“The Family is a Corporation”
By Ed Young
April 30, 2017
For any organization to run smoothly, accomplish its goals, and reach a level of excellence, there must be a plan in place. It’s true for businesses. It’s true for families as well. But unlike in the corporate world, the family business doesn’t require an MBA to master it. All it takes is a willingness to open God’s Word and follow His plan.
In this message, Ed Young shows us that God has developed a clear and simple plan to help families. And when we follow God’s family business plan and run the “corporation” according to God’s rules, success is within our reach.
INTRO: Whenever I have an opportunity to talk to leaders, one of the things I discuss with them is structure. I talk about the fact that an organization is only as good as its structure. It’s really true in every slice of life. It’s especially true when it comes to companies, corporations. The most important being a parent company known as the family!
We’ve been saying around here that we’re all in a family business, because we’re all members of the family. Last time we talked about the family is a trauma center. Today, I’m talking about the family is a corporation.
Since a family is a corporation, we have to talk about the structure. Because I truly believe one of the reasons the family is so fragmented is because a lack of structure. As a family corporation, we’re doing business. We have a corporate structure – CEO, president, CFO, employees, and ideally, we’re all working for the same goal.
I think it’s vital to ask a couple of questions when we look at a family business. The first being, “What’s our business?”
The family is not an institution designed by man. It’s not a product of evolution, anthropology, psychology, or biology. The family was and is created by God for the benefit of man. Our great God has given us the stewardship of it. The purpose of the family is for each member to learn, grow, and develop their unique aptitudes and abilities in this supernatural structure that God has given.
So what’s our business? The family business.
The second question is a question I’ll spend a little more time answering. “How’s business?”
I want you to think about the family business. How is your business? Is the stock up? Or down? Are you seeing a good return on your investment? Or are you trying to service some crazy debt? Those are questions I want you to keep at the forefront as we discuss this topic about corporate structure.
God’s structure for the family is a structure that brings success. The family is a true parent company, God being, of course, our ultimate parent.
I think it’s interesting that the family is one of the most used analogies in the Bible to describe the church. Moreover, our family is a representation of a bigger family – the family of God. So whether you find yourself as a single parent family, a blended family, a nuclear family; whether you’re 92, 42, 22, or 12, all of us are members of a family. God wants every one of our families to be profitable.
It’s been said most families begin with an ideal. They then become an ordeal. Then you’ve got mom and dad looking for a new deal.
But again, I say, one of the issues that our culture is dealing with when it comes to the family is a structural issue. The family corporation is set up for success when we do it God’s way.
Basically, when you consider a family corporation, there are several members in this family. In a typical nuclear family you have husband, wife, mom, dad, and a child or many kids.
I think there are two types of corporate takeovers that we need to discuss. And the type of takeover that I’m going to discuss is ultimately up to mom and dad.
The first would be the hostile takeover. No one really wants it; no one really desires it, but slowly and surely the family members quit and begin to go to work for someone else. The stock begins to drop. Power plays come into effect. Employees try to do things they’re not gifted to do. What am I talking about?
A man and woman get married. The man thinks that he’s got the marriage deal done. Men are compartmentalized. The woman thinks, “Wow. Romance is now going to go to another level!” They feel like their entire life will be a Hallmark movie. A child is brought into the world. Unbeknownst to mom and dad, the child, after a little while, realizes that he or she can make a play to take over the corporation.
Dad is busy with work. Mom is busy maybe with work and being a mother. Marital drift takes place. The child takes over the corner office. Mom and dad end up in cubes reporting to the kid who is now CEO. Throw in an attractive coworker or friend and you’ve got serious problems.
A friendly takeover is a merger that takes place with a more successful company. It’s a parent company led by God who wants to lead, assist, motivate, direct, stimulate the family toward prosperity, toward an amazing profit margin. The currency of love, true love, is increased. A hope and a future that is bright, that everyone will be taken care of even in the tough times, is in the cards. Large levels of loyalty, increased understanding of authority, security, a lack of worry. Suddenly everyone sees a return on an investment. Sometimes it’s small; other times it’s large. But the stock options that every family member receives will ultimately be redeemed in heaven.
