Monday, October 16, 2017
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My wife, Karen, was waking up to a sound she hadn't heard before and she couldn't identify. It sounded like crinkling cellophane, and it was coming from inside our bedroom walls! Now, somehow I missed this little symphony, but Karen sure picked up on it. Since we were pretty sure no one was actually crinkling cellophane in our walls, we looked into other possibilities. Like carpenter ants, for example. And sure enough, that's what it was! Those little marauders were feasting on the wood in our house, and they were gradually eating our home! We didn't even have to think about what to do. "Hello, Mr. Exterminator?"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What's Eating Your Home."
Obviously, you need to take drastic measures when something is eating your home - including some invaders that do far more damage than some hungry, little bugs. There may be some forces that are eating away right now, not at the building you live in, but the family who lives in it!
You can hear some of the sounds of deterioration - the angry words that are causing such deep wounds, or that chilly silence, or the negativity. Far more comments on what people are doing wrong than what they're doing right, the exasperation, the frustration over not being listened to. Don't ignore those "sounds in the walls." The longer you do, the harder it's going to be to repair the damage. If there's growing tension or growing distance, or growing hard feelings or frustration, it's time for radical action. It's time to attack what's eating your home.
Our word for today from the Word of God may be a statement that you need to take as a charge for you and your family. It's from Hebrews 12:1. It says this, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles." Now if something is slowing you down or entangling you as a family, throw it off! Get rid of it! Call the exterminator!
Maybe what's weakening your home is too much criticism, or too little affection shown, maybe too little listening. Or it could be hypocrisy that's eating your home - this big gap between the "church you" and the you they see at home. Maybe there's favoritism or perfectionism that's driving everyone crazy. Or maybe your family is just feeling the effects of too little of your time; of a schedule that just doesn't have much room for them in it.
But listen, will you, to the sounds of a home slowly being eaten away. It's time to take strong corrective action - to "throw off everything" that is hindering your family and the sin that is tripping them up. And let the change begin with you. Get to your knees and confess to your Lord the part that you've been playing in the problems at home. And ask Him to change you from a thermometer who reflects everything that's going on there, to a thermostat that sets a whole new temperature.
Where you've been wrong, will you tell your family? You won't lose their respect - you'll gain it. God says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16). There are few words more healing than these three words, "I was wrong." I wonder how many marriages could have been saved if someone could have said those words or how many children.
As this verse says, healing also comes when you begin to pray for each other - and for family healing. And if you need outside help, man, don't let your pride keep you from seeking that help that may save everything.
Would you say to God, "Lord, I can hear the sounds of our home being slowly eaten away, and I want it to stop. I dedicate myself today to stopping it, by stopping it in me first." Those bugs will destroy your home only one way - through your denial or your neglect.
It's time for the exterminator before any more damage is done.