk away.  Or at least we’re not supposed to.  Or even if someone does walk away from family, it is much harder and causes more problems.

    So how can we actually enjoy our family if those are the people we have the most conflict with?  Since we are going to have conflict the key is that we need to learn to resolve it. In order to do that, we have to first focus on ourself before we can try to address the other person.

    Audio 4-19-15.mp3
    SunSundayAprApril5th2015 Family Dynamics: Becoming Family
    byJeremy Flanagan Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family

    The brothers of Jesus (James, Joses, Simon and Judas are all named in Matthew 13:55, and no not that Judas), had grown up with the very son of God living under the same roof:

    • Some of them would have been old enough to remember their older brother Jesus, at the age of 12, going to the Temple and teaching the religious leaders (Luke 2:39-52).
    • They were also likely invited guests at the same wedding when Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine (John 2:1-11).
    • Some of them would likely have been present, or at least would have been aware of when their older brother turned the tables in the temple, and how this act carried with it the bold messianic statement that the temple was ‘my father’s house’.
    • They would also have known that Jesus healed an official’s son (John 4:46-54), healed the man on the sabbath at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-17), fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (John 6:1-14) and walked on water (John 6:16-21).

    In John’s gospel, all of these events took place before John’s statement that, ‘…not even his brothers believed in him.” 

    Being physical family with someone doesn't make you automatically believe them or connect with them in a meaningful way. You have to develop that relationship. In today's sermon we'll see that God’s view of family is much broader than the definition of blood lines.  It’s by the definition of Jesus’ blood sacrifice.  The offer to become a part of God's family is available to everyone but we have to make the decision to trust in Jesus as savior.

    Audio 4-5-15.mp3

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