Summary: A case for the need to build homes on a solid foundation, rather than sorry substitutes

*Ps 127:1-2

The Church family is built of families, and one of the things that we’ll have to be committed to if we’re going to be a strong church is to have strong families – whether that means you’re a family of 15, a mixed family, or a family of one single person. The first place that church growth is going to happen is outside these doors and inside another set of doors that you pass through every day.

Families need emphasis because the family is a divine institution. It was God's idea.

Families need emphasis because a society will be no stronger than the family and the family will be no stronger than Christian homes

Families need emphasis because God uses families as the building blocks of His Church, and of this congregation.

Families need emphasis, because the family unit as we know it is in trouble. Listen to a few numbers that underline what we’re up against:

• One marriage in two ends in divorce. Since 1970, the number of divorced people has more than quadrupled, so that the fastest growing marital status category is currently divorced people.

• Only 7% of families are structured with supportive father and homemaking mother.

• 480,000 children were born to teenage mothers in 1984. This statistic has increased each year. 31% of births in US in 1995 were to unmarried women: 31 National Center for Health Statistics

• -% of American children living with father and mother, in 1970: 85%; in 1996 68%

• unmarried couple households have increased 7-fold since 1970.

Our families are in trouble and our nation is suffering as a result of it. But I'm not as concerned about the fall of our nation. A more important concern for me is my wife, my children, my home. If our godliness isn't first practiced in our homes, it's going to be pretty empty everywhere else too.

(I Tim 5:4) "But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family..."

Good homes, solid marriages, and sound kids don't just happen. It takes patience, hard work, much prayer, and God's blessing. Somewhere along the line, a great number of people have bought into the idea that strong families just naturally HAPPEN. They don't -- anymore than a garden grows by itself! When they're neglected, families naturally deteriorate. They don't thrive without work to cause it.

We want to begin with the beginning. That means, we need to begin like any good house does, with a good foundation. Jesus acknowledged the vital nature of foundations in *Mt 7:24-27

Ill – Some of you have had to deal with the consequences of a foundation that's not properly laid. Maybe you live in a house where the floor has dropped, the ceiling's cracked, or the doors are jammed because the foundation has problems. You can fix those cracks, but it's frustrating because all you can do is deal with symptoms - patch the crack, trim the door. What you can't do is go back and redo the foundation.

Fortunately, in our families, there's a chance to reexamine and shore up our foundation, or at least to take a look at it and see where a lot of the "cracks" are coming from. I want to do that this morning -- for those of you with homes that need a re-examination, we'll have you look at your foundation. And for those of you who are looking at building a family down the road, we'll look at the foundation you'll need to avoid problems later

First, let's look at some

I. Inferior Foundations

-For just a few moments, let's consider some less-than-satisfactory foundations that you might choose to build a family and home upon.

Story – “Uncle Bob” Lilly married Chloe partly because she had such a beautiful voice. She could warble like canary (That was a good thing), and he loved to hear her sing. He tells how, early on in their marriage, one morning he woke up, and there she was, rollers in her hair, goop on her face, eyes all baggy, and he looked at her and said, "Sing! Sing!"

If a marriage is built on an inferior foundation – like someone’s attractiveness, somewhere down the road there’s going to be trouble. So, let’s consider some common inferior foundations:

A. Love - in the Popular Sense of the Word

This is the couple that enters into marriage saying, "Our marriage will work. We love each other" Or this is the home where everyone has this rule but nothing else to guide the way they behave.

-The fact that 2 people love each other isn't sufficient reason by itself to get married and have a home together. Young people, if you plan to get married, and the only reason is "I'm in love" and that's it, something's wrong. At some point in your relationship you'll wake up to discover that you don't feel the way you used to. Feelings of love won't remain forever. Your feelings for that person will fluctuate.

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