A while back, I had the opportunity to observe two families. The setting was at a swimming pool at a hotel. One family was Christian, and the three children had been home schooled all of their lives with God as the center of their schooling and the Bible as the foundation for all that they lived. I know this because I talked to the parents. The other family had all the trappings of the world and typified what most would call the “beautiful people.” Their children were enrolled in a secular, private school and seemed to lack for nothing materially. Both families were there for some educational competition and seemed equal socially.
The families did not know each other, so I was able to observe them in their own environment, separate from each other yet in a common atmosphere. There were differences in age and gender, so they had little reason to interact and remained as autonomous family units.
Over the course of the afternoon, each family obviously had opportunity to interact, resolve differences, and engage in conflict if they were so inclined. That is where the striking differences came forth. The secular family functioned as separate people, loosely joined by a family bond, seemingly only tolerating each other because of that bond. With the father and mother acting as wardens from the sidelines, they trudged through the afternoon, demanding their individual rights, imposing their diverse opinions on each other, and biding their time until it was time to go and do something they had planned for later. All had something different planned for their individual lives once the pool time ended.
The Christian family was bonded in love and respect for each other. They were a delight to behold as they each seemed to strive to please the other. They embraced the fullness of the day, sharing and loving openly, whole-heartedly enjoying, respecting, and building each other up. They lived the truth of God’s Word as a family. The difference was remarkable, the contrast astounding, and the impact of the truth of the Word in action was evident every moment of the afternoon. The concepts of God and His Word were so lived out by this family that they were “bright” with living truth. Their lives were such a presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that everyone there - even the parents of the other family - noticed that something was different about them. The foundation of their lives, individually and collectively, was biblical truth - and it showed.
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