If you were to speak to a general contractor about how to build a house, the first thing he would probably address would be how to secure the foundation of the home so that it is level and properly built. He would know that if the foundation is not secure, eventually the rest of the home will crack, deteriorate, and fall down. Jesus addressed this very issue, except the home he was describing was the spiritual and physical one that is our lives.
In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus is teaching about the practical ways that we are to love one another. Many times as we read this passage we think it is in reference to how we love people in our communities and churches—people outside of our families; however, I believe it is especially addressing the relationships between a husband and wife, a parent and child, and every other family relationship, as well as addressing our relationships with others.
Jesus highlights in Matthew 5 that we are to be the salt and the light of the earth: to not murder, not commit adultery, not divorce, and to have love for our enemies. In Chapter 6 Jesus continues his teaching by stressing the importance of being generous to the needy, spending time in prayer and fasting, and storing up treasures in heaven. He finishes his sermon by discussing the importance of taking the plank out of our own eye before looking at the speck of sawdust in our brother’s (wife’s, husband’s, child’s) eye, and giving the reminder to continue to ask, seek, and knock at the door of God’s throne for the things we need and desire. He finishes this important sermon with a strong admonition, saving the best for last. Jesus tells his disciples who are sitting at his feet to be wise builders.
How does he tell them to be wise builders? By putting all of these things into practice. A foolish builder hears the words, but doesn’t put them into practice. The rains and the winds come on both the wise builder and the foolish one. In fact, scripture actually says the rain “beat against that house,” implying a constant and steady pressure fighting against the individuals in that house. Is the rain beating against your family today? Matthew 7:27 states what happened to the foolish builder (foolish family) when the rain and winds of life came against them:
“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The rain and the wind blew against both the wise man and the foolish man (wise family and foolish family). The rain and wind could represent many things in our culture today: financial stress, divorce, pornography, workaholism, alcoholism, addiction, pain, disease, drugs, affairs, problems with our children, and on and on. Most families will face some kind of rain or wind at one time or another. To stand on the Rock we must take action to care for and love one another, both for the individuals in our families and those that God leads us to care for.
We want to teach and train individuals and families how to withstand the pressures and storms of life and help families get strong and stay strong. We want to reach the husband and wife on the verge of divorce, or the single mom on the verge of a breakdown, or the teenager who wants to end his or her life. We want to prevent families from “falling with a great crash.” In all that we do we want to point people to the ultimate Healer: Jesus. Faith without works is dead and will create families that fall with a crash. Families will only be able to withstand the wind and the rain by being wise builders and building on the Rock.
It’s not the only way, but one way to stay strong is to seek counsel, if you need it. Maybe there is a shift you desire to see in your life, a healing in your heart, a letting go of an addiction, a deeper walk with God, a strengthening in the foundation of your marriage or with a child. Through this position as the Director of Pastoral Counseling, my desire is to encourage pastors, leaders, and their families to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and to pursue the Kingdom of God for solutions to past traumas and painful family issues in order to find freedom and purpose in Jesus Christ. God can answer your prayers. He is able.
How does all of this work? You might ask. You can call or text me at 480-766-1184, or email me at email@example.com, and we can set up a time to talk. We might end up talking once a week or once a month for a season, as long as it is helpful. It is completely free and confidential for EFC-MAYM pastors, missionaries, and their immediate families. I can also come into your church or community to present a marriage or relational growth seminar, which I sometimes teach along with my wife, Stacey. Please contact me soon if I can help.
If you don’t fall into this category, but are sensing the Lord bringing a shift of healing into your life, please feel free to contact me and we’ll work out the details.
Director of Pastoral Counseling