As this year comes to an end here is a question for you to reflect on… What have you built this year? A better job? A bigger house? A better 401K? A healthier body? What about a stronger family?
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the Exodus and Israels journey out of Egypt. As the story unfolds we see oppressed brick makers doing everything they can to make their masters happy. They are seeking the approval of their slave drivers for an obvious reason, to avoid punishment. Their only responsibility was to make bricks. You could say it like this, their worth and value was tied to what they were able to produce.
NIV Exodus 5:17-18 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are–lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ 18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”
Is it possible that even though we live in a free country we still live in slavery? In slavery to an employer, a coach, a relationship, debt. Is it possible we have become enslaved and do not even realize it. I believe what suffers in the midst of slavery more than anything else is our family. What suffers is your relationship with your husband or your wife. What suffers is the relationship with your children. Many times people see the slavery they are in as means to an end. Their goal is to make their family happy but in doing so have distanced themselves from them.
Here is my new years resolution, stop building bricks for someone else and start building a stronger family. I do not mean quitting a job but rather being more intentional about what I say yes to. To stop simply building bricks because someone else expects me to and be more initial about the time I spend with my wife and my children. We have to learn to say no to some good things so that we can do important things.
Your child’s coach should not control your families schedule, if they do you have become a slave. Your boss should not control everything you do. I know that is a touchy one with the economy but it is true and there is a difference in making sure ends meet and food is on the table and adding another zero to your pay check. No matter how much money you make it is not worth loosing your family. In a way many of the things we become slaves to simply help us produce band-aids to cover up the problems in our families.
Make 2012 the year you focus on building a stronger family. More time with your spouse. More time with your kids. More time together in God’s word. In 2012 make it a priority to focus on something besides bricks because no matter how incredible the bricks are you build they will not last.
What will you do in 2012 to be more intentional in building a stronger family?