The Intersection Between Culture And Family

Your Family Is A Great Piece Of Your Purpose, Don't Let Culture Destroy It.

Today’s topic is a little controversial possibly…

The intersection between culture and family.

There is an intersection…A place where culture and your family meet head to head. I believe culture’s aim is to go against the grain of your family. You may have never considered that your family is really a huge part of your purpose; but it is.

Let me define exactly what I’m talking about when I say family. I am using this word to describe a husband, wife, and children…or a single parent with their kids. Do we all have extended family? Most people do, however, that’s not what I’m dealing with in this episode.

I want to talk about your immediate family and the impact that culture has on it.

Now…I’m not usually a person who takes my content from everything in culture…I believe that we can really OVERUSE hot button topics. I believe that FOR THE MOST PART…the world already KNOWS where we STAND on certain issues. I also believe that we sometimes alienate people by ONLY speaking about those HOT ISSUES in christian circles.

I think that many pastors and churches make a POINT rather than making a DIFFERENCE…

 BUT….

There are times when issues need to be addressed…Today is one of those times.

With that being said, what I hope for most is that you see the culture behind the issues…

The culture is the real culprit.

The basic disregard for God, sin, the Bible, church, and all things connected to God are the driving force behind culture’s decline.

The decline in the MORAL AUTHORITY of our leaders is a direct result of the decline of our morals as believers.

  • We blame everything on the leadership.
  • We want to elect righteousness into our public offices.
  • I am as much for voting the right direction as the next person…and I DO BELIEVE that we can vote in the right person and have greater PEACE, AND MORALITY FOR A TIME.

 

But HERE’S MY DEEPLY HELD BELIEF:

Legislation alone NEVER makes up for the direction of CULTURE.

You simply cannot legislate righteousness.

In fact…this same MISGUIDED CULTURE that we’re experiencing is the driving force behind who becomes our elected officials.

So…the question isn’t:

How do we elect the right people? 

The question is this…

How do you counter the cultural problem?

There is a dulling, a numbing, and a desensitization that is going on among believers. We are being slowing desensitized to the cultural problem.

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Culture says things like:

  • Sex outside of marriage is okay – Eventually you’re seeing christians begin to pick up on this and believe this lie. – Sexually transmitted disease is out of control, young adults are led to believe that this is a normal part of life…that it’s the normal thing to do…even that it prepares you for marriage…these ideas are wrong. These ideas are lies.

 

  • Marriage doesn’t last for a lifetime – eventually you’re seeing christians begin to be one of the largest segments of people who are getting divorced.

 

  • Marriage isn’t just between a man and woman – We are beginning to see churches and christians that embrace this idea and even cater to it. We are seeing churches that promote the acceptance of this pivotal idea. (by the way, I’m not saying believers shouldn’t love people; but I am saying we cannot condone, or accept as normal and natural this alternate lifestyle). The acceptance of homosexuality as normal has been part of the decline of civilizations in the past…It will be a part of our decline as well. Churches and christians need to be careful to not be desensitized…or NUMBED to this cultural problem.

 

  • Putting your work above your family is okay – We are seeing christians who work record numbers of hours…all in the name of providing for their families. In the end they usually lose the family they were working so hard to provide for because they were never PRESENT with them. (now…I understand that some people have NO CONTROL over their work hours…but some DO…if you have no control over this area of your life, all the more reason to spend TIME TOGETHER with your family during your off hours)

 

  • Raising your kids outside church is okay, that it makes them more well rounded – Christians are beginning to embrace this idea in droves…and really…it’s the church’s fault…why? Because we haven’t presented the church as being relevant to the day by day life of believers. People no longer attend because they no longer feel the importance or see the need. It doesn’t feel relevant to them anymore.

 

  • Having a FUN LIFE is the goal – Christians are embracing this and leaving behind some of the most powerful core values that they’ve held onto for years. God is not against you enjoying your life…But having all the fun you can is not the main objective in life. As a believer our main goal is to live for Jesus Christ fully…TO BE FULLY DEVOTED TO HIM…TO HIS WAYS…TO PLEASING HIM…and in the process…THAT will MAKE your life the most ENJOYABLE LIFE POSSIBLE…God is the creator of JOY!

