I’m your host AMBrewster, and today we’re beginning our unprecedented season 24 series! I’ll explain more about that in a minute.
But as we begin our 7th year of podcasting, I want to ask that if you and your family have been blessed at all by Truth.Love.Family. and this podcast, Truth.Love.Parent., it would be so cool if you rated and reviewed the show on Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy to do, takes only a couple seconds to leave a rating, and — depending on the length of your review — just a few minutes to leave one of those.
And if you’re new to the show, I’m really excited about you joining us on this particular series.
And now let’s introduce this powerful new series.
As far as this season is concerned, we’re trying something a little different.
We have plenty of stand-alone episodes, and we have both short and long series. And we always try to make sure that the content of any particular season has a thread connecting the episodes.
But we’ve never done what we’re going to do this season.
As you may remember from last time that this Season is going to consist of a single series, but this series is going to be a chapter by chapter walk through of a New Testament book.
And I want to take the rest of today’s episode to explain the theme of this series, why I chose this particular book, why I think it’s a good idea to work through a single book of the Bible in a podcast series, and how I pray this series can help your family.
1. The Theme
As a biblical family counselor, I meet weekly with many dads, moms, and children. Sometimes I meet with them individually, and sometimes I meet with the whole family together. And I always try to suit our sessions to the greatest need of the moment.
All of that to say, I try to never walk into a counseling session with a plan for what we’re going to discuss. Based on our previous sessions, I generally have an idea about what we will likely need to discuss from God’s Word, but quite often something unforeseeable ends up being more important.
However, despite all of that, when I meet with families I often discover that they have gotten into their unique situation in the same way that other families get into their unique situations. And — though I would hate to oversimplify anyone’s issues — we all fall into sin the same ways.
First, we all come into the world ignorant of truth.
Many families whom I serve have been attending church for as long as the kids can remember, but often they’ve never heard the rich truths the Bible teaches that meets them in their need.
In reality, biblical counselors would cease to have a job if God’s people knew what the Scriptures had to say about their struggles and questions and could accurately apply His truth to their lives. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!
And when it comes to family issues, the family is often ignorant of the same truths of which other families are ignorant.
Second, we all choose to reject truth.
Every single one of us, parents and kids alike, sin because we’re leaning on our own understanding and — often — are choosing to reject the things we’ve been taught. So, even when we know what’s right, we so often do what’s wrong.
Every family with whom I meet — and all of you, and my family — do the same things.
And third, sin separates.
Every family that comes for counseling is fragmented. There’s division, conflict, factions, and overall disunity.
Regardless of the unique struggles and individual sins, in one way or another every family is searching for unity. Kids want their parents to be on their sides and parents want to know their kids are on page with everyone else. Though they may not come to me saying, “Our family needs to be unified,” one of the most noticeable changes that occur when families deal with their sin is that they start to relate to each other better.
For these reasons and more, I find myself often inviting families to join me in a very special letter in the New Testament all about what it takes to be unified.
Therefore, the theme of this study is “A Family United in God,” and we’re going to learn everything that it takes to truly be unified.
2. The Book
The letter to which I’m referring not only deals with unity and the unique roles of family members, but it lays a cohesive and robust from-start-to-finish trajectory for individuals and their families. It touches on nearly every human relationship within the framework of Who God is, what He’s done for us, and what He expects for our lives. And not only that, but it’s a short 6 chapter book.
And for those of you who are familiar with this Pauline letter, you’ve probably already guessed that I’m describing the book of Ephesians.
So, what I’m doing with this series is invite you and your kids to join me in nine free biblical counseling sessions. I’m going to teach this material just like I would if we were in our initial sessions as a family.
Therefore, I believe the whole family will greatly benefit from listening to these episodes together, discussing them as a family, and even doing the LifeWork assignments that will be available to the TLP Family.
If you’re not part of the TLP Family, joining is totally free, and I’ve put a link in the description of this episode. Once you’re part of the TLP Family, I’ll post a new Ephesians LifeWork PDF every week of this series. I recommend you download it and print it out before your family listens to the episode. And make sure you have it with you as you listen.
Now, I can tell you that I have watched whole families be changed by the power of God as they’ve submitted to the truths we’re going to learn in this series. Of course — on the flip side — I have seen individuals (as well as whole families) reject these truths and suffer the consequences of their self-worship. So, I highly recommend the whole family work on this together because you can all help each other.
3. The Format
Unless you like to listen to sermons that just so happened to be released in podcast form, I’m pretty sure you’ve rarely encountered a podcast host who chose to work through a whole book of the Bible. So, allow me to explain why I believe this is a good format for us by explaining the objectives of the next 8 sessions.
Next week we’re going to look at Ephesians chapter 1 and discuss the eternally vital role that redemption plays in the lives of your family members. We’re going to talk about what it is, how it works, and what happens if anyone in your family isn’t redeemed.
Then we’re going to move to chapter 2 and talk about what it is to actually be alive. Believe it or not, there are likely many people in your family who either don’t have spiritual life or they don’t live like they do. We’ll talk about the importance and the ramifications of spiritual life as well as how to tell if people in your family are spiritually dead.
After that we’ll get into chapter 3 and look at the idea of submission. Submission is an absolutely counterintuitive and supremely necessary character trait that must exist in every life in your family. Fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters all need to learn what it is to submit, to whom we are to submit, and what happens when we don’t.
Then on our 5th session from chapter 4, we’re going to see how submission to the redemption and life of God is what results in a unified family. We’re going to see that it’s not about dad and mom being on the kids’ side or the kids being on dad’s side, it’s about what it means for everyone in the family to be on God’s side. And when everyone in the family is on God’s side, they will be unified together in a way they could not begin to imagine or appreciate.
But we’re not going to stop there. Strange though it may seem, that’s just the starting place. Once we’re all redeemed and alive in Christ and submitting to His rule for our family, yes, we will experience unity. But that unity is going to change as we mature in our submission to God. That will be the lesson from the first two-thirds of chapter 5.
And then during our 7th session we’re going to look at nitty-gritty specifics about how God expects each maturing member of the family to influence the others in the family. We’re going to study the end of chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6 to learn how God expects all of us to have an influence on all the others, but how it can only happen in a Christ-honoring way when we’ve learned, understood, and submitted to the previous truths in the book.
During our 8th session, we’ll look at the rest of chapter 6 and talk about what it takes for your unified, maturing family to truly flourish in your home and in the world. It will be an exciting conversation that — if nothing else — can set important goals into which young families can grow.
And then we’ll take our final session to step back and look at everything we’ve learned, answer any final questions, and make some vitally important applications.
So . . .
4. The Goal
I pray that — if nothing else — your family will be exposed to some vital truth that can be the starting place for true, spiritual growth.
I hope you’re excited to learn about God’s expectations for you and your family as well as see the amazing benefits that come from submitting to Him.
Please share this series on your favorite social media outlets and then join us next time as we once again open God’s Word to discover how to best worship God with our parenting.
To that end, we’ll be diving into Ephesians 1.
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