7 Aug 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Divorce and breaking of families are rising because husbands and wives are not practicing the teachings of the Bible.
On Aug 3rd, Rev Dr Timothy Ong, Sr Pr of Trinity Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya (PJ) shared how God intended the church to be a model for a family.
Started in 1955, Trinity Methodist church is homegrown from one of the 14 parish groups of Wesley Methodist Church in K.L. And in 1959, the church was formally constituted with 72 members, which doubled in their first anniversary.
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (Eph 5:22-24)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, the He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies, he who loves his wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are member of His body. (Eph 5:25-30)
What do these verses say to us? Rev Timothy shared that the verses above show us that Jesus loves the family as much as he loves the church. Many parallelisms have been drawn between a husband and wife, and Jesus and the church.
Hence, in that same spirit and manner, Rev Timothy shared that husband and wife need to work together to raise their home, like how Christ raised the church.
“Do you know that the dynamics of the church and families are interlinked? And if you’re talking about Christian education at the church level, the church families must do Christian education at home as well. We must bring the church to our families,” said Rev Timothy.
He referred to the church in the book of Acts, as a model for how a family in Christ should be like. (Acts 2:42-47)
Devote Yourself to Teaching Children
Firstly, like the church in Acts, God’s family must be devoted to fellowship and teaching. (Acts 2:42)
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Parents must be serious about learning, practicing, and imparting biblical teaching to their children, because a child’s first education comes from home and they learned fastest in their first five years of life.
“This is the time to teach children right and wrong, pray and also the Word of God, so that when they grow up, they will grow into maturity in their faith,” said Rev Timothy, sharing how eagles demonstrate to us great parenting skills in teaching their eagles.
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
The Lord alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
A remarkable thing about eagles (apart from ducks and geese), shared Rev Timothy, is that they must learn to fly by observing their parents. The eagle would fly around the nest, to demonstrate how to fly to the eaglet. And the day would come when the eaglet would finally be strong enough to fly a short distance to the nearest branch before eventually flying off. Hence, like the eagle that patiently and persistently shows its eaglet on how to fly, Rev Timothy shared that parents must too be patient in teaching their children.
“Teach them how to pray starting with the Lord’s Prayer. I still remember in memorizing the Ten Commandments at a young age,” said Rev Timothy.
Fellowship with One Another in the Family
Secondly, teaching must be complemented with fellowship as well. Fellowship means serving, sharing, and participating together in a common cause. In other words, the meaning of fellowship is to be ‘in the same ship together,’ shared Rev Timothy.
Share Blessings with one another in the Family
Thirdly, Rev Timothy also urged the family to practice the spirit behind the breaking of bread. (Acts 2:46-47)
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47)
“Breaking bread is not so formalized like the Holy Communion today but to remember Christ’s love to us and to invoke our response to his love. Before the breaking of bread, there is this agape feast, which is like pot-bless to enjoy together.
“In the family context, the agape feast means your family considering in sharing meals with needy friends, families, and older people in nursing homes. Through that, children will learn to love and care for each other,” said Rev Timothy.
God’s model of family is one that is devoted into maturing faith and also fellowship, by providing everyone in the family the opportunity to walk life together and see God’s hand in everyone’s life. That way, faith becomes real when we witness God answering our prayer or even the prayer of our family!
Rev Timothy also encouraged the parents to make the Bible relevant by referring the Word with the current events happening in the world. In that way, we can take every opportunity to teach them about the relevance of God’s Word in their life.
“Talk about the happy and sad days and how you see God at work. Tell your children how you relate life events with God. Was God at work or not at all?” said Rev Timothy.
A Family Stays United
Lastly, like the Acts church, Christian family stay united because they have common values of loving God and serving others. (Acts 2:44-45) Because they are united, they share with each other everything they have.
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. (Acts 2:44-45)
“I often mentioned that this church is our second home; office is the third or fourth home. And we are committed to worshipping together, fellowshipping together, and serving together,” said Rev Timothy.
What are hindering the spiritual growth of your family today? Perhaps, like the Acts church, we should really decide to live out our family that way.
Visit Trinity Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya at http://www.trinitypj.com
ADDRESS | 6 Jalan 5/37, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
CONTACT | 03-7956-5986 / 5872 / 5302
EMAIL | email@example.com
8:30 AM | Liturgical (English)
10:45 AM | Contemporary (English)
6:00 PM | Expository (English)
10:45 AM | Chinese
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