TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. How has your week been? We pray that God’s presence has been apparent in your family life as you intentionally invest the time it takes to build a strong family.
Last week we began a multi-part introduction to Clear View Retreat’s Family Camp. We want to build families up, whether you are able to come visit us here or not, so we started with our session one in which we encouraged you to reflect on your family identity – to take time to find the common element that connects you to one another. We have had families at a CVR Family Camp say they are ‘The Football Family,’ ‘The Gaming Family,’ or ‘The Serving Family,’ to name a few. Now, we are going to assess where God is in the midst of our family identities.
When no one is watching, do we Christ-following families relate to each other like the world relates to each other? Think for a moment about the influences of television, movies, and more. There is the sarcastic, too pushy, over-the-top behaviors — all for a laugh or some reaction from the audience. Now, with social media, we all have an audience, ALL THE TIME. We can also have anonymity but we still have an audience. Whether we are the audience or we have an audience, we are influenced more and more by outside appearances. Remember, the world’s standards are not the same as the Lord’s.
Philippians 2:1-5 says, “If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.”
Simply put, we are to be like Christ. God created us for relationship, and He desires we exemplify Him in those relationships. Five Minute Families, take some time this week to imagine out loud what you think the ideal Christian family living today would look like if they fully followed biblical standards. Now, we are not encouraging legalistic behavior here, simply grace-filled hearts and attitudes.
As families take the time to assess their family life and attitudes, session 2 of CVR Family Camp dives first into a complete understanding of what intentional intimacy is. In fact, the key concept of everything we do in our family and in our ministry is intentional intimacy. So, what is that? Intentional is an adjective that describes something that is being “done on purpose” or something you deliberately choose to do. Intimacy means closeness or friendship. At Clear View Retreat we define the concept of intentional intimacy as “the desire to know and to be known by another for the glory of God.”
When we choose to live a life in which we intentionally interact with our loved ones, choosing to deepen our understanding of who God created him or her to be, we are choosing intentional intimacy. God gave us the ultimate expression of intentional intimacy when Jesus came to earth in human form, fully man and fully God, and He built relationships with His disciples and taught us all to reach beyond our personal feelings. Jesus was the definitive manifestation of grace and mercy.
Five Minute Families must understand that extending mercy, which is the act of withholding deserved punishment and showing grace, which is the act of endowing unmerited favor, are the best ways to move through day-to-day living.
Ask yourself a few questions to begin your family assessment:
- Do you truly desire to be known by your family members?
- Do you desire to better know your loved ones for the glory of God?
While those first two questions are technically yes or no questions, be sure to ask yourself why your gut reaction was yes or no.
- What worldly influences are working on your family – both now and at times before social distancing?
- What expectations have you set for your family?
- Imagine out loud what you think the ideal Christian family living today would look like if they fully followed biblical standards.
That’s a lot to sort through. Our prayer for you this week is to spend time honestly answering those questions and listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as you choose intentional intimacy in your Five Minute Family. God bless!
~Originally aired on WECO 95.5 fm/940 am Tues, April 21, 2020~