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Summary: So if we go to Webster, this is the definition we will see of a family... A family is a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. But you and I know the family is much more than that.

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FAMILY MATTERS

“Parenting 101”

Psalm 127

We discover quickly in Scripture that God created two institutions. One is the church as we see it being established in the New Testament. The other is the family which is established early in the book of Genesis. God designed the family and God designed the church. Both of them were his idea. Not ours although God designed both of these institutions, man has been trying to alter both of them since day one.

We have tried to make the church, for instance into something very different than its original design. God said it would be a place where we could worship, teach His word, grow in the likeness of Christ and use our gifts to help others. But for many it has simply become a place of entertainment. And as a result, the church is not making the same difference it was years ago. And a similar thing has happened with the family. I don’t think that any of us would argue that the family has undergone great change in our lifetime. Here are just three examples of many that have taken place in the last few years.

• 40% of all children are now born into families of single parents. That number is over 50% in African-American families.

• Among these couples who do marry, 53% now end up in divorce.

• For the first time now more couples choose to live together rather than get married.

Many more changes are taking place as well. I want you to understand that my wife and I do not claim to have a perfect family. As long as I am a part of it, it will be perfect. Believe me. In fact perfect families simply do not exist. I also want you to know that the purpose of this preaching series is not to condemn our judge anyone who may be going through major problems in your family right now. Care of me when I say this... All families will face difficulty.

But what I do want to get across over the next several weeks is to give you a solid biblical basis for the family. Something that will provide a foundation for you from this point forward.

So if we go to Webster, this is the definition we will see of a family... A family is a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. But you and I know the family is much more than that.

So my wife and I have four children. Three boys. One girl. I can tell you that raising children is not for the faint hearted. Most of us don’t attend classes to learn how to parent. We learn from our own parents so often that can be good but not always. So there are days when parenting is a pleasure and there also days would parents feel like giving up. And some little literally do... They give up. We now have in all 50 states places known as safe havens where infants can be dropped off; many of these are located hospitals. Summit fire stations and children can be left without any questions if you feel you cannot raise your child. While it is not common, parents have been known to walk into child protection headquarters and turn their children over to the state. As I said parenting is not for the faint of heart.

So like anything else in life we need to establish a biblical foundation for parenting if we expect to be successful. In this congregation we have individuals who are in their teens and are raising children all the way into their 80s and are raising children. Or grandchildren. And I am thankful for all of you who have taken on that responsibility. Now here is the biblical message I want you receive today.

PSALM 127

There is an overarching principle that we need to grasp before we start this process of raising children and here it is...

We must learn to relate to our kids in the same way God relates to us.

Look with me now at verse one of Psalm 127.

1. Now it is plain what this means but we need to say it anyway. God must build the house no one else can do it. No one. Jesus reminds us of this truth later in Scripture in Matthew seven... That a man who is wise builds his house on the rock, not on sand. In that way, when the storms,--and they will--the house will continue to stand. Why? Because the foundation is stable. It is strong enough. If you send your child out into this world without a proper foundation, at some point the house, the child will collapse.

And at this point is not completely clear he illustrates again in verse two. Verse 2.

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