Family: A Better Way: Love powered parenting
We all have something that powers our families, businesses, and marriages. Sometimes it’s the right thing, and sometimes it’s the wrong thing. It might be fear, guilt, responsibility, or love. In this message, we talk about love-powered parenting and practical ways to plug into God’s love. You’ll learn how to love like Jesus by following His example, building a stronger foundation, living to a higher purpose, and by loving with greater power. Discover a new pattern for loving one another as Christ loves us.
Something To Talk About:
- I need a better example: Jesus says, “Just as I loved you. I’m the example.” He’s the model of love, so when you look at this, here’s the principle. It’s not just for parenting, it’s everywhere in life, friendship, marriage, business, and school. We will follow the example that we focus on. If you grew up in a home that displayed a lot of affection, there were a lot of hugs, then that’s going to happen. He said, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” Now Paul knew he wasn’t perfect, he knew he wasn’t Jesus, he wasn’t the perfect example, but he’s saying at least I’m trying to follow Christ, and it’s this game of following the leader. You follow me because I’m following Christ. You find somebody who’s trying to follow Christ, and that’s the person who you follow. As a parent in a family, if I’m trying to follow Christ, that’s my model, then my kids are going to be drawn into that example. You’re following His model.
- I need a stronger foundation: The greatest experience you can have every single day of your life is when you recognize that Jesus loves you. It’s all about you God, and I’m secure because you love me. Once you see that, it affects all of your relationships. The stronger foundation is the foundation of God’s unconditional love. Do you want to be a great parent? A great son or daughter? A great aunt or uncle? Realize how deeply God loves you. Commit to a relationship with Christ and then live in that relationship of love, of unconditional love every single day.
- I need a higher purpose: I need a higher purpose. Love has to have a purpose higher than itself. God created us, yes to love, and love’s going to last longer than anything else. Since love has to have a purpose higher than itself, parenting has to have a purpose higher than itself. The purpose of parenting is not to be a good parent, so my kids can be good parents, so their kids can be good parents. What’s the purpose beyond parenting? What’s the purpose beyond our families? The purpose is that the world can see whose we are. Look at this next verse, Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” I know this is a big church-sounding term, but the purpose is to bring glory to God. One of the keys to having a strong family is to realize that God not only wants to work in your family, but He also wants to work through your family to show the world what He’s like, to show the world who He is, that’s who God is.
- I need a greater power: If I’m going to do that, truly love like Jesus loves, truly love each other, I need a greater power. We’re talking about real love in real families who make real mistakes but have real hope, because of God’s love, God’s real love. How do I get to that reality? You just love, genuine love in the reality of life. When you yell at your kids in the morning and then apologize to them in the evening when they get home from school or you get home from work, that teaches them a lot more than a seminary class on forgiveness. When you decide to give up a weekly activity, maybe a golf game, or an outing with friends, or something, because your neighbor needs some help and they see that, that’s more than a lot of children’s church. When you hold a baby, just to hold it, just to express love, just to help them feel secure, that develops more security than so many other classes could, or Bible studies. We just have to go back to His love, because it’s in His love that we will find the power to live in the promise of His love.
- How can Jesus be more of our example in life?
- Read John 13:34-35: In what manner are we called to love one another? What will our love for one another prove to the world?
- What does Romans 8:1 above say about the relationship we have with God when we belong to Christ? So, if we belong to Christ and yet feel condemned, who can we know with certainty that that condemnation is not coming from?
- How does one go about building a stronger foundation?
- Discuss what Ephesians 5:1-2 above says about God’s love for us and about our call to be imitators of God in how we love others. What are some ways that we can show our love for others as Christ showed His love for us?
- What does a higher purpose mean?
- In 1 John 4:19 above, God invites us to join us in His work of love. In this verse, John summarizes in seven words the greatest source of love – God’s love for us in Christ. Share some specific examples of how God has been leading you to love others, and where you find the strength to do it.
- How do you tap into the greater power of Jesus? What are some positive lessons we can glean from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 above about how we are to love like Christ? What are some counterproductive ways the verses lead us to avoid if we are to show Christlike love?
- What are your expectations for this week as a result of Sunday’s message?
- What about the message will stick with you over time? Why?
Take one thing home with you:
How much do we desire to know God’s, great love? Knowing the love of God for us is essential to healthy Christian living. God’s love is fundamental to our identity as His children and the sacrifice of Jesus. It may seem elementary that God loves you, but it is far far more than we can ever understand. God loves you simply because He loves you. You don’t have to work for His affection. You don’t have to set yourself straight because God can pour out His love over you. The father in the prodigal son’s story ran out to meet his son before anything had ever been set right. He didn’t know his son was there to apologize. He didn’t care. He simply wanted to love his child. Your heavenly Father feels the same way about you. He longs to love you right where you are, as you are. He longs to fill you with love to overflow.