Spring is nice - it means flowers! Spring is not nice - it also can mean floods! One North Dakota town saw it coming - the floods, not the flowers. And they decided they weren't just going to sit there an float away. Because of a winter that had produced mountains of snow, they knew where that snow would go when it melted - right into their homes and businesses. So, while the snow was still deep, they started to make an island out of their town. Everyone pitched in to literally build an earthen dike around the town. Yes, they would be an island - yes, they would be surrounded by a flood - but they made a wall so they would be safe in the middle of it!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Safe in the Middle of the Flood."
That's not just a good idea for a town - that's a good idea for a married couple - for a family! Because you can be sure that your marriage, your family is going to get hit by some flooding - there are just too many stresses and pressures and crises in our world today for any family to live flood-free. We're all in a flood area!
Well, here's our word for today from the Word of God starting in Luke 6:47. Jesus said, "I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built." Let's apply that to your home - the relationships, not just the building. If you build it Jesus' way, it won't collapse when the flood comes. Unfortunately, most of us build our family our way, or the way we grew up. But families that are built Jesus' way are ready for the flood.
Let me give you some words that describe a family that is building a flood-wall, that is, in Jesus' words, "well built." If you're doing this word, be encouraged. If you're not doing enough of these words, there's still time to work on it. Here are those words:
- Listening. The Bible says to be "slow to speak and quick to listen." Are you? A relationship built Jesus' way is one in which you hold your tongue, ask those second and third questions, and you listen for that person's heart, not just their words.
- Talking. Or, as the Bible says, "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). If you want to prevent a lot of floods, taking your family down, keep talking with each other. Don't stuff your feelings or let them build up. And don't expect people to understand what you're feeling if you're not explaining what you're feeling! Here's another flood-proofing word:
- Encouraging. Giving your spouse or parents or children daily encouragements - telling them what's good about them. The only thing that should come out of your mouth according to Ephesians 4:29 is "what is useful for building others up."
- Loving. How are you doing on that one? You see, that's a big one - and I mean showing each family member love and affection in ways that make them feel loved, in their language. If you're not saying it and you're not showing it, they're probably not sure of it.
And, of course, there's that other word:
- Praying. The greatest strength of any relationship is that those people often come to God together. Things happen when you're in God's Throne Room together that can't happen anywhere else. Remember, "Unless the Lord builds the house, its laborers labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1).
You know floods are coming. Just don't wait for the floods to build the wall around your family. If you make each day a flood-proofing day, your family may be in the flood - but the flood won't be in your family.