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  • Darryl Denney

Every Family Has "Elephants"

On 10-8-17, we started a new sermon series entitled “The Elephant In The Family Room”. Every family has these “Elephants” (issues or sin) that we don’t want to address.

Now please understand, people are not the “Elephants” but our sin and the effects of those sins are. Because people invite the sin into our families, it feels personal to expose that sin because it is attached to that person, but it is not personal. We love our family and we want them to be spiritually healthy and healed by a loving God.

So, an “Elephant Hunt” is not a “People Hunt”. It is all about identifying the sin and dysfunction that puts a wedge between the family members and ultimately puts a wedge between us and God. God wants to fill the space that these sins have consumed and God wants to bring us closer to Him and closer to each other.

In Scripture we see an example of this with the family of Gideon. Gideon was called by God to lead His people against their overwhelming enemy, the Midianites. Something that has always stuck out to me in this event in history, is that Gideon needed to address the “Elephants” in his family before he could be used by God to save his people.

Gideon’s family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on) had been worshipping false gods and that major “Elephant In The Family Room” was not only distancing them from God but it was a poison that was spiritually killing God’s people.

Let’s look at the events in Judges 6:25-27. “That same night the LORD said to him, ‘Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.’ So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.”

Tearing down the objects of worship to the false gods and establishing an altar to the One True God, was crucial for Gideon to be in position to lead God’s people but it was also crucial in reclaiming God as the only focus of faith, trust and worship.

Addressing these “Elephants” in our families is not easy. It can even be scary as we saw with Gideon. Please pray for God’s direction and discernment in claiming back the space in your families for God. Get spiritual guidance from a strong believer you trust and even from the leaders at church. Remember, this is not a personal attack on your family. You love them and the best way to love them is to expose the sin, seek God and as a family, claim back the worship that only belongs to Him.

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