WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS?: FAMILY BUSINESS PLAN
NOVEMBER 29, 2020, 11:00AM
How’s everyone doing today? Are you doing well? Good. Through the miracle of technology, this is seen in all of our environments and also all of your environments. Let’s do a big ovation for everybody joining in.
I love to drive through neighborhoods. I do. And sometimes when I’m driving through neighborhoods, I really admire, I’m sure as you do, the different houses. Some are modern. Some are more traditional. Some are big. Some are small. I look at these houses, and usually when I’m looking at these houses, I have a conversation with myself. Do you ever do that, talk to yourself? I go, “Man, these are nice houses, but I wonder how many houses are homes?” How many houses are homes?
I thought today since we’re talking so much about the family during this holiday season that I would talk about the family and that I would talk about how to turn houses into homes. If I had to focus or to present to you God’s business, it would be turning houses into homes. That’s the business of God. We can’t turn houses into homes, though, until first of all God has done business in our lives. Then, and only then, can we do business in the family. Yet I would submit to you that the family is really where it’s at, and this applies to every single person because all of us are a member of a family. We all are.
Have you ever come up before with a business plan? Has anyone ever come up with a business plan before? Anybody? Oh, yeah. I see those hands going up everywhere. I was wondering recently what a business plan was. So I, of course, Googled it and here’s the definition. A Business Plan is a document setting out a business’s future objectives and strategies for achieving them. It’s about a business’s future objectives and how they’re going to achieve those objectives. Then I went a step further. I noticed you could go to this website, download a PDF business plan, insert your name, the company structure, what you’re going to call the company, and like that, you have your own business plan. And you can present that business plan to investors, and they’ll go, “Wow, unbelievable.” A business plan.
This book (Bible) is a business plan. It tells you and me, strategies and objectives, how to turn houses into homes. Because it doesn’t take someone really brilliant or bright to realize the family is struggling right now. More than half of all marriages end up in the deep weeds. 40 percent of all kids in America are growing up in a single-parent household. And then on top of that, we’re playing house. We’re living together, and we’re just not doing the marriage thing. It’s free sex with no commitment.
The marriage, the family, parenting and the kids, we’re really struggling. Yet God, and this is the genius of God, formed the family to be the catalyst of change for our culture. There’s no doubt about it. The family is a unit created by God, to glorify God. That’s what a family is. A family is a unit created by God to glorify God. We’re created by God. As you look, it’s how God has pushed the ball downfield through this unit, the family.
The family’s objective here in this business plan is to glorify God. Now when I say that that’s my reason for existence and that’s your reason for existence, to glorify God, that’s hard to grasp. The glory of God. What does that mean, the glory of God? The glory of God is intrinsic to who God is. In other words, it’s just him. He doesn’t need some outside source, or he doesn’t need clicks or follows or likes to get more glory. He is glory. What heat is to jalapenos, what the Kardashians are to social media, God is to glory. The family, at every exchange and interchange, at every adventure, we’re to reflect the glory of God, the sum total of his attributes. When people see your family and mine, they should see the glory of God.
I wish it was that easy, don’t you? I mean, it’s easy for me to say this up here, but it’s a whole notha level to work it out in the real world because families, we have to do some hard yards to do and to be who God desires. But I’m telling you, God will give us the horsepower to be the family that he desires. Because if we could see the future, the business plan, that God has for you and me, we would fall flat on our face. If we could see the business plan that God has for our family, we’d be like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” It’s that amazing.
How do you turn houses into homes? You have to realize that this is a business plan, and all you have to do is download this business plan, fill in your name and your family, and simply do what it says because God says, “If you do this, I’ll do that. If you don’t do that, I’ll do this.” It’s that simple. The structure of the family is brilliantly simple and simply brilliant when you think about it, the structure of the family.
