LESSON 5 2/10/2016
CHALLENGES FAMILIES FACE
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 240, 242
Devotional Reading: Micah 7:5-7
Topic For Adults: Family Built To Survive
Topic For Youths: Lay Lasting Family Foundation
Topic For Intermediates: God’s Grace Is Enough For Your Family’s Problems
Scripture Lesson: Matt. 7:24, 25; 2 Cor. 6:14-16; 1 Cor. 10:13
Memory Verse: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Infertility And Delayed Child Bearing
Rachael was much loved by Jacob, but she had delay in child bearing. It was agonizing for her to watch her sister bear one child after another while she waited. In many cultural settings, any woman that has delay in child bearing is viewed with suspicion and sometimes treated with contempt. Unfortunately, instead of husbands of such women encouraging them, the husbands treat the wives as if they are at fault and are to be blamed for the predicament. Ironically, the problem may be from the man. This problem has caused friction in many homes. In African culture where children are expected immediately after wedding, parents-in-law are likely to begin to ask questions and trigger anxiety. Couples waiting for children need the encouragement the church can give. The church also should make every effort to counsel the couple and to pray fervently for them. God still performs miracles.
Point of Emphasis: It is only God who knows the cause of and the solution to delay in child bearing.
Prayer Point: Father, remember the families that are waiting for children, just like you remembered Hannah.
There are various challenges which couples experience. The irony of the matter is that these problems vary in nature and degree from one family to the other, but the truth of these situations is none of them can defy divine solution if approached in a godly way. Learn some of these challenges and the solutions in this week’s lesson.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: FOUNDATION OF THE FAMILY (MATT. 7:24; 2 COR. 6:14-16)
While preparing to get married or preparing for the future of a family, there are several things couples do to ensure the family does not suffer – making enquiries about the family one wants to marry into, saving money for the raining day, purchasing necessary materials to meet the needs of the family, etc. These preparations are necessary and important. There is the most important foundation component that is often taken for granted or overlooked; the spiritual foundation. Those who go into marriage with unbelieving partners always believe their partners will change after marriage because of the love between them. This always proves to be a grievous mistake.
What are the challenges faced by families in which one spouse is an unbeliever or is not ready to obey God’s commands?
What are the challenges faced by families where each spouse feeds from different spiritual sources?
Families who stand the test of time are those in which the partners have surrendered their lives to God and are committed to obeying His commands.
PART 2: WITHSTANDING CHALLENGES (MATT. 7:25; 1 COR. 10:13)
Every family faces challenges at one time of the other. No family is spared – the rains will descend, the floods will come and the winds will blow. Either a family will keep standing through the storm or will collapse depending on the foundation. The storm one family faces differs from that of another family. It is not the severity of the storm that matters, it is how prepared the family is. Some families have faced the storm of premature death of loved ones, some have faced the loss of jobs or collapse of business; some have had to deal with poor health; some families have had to deal with a spouse’s infidelity; etc. Whatever challenges a family may be going through, that challenge is not peculiar to that family, other families are going through the same or have passed through that path before. The families that will stand through the challenges will be those who are sustained by divine grace.
Divine grace is made available for whoever asks for it. It is the will of God for every family to keep standing (Eph. 6:10-12). We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses (Heb.12:1) – those who have successfully weathered similar storms.
What are the various storms that Christian families face?
Why are some families able to successfully weather the storm while other families crumble?
Why does God, who is all-powerful and can prevent storms, allow such storms in the families of genuine Christians?
Challenges will come. Some are evitable, while others may not be. God’s grace is able to carry the Christian family through the storms of life. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed (Heb. 12:12-13)
- Why are the preparations embarked upon by intending couples important and necessary?
- Why should the spiritual foundation of couple should be taken serious?
- Who are the families to stand the test of time?
- What is the most significant about the storm faced by different couples?
- How should couple who are facing crisis apply Hebrew 12:12-13 to their situations?