Flawed Families 101
What would you do with a pile of gold coins like this? Stick with me and discover what one misguided couple decided to do, and the disastrous results that followed.
But first, let’s do a quick review of where we’ve traveled with our Flawed Families.
Flawed families, (and who doesn’t have one, I ask you?), have two choices. Either continue the downward spiral of their flawness–I just made that word up–do you like it? Or, look the flaw square in the face and tell it to scram. Well, maybe it’s not that easy, but it’s a start.
Cain and Abel’s family flaw is very close in nature to Jacob and Esau’s. Both sets of parents played the I-like-him-best game, which set up all four sons for destructive competition.
Abram and Sarai didn’t believe God would, or was able to, keep the promise of a child in their old age. They decided to help God out, which led to centuries of heartbreaking strife in the Middle East, the roots of which still bear fruit today. Ah, well…they shouldn’t have thought God needed their help. Right?
I’ll ‘fess up if you will–at times I’ve thought God needed my help to do in my life what he’d promised, and I always came to grief over it.
And then, there’s Solomon. God invented marriage to be a one-on-one proposition, but Solomon couldn’t get enough wives and concubines to satisfy himself. His descendants paid the price for it, and still are today.
Why he thought God’s blueprint for holy matrimony was up for debate, we can only guess. Well, maybe we don’t have to guess–the same debate continues today as we attempt to remake God and his plan for human relationships in our own image. There’s just one problem with that. God refuses to stay in the box we build for him. Irritating, but there it is.
And this brings us to today’s flawed family. This family found out the hard way that God expects absolute truth, inside and out, from his people.
Ananias and Sapphira, in an effort to be seen and known as big shots among the first century disciples, gave a sum of money into the collection. All well and good, you say. The trouble is, they told Peter and the other folks they’d given all of the money they’d received from the sale of some of their property…but they lied and kept back some of the money for themselves.
They enjoyed the notoriety around town for awhile. “Did you hear how much they gave? Wow! They’re so generous…”; “Maybe we should have a dinner in their honor. Put up a gold plaque in the town square. Invite everyone…yeah, that’s what we should do.” And Ananias and his scheming wife stood in the shadows gloating over how popular they’d become, all the while jingling that extra coin in their purse.
But it wasn’t long before God did what God does when he wants to make a point with his people about their behavior–he made an example of them. God told Peter there was something afoot with Ananias and Sapphira. And the next thing they knew, Ananias, and then his wife, dropped dead and were carried out feet-first and buried.
A bit over-the-top, we might think. Such drastic measures. But that’s how serious God takes lying, trying to be more important than you really are, and covetousness.
And then there’s us and our families. The Bible doesn’t say if Ananias and Sapphira had children, but if they did, chances are with that kind of parental example, the kids would be cardboard cutouts of the old folks.
Sometimes I cringe when I think of my kids and grandkids being just like me. In fact, I hope they’re not–it’d be much better if they were like Jesus. That’s what I pray for them. In fact, look at this Scripture prayer. I pray this for them and all of our descendants.
Only by imitating God Himself will we avoid the pitfalls of our flawness.
Do you use Scripture verses in your prayers for your family? Care to share? Let’s talk!
If you’d like to read more about Ananias and Sapphira in my book, Leaving Your Lover, just click on the title to go to Amazon; or click on my Books Page to order a signed copy. You’ll also find stories of more Flawed Families in my other books.