Last Sunday, at Fellowship Church we had an opportunity to do a Child dedication and I have a photo of our family somewhere on one of these beautiful screens. [PHOTO: Young Family – 2020 Child Dedication] It’s kind of emotional. Several people who’ve been very meaningful and influential in our family were there. I can’t even believe this. Sometimes I can’t even believe I’m a parent. I know you’re like, “Ed, what are you smoking?” I can’t, and a grandparent? I’m only 30 years old. I’m looking at this picture and I’m going, “Wait a minute. I remember when we dedicated the twins, the twin towers, and now they’re dedicating their kids. Get out of town.” I sometimes will say slap somebody appropriately, but we can’t because of COVID. Isn’t that interesting. Then as I thought about it and meditated on it over the last several days, I thought, “Thank you God. Thank you God for the family.” I’m so thankful for my family. I grew up in a great family and I feel so privileged and grateful to do that.
Our family’s not perfect. Dad’s almost perfect, but he’s not. Nor am I, nor is anyone. Yet if we do family like this business plan tells us, we’re going to a whole notha level, a holy notha level. Do that with me. A Holy notha level. The family is a place that reflects the family of God. We’re simply a microcosm of the family of God. What’s the family of God? It’s Jesus, of course, the bridegroom, the church is the bride, those of us who’ve been adopted into this family. Once you become a Christ follower, you’re adopted into the family of God. It’s ironic, we’re adopted into the family of God, yet we have billions of blood relatives, those who have been covered by the blood of Jesus. Isn’t that interesting? I look at that photo and I see the family and my family and yours should be a reflector of the family of God. That’s my template. That’s who I’m about and what I’m about.
How’s business? What’s your ROI, your return on investment? God gives us these ROIs, just like this past Sunday with that picture I showed you. That was a ROI moment for me, because again, not perfectly, but God has done amazing things through our family because we serve an amazing God. I’m laying it out there for you to get involved in this process. First of all, you have to allow God to do business in your life. You have to accept his business plan. Then you follow the business plan set forth for the family in the business plan, the Bible.
I talked about structure, and a business plan, a good business plan is going to talk about structure. What is the structure of the family? Ever thought about that? You’re going, “Oh yes, Ed, my wife and I were discussing that over coffee this morning.” Good. God is the owner/founder of the family. Number two in this flow chart, the husband, are you ready, guys? We’re the CEO. Let’s all give a man clap. Yeah. Some of you are looking at your wives going, “I told you.” Number three, the wife, ladies, you’re the President. Kids, you’re the employees and the shareholders. I like the word kids; I’ve even written a book on this called KID CEO. K-I-D-S, Keeping Intimacy at a Distance Successfully, KIDS. Now we love our kids. We would give our lives for our kids. Yet as we look at the flow chart, number one is God. Number two, it’s the marriage. It takes work, I call it the MWE, the Marital Work Ethic. It takes work to keep your marriage at the center of the relationship. Because what happens is you get married, everything is beautiful, everything’s romantic. After a while you crank out a couple of kids, and then an unusual thing happens in this business, or as we say in Texas “bidness”.
An unusual thing happens in this family business, the man resigns from his number one position, that of being a husband. He’s a father, which is great, but he turns from that and chases a career. I’ve got to make that money. I want to leave my kids better off then how I grew up and I’m going to burn it and churn it. You sort of drift because you’ve resigned. The woman resigns as President from her number one position, that of being a wife, and she becomes a mom. There’s no one like moms. Guys they’re much smarter, wiser. They’re really better than we are, but that’s a hole notha message. You could tell those were female claps. That’s right. It’s true. Moms, you chase the kids, maybe a career. You see the marital drift? The enemy is after the family. Wives, moms, you’re here, you’re living your lives around the kids, maybe a career or two. Husbands, you’re over here. So, here’s what you do. You go, “Well, I guess,” and it sounds so sexy. “The family is about the kids.” Our culture says that, it’s the kids, kids first. It’s the kids. No, it’s not. It’s not the kids. It’s not. It’s the marriage. Number one thing, the marriage.
When it comes to the family, we’re equal in form but unique and function. It’s not about the kids. What can happen is we can, instead of glorifying God, we begin to glorify ourselves and glorify our kids. We begin to orbit ourselves around the lives of our kids. We give our kids the corner office and they are running the show because little toddlers, at surprisingly young ages, they sit down, and they case the joint. They said to themselves, “You know what? I can take out Mom and Dad. I am going to do a hostile takeover.” And they take over the family corporation and they love the warm spotlight. They love the corner office and the parties and the perks, and then, throw in an attractive coworker or someone else, and let’s get ready to rumble. Call in the lawyers to pick up the pieces and they take all the money and then you say, “what happened?” Maybe then, you get married to a newer model or a wealthier model and you repeat the same sad cycle over and over and over.