 

This INTERSECTION is specifically designed to pull your family apart.

Why?

Because family is the basic building block of society.

The more families are pulled apart, destroyed, hurt, damaged by sin and wrong choices…the easier it will be for culture to control your family and it’s decisions.

 

Listen…whether you agree with this next statement or not won’t change it’s validity:

We were not meant to change the culture. We are meant to counter it. 

change culture

Christianity has always ran side by side with the culture of the day…we offer a COUNTER CULTURE…we present to the world a BETTER WAY TO LIVE…

The Culture of Christianity is the fabric of a life that is greater than the life worldly culture has to offer.

You may say that early christians changed their culture. I agree with you…they did…in fact scripture says that they turned their world upside down.

But they didn’t do it through:

  • ELECTED OFFICES
  • PROTESTS
  • PICKET LINES
  • AD CAMPAIGNS
  • TALK SHOWS

 Early Christians changed their culture by living out and presenting a culture that exceeded the offerings their present day worldly culture had to offer.

They countered the culture and in this way they changed it.

Now…I’m not against trying to elect the Godly, moral person…we should DO THAT SINCE GOD HAS GIVEN US THAT OPPORTUNITY. And until that opportunity goes away, we should USE IT.

 

But here’s the deal:

You cannot change culture with it’s own devices. The rule of law is broken at best. It will only accomplish a degree of change at best. 

In no place is this truer than in the context of your family.

  • Your family’s culture needs to COUNTER the culture the world offers.
  • The way you raise your children needs to counter the culture the world says is right.
  • The way you serve God needs to counter the present day culture.

Now…I think there are many scriptures that we could look at that would show us some specific ideas about countering the cultural problem…

But I think Jesus had something great in mind when He preached one of His most memorable messages ever…The sermon on the mount…Everything about this sermon of Jesus lays out a philosophy that counters the culture.

We are to offer something different…NOT try to fix the thing that’s BROKEN.

 

Scripture says this:

 Matt. 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

 We are not to be mixed in with the culture of the world…we WON’T CHANGE IT…IT WILL CHANGE US!

Matt. 5;14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Now that’s some counter cultural stuff!

Now here’s the deal…

We are talking about the intersection between culture that is broken and our family.

If You don’t want your family to be BROKEN with the culture…you need to COUNTER OFFER with something different!!!

3 Things to offer your family different from what culture offers

 Culture offers – Do as I say, not as I do.

Counter offer is – Don’t just talk it, live it.

  • Your family IS the BYPRODUCT of WHO you ARE not who you WISH you WERE.
  • Your example in EVERY situation trickles down to your family.

 

Culture offers – Happiness filled with empty air. 

Counter offer is – Tons of lasting joy.

  • Happiness filled with empty air that eventually busts or deflates.
  • If you want strength in your family then give your family joy
  • THE JOY of the LORD is your family’s STRENGTH.

 

Culture offers – This life is your only hope.

Counter offer – There is hope beyond this life.

  •  Give your family HOPE BEYOND this life.
  • They need to hear about Jesus from YOU FIRST, not just the church.
  • If we have hope only in this life, we are miserable
  • Jesus offers hope that we can offer beyond what’s broken in this life.

 

You are the COUNTER CULTURE…because a new nature lives in you.

 

  • YOUR FAMILY CAN MAKE IT
  • YOUR FAMILY CAN THRIVE
  • YOUR FAMILY CAN LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
  • YOUR FAMILY CAN LAST FOREVER

 

Here’s a great resource that goes with this idea of family and culture:

Andy Stanley’s book – When Work And Family Collide

Could I ask you a favor?

Would you share this post on your favorite social network and help your friends live their purpose too? You can find links to do this easily below this post and you can also sign up to receive periodic emails from me regarding the podcast, books, blog posts and other resources that will help you live with purpose.
 
Remember, you have a purpose and you can live it!

Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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