So I’ve painted out a couple of scenarios. A hostile takeover. If we let our families drift; if there’s no direction, no structure then that’s going to take place. However, if mom and dad are intentional about it, they’ll allow this friendly takeover to take place. And that’s when greatness will happen.
When we do it God’s way, we have to do and God wants us to do several things. Number one, we have to reiterate the supernatural structure of the family. If you take a Google Earth view of Ephesians you see in this book God, marriage, and kids – in that order.
Our culture is not going to tell us about this structure, because they’re confused regarding it. Our culture is so confused they say “If a man feels like a woman, he can use the woman’s restroom.” Our culture says, “If two men both feel like parents, they can get married and adopt a kid.” What’s so sad is, our world is confused but they don’t realize they’re confused.
But let’s go through just this structure. Number one, God is God. That’s what I like to say. God is God. He’s Lord. He’s number one.
The second is, marriage is marriage. It’s God then marriage. Marriage is the only relationship that is illustrative of God’s relationship to his people.
Number three, kids are kids. Once a parent, always a parent. But remember, it’s God, then it’s marriage, then it’s the kids.
Parenting is teaching (Deuteronomy 6) and training (Proverbs 22:6) your children to leave (Genesis 2:24).
Not only do we regularly reiterate the supernatural structure, we need to demonstrate God’s supernatural love. It’s the fuel that makes the whole thing go. The book of Ephesians talks about speaking the truth in love. In Ephesians 4:32 it says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Number three, we’re to communicate God’s supernatural word. We can’t understand or do this business until first of all God has done business in our lives.
We must realize specifically, when it comes to this structure, that the man, the husband, is the leader of the relationship. He is the CEO of this family corporation. The wife is the president. It doesn’t mean there’s inequality. The family is all about equality. It means, though, same in form, unique in function. In other words, it’s a responsibility thing.
So in this corporation, you know, what’s business and how’s business – one of the things that we have to do and to wrap business around it, within this corporation is delegate, investigate, elevate! Because if we don’t, the business will die!
Delegation – giving up and teaching responsibilities. With delegation, I’m giving guidelines and guardrails, because within delegation there’s also investigation. Once we delegate we have to investigate what we’ve delegated. Then, if we delegate, if we teach, if we train, then there’s going to be elevation! So we realize that God is using us as tools to build, to steward, to lead this family.
So mom and dad, your job description is to teach (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) and train (Proverbs 22:6) your children to leave (Genesis 2:24).
Now what does that look like? I mean, can you imagine working in an environment and you didn’t know what you were supposed to do? You didn’t know your title or job description? We want to take the simple and make it complex. God wants us to put the right people in the right place. Now, when we do this it will cause some drama, because so often we’ve been in the wrong roles for so long we think the wrong roles are the right roles.
One of the things we have to do is give our children and each other attention. But, attention, like oxygen, can mess kids up. If you have too much oxygen, it will suffocate you. If you want to sign up for whiny spoiled kids, give them your undivided attention, never let them out of your sight, never hire a baby sitter, never put them in the church nursery, never take a trip without them.
One of the reason we have so many adult children living at home is they’ve been running the show for so long, they’re not easily going to give up that sweet deal.
Again, we all need water. But too much can drown us.
Scheduling is something else we need to remember. God is a God of order. I think about naptime, or bedtime, or meal time. You serve them, you put them down not when they are ready or when they are hungry, but when you are ready or it’s time that you feel they should eat.
The Bible says the marriage bed is to be undefiled (Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled). That’s why I think you’re making a serious mistake when you have your kids sleep with you.
Then, on top of that, the importance of dating your spouse. It’s one of the top things you can do to keep your marriage as the main thing.
You know, you might be single and you’re thinking to yourself, “this series is not for me.” But it is. You need to think about those things to help you find someone to marry who has the same priorities as you do in marriage and parenting. If you’re engaged and in premarital counseling you need to address some of these issues that I’ve talked about.