Where’s this happening? Everywhere. I just described to you what’s happening in our culture. We’ve totally taken God out of the picture. Now we just do what we feel like doing. You see, if I feel it, it’s real. No, because if I did right now what I felt like doing, I’d be bass fishing in one of these beautiful lakes here because I love to fish. Feelings. Yes, we have feelings. Feelings come and go. But it’s about, and I’m talking about the family commitment. Commitment is saying, I pledge myself to this position, no matter what the cost. With commitment, the feelings follow. You don’t feel your way into commitment. You commit and then you have feelings. Feelings are like the ocean. You have high tide, low tide, and slack tide. In marriages, in families and in child rearing challenges.
God’s number one. The husband is the CEO, the wife is the President, and the kids are the employees and shareholders. Do your kids ever talk back to you sometimes? Yeah. I’ve dealt with that before. People sometimes ask me, “How do you deal with rebellious kids?” Let’s say your kid says, “I don’t want to go to church. None of my friends are there.” Well, you say, “Sorry, we’re going to church. There’s no option here. I don’t give a flying flip if you don’t know a soul, we are going to church. As Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” As long as you’re living under our roof and we’re paying for it, we’re going to, here’s the church, there’s a steeple, open the doors and see all of the amazing people.” There’s no discussion. Once they get out of the house, cool, they can do whatever they want to. And here’s what sometimes modern parents say, cool parents, woke parents, will say, “You know, I’m not going to just really push Jesus on my family. I’m just going to let my kids, you know, figure it out for themselves and let them find out. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to roll with it. Hey, I might get another tattoo here too, so.” See, that was woke. Little joke there. Another piercing. And that’s fine if you have that, I’m just kidding, right? Skinny jeans, skinny jeans. Very, very, very few people can wear skinny jeans. Only super skinny people can wear skinny jeans. I don’t know why I said that.
Sometimes when your kids talk back to you, just become a hip hop artist parent. I’ll give you a permission slip to become a hip hop artist. Just rap to your kids. They talk back to you, just say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m the parent, I’m legit. There’s no use arguing, you might as well quit. You can roll your eyes and say, “It’s not fair.” You’re telling God, you really don’t care. So do what I say all the time. Then your life will have serious rhyme, all the time. Peace of mind.” Sometimes you have to do that.
The family, it’s a business plan. The family, we do God’s business. If God has done business in our lives, the family, we understand the structure and the flow chart. The Bible comes along and Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This word submit means to yourself under. Obviously, God has given us in the family different roles. I just talked about that. The family though, should be a submission contest. What I’m saying is we need to get under those things God has put over us, so we can get over those things that God has put beneath us. Did you get that? Let me say it again. I’ll say it slower. We need to get under those things God has put over us, so we can get over those things God has put beneath us. Many people never know what should be beneath us because we never get under those things that should be over us.
Kids submit to your parents. Parents, as we serve our kids, as they serve us, we need to submit one to another. Husbands submit to your wives. Wives submit to your husbands. I’m telling you again, you see the genius of God.
God has given the role, the responsibility of CEO to the man, President to the wife, employees, shareholders to the kids. What is parenting anyway in this family business? Parenting is teaching and training your kids to leave. Spouses stay, kids leave. Now Ed, where did you get that? Teaching, Deuteronomy 6:6-7. Training, Proverbs 22:6. Your kids to Leave, Genesis 2:24, (NAS 1977) “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Spouses stay, kids leave. Parents are always parents. So how does this play out, this business plan? Let me give you a couple of things.
I want to talk to you about a home. How do you turn houses into a home? And you can write these down. I’m going to use an acrostic. What’s a HOME? A home is a Holy Objective that Motivates Everyone. That’s a HOME. It’s a Holy Objective that Motivates Everyone. God wants us to live on a Holy Nutha Level. Holy means the family is set apart, God’s running the show. We’re different than people around our neighborhood. We’re different than people at the club. We’re different than people at school. We’re different, different, different. Some people might say, “Man, you’re kind of weird.” Some people say, “Oh man, you might be strange.” Some people are like, “Whoa, I don’t know.” They’re watching you and they see something different; they see Jesus in your family. They see him.
It’s holy. Also think about the Objective. We’ve talked about the objectives of the family, what we’re to do, what we’re to be. We’re to do his business. We’re to keep the marriage as the main thing. We’re to have those date night mate nights at least twice a month. I’m talking about date your spouse.
I didn’t start doing this until the twins were eight weeks old. Our pediatrician looked at me and she goes, “Hey, Ed, have you taken Lisa on a date?” I go, “Yeah, I did that to get her.” She goes, ‘No, no, no. I mean, now. You need to date Lisa.” It was a see change moment for me. It was like, “Whoa.” I began to date Lisa. I thought dating, went out before you walked down the wedding runner. I thought you stop dating, and then you get married, and then you sit on the couch and watch ESPN. “Honey, would you bring some more of those Doritos and some nacho cheese sauce?” No, no, no. Because what you used to get her is what you use to keep her. And ladies, what you used to get him is what you use to keep him. Make sure to have those date nights. What if the kids are crying and they don’t like us to leave? I would rather them cry a little bit now than really cry when your family is blown up. It’s worth it. And I’m not talking about breaking the budget or breaking the bank. I’m talking about spending time one-on-one at least twice a month with your spouse. I’m not talking about double-dating. That one went out with the junior-senior prom. I’m talking about romance. And Dad wrote a great book about it, “Romancing the Home”. The home should be a place of romance. It should be a place of affection.
It should be a place of creativity. It’s a holy objective that Motivates and Maximizes, it shouldn’t limit us. When God gives us directives. They’re never, ever limiting. It’s never like, “Oh God rained on my parade. Oh, just another doggy downer. Wow, I wish I had fun like all those people I see on Instagram.” Come on. God has set his parameters up for our lives to flourish, not to flounder. I’m telling you; I’ve been around long enough. This stuff works. God says, “If you do this, I’ll do that. And if you don’t do that, I’ll do this.” The family is a Holy Objective that Motivates Everyone. Everyone who comes in contact with us should go, “Man, something’s different.”
This family, as it’s a glorifying God group, becomes influential. It becomes strong. It becomes powerful. It becomes generational, and you see the baton passed. The next family takes it to a holy notha level. And the next family takes it to a holy notha level. And the next family takes it to a holy notha level. A home. A Holy Objective that Motivates Everyone.
This book is a business plan for the family. Moreover, this book is a business plan for your life individually. I’ve got to ask you straight up, have you filled your name out? Have you downloaded this business plan? Because here’s what happened. We were created in God’s image. Everything was perfect. Yet man chose to rebel against God, and there was this cosmic chasm caused by sin. You could feel it, Throughout the Old Testament God could have nuked us right there. He didn’t. You could feel it through the Old Testament. God is just foreshadowing, “I’m going to throw down a business plan that is going to change the world forever and ever.” And in the fullness of time, he sent Jesus to live a sinless life, to die a sacrificial death, to rise again, offering you and me forgiveness, grace, love, eternity. It’s God’s business plan, and we simply either fill it out, sign on the dotted line or not. God has made us with an ability to choose. Have you inserted your name in God’s business plan?
I was having lunch with a guy at a Mexican restaurant. I love Mexican food. We began to talk about different things. I could tell he was not a follower of Christ, and I began to share with him that God has a business plan, He was a sports agent. He dealt with a lot of contracts and things. And I thought, “Let me just draw up a contract for you.” And I wrote on a little card, a contract, God’s contract. And then I wrote on there sign, put an X and a dotted line. And I gave him my pen. I said, “I’m giving you a chance to sign, to give your life to Jesus. Because,” I said, “once you sign, a cosmic transaction takes place. Your sin for the Savior. Your guilt for God’s grace. Your shortcomings for Jesus Christ.” I watched him roll that pen between his index finger and thumb, and I was praying that he would sign. And he did. He signed, and I watched God do business in his life. Before we even get into all this stuff I’ve talked about with the family, and believe me, it’s critical, we have to start with God doing business in our lives.