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Summary: The mystery of marriage is a center point of God’s revelation of His desire for relationship with Man. No wonder the family is under such spiritual attack. In the series Family Matters, Pastor Terry will look at the significance of family and marriage f

Three Essentials for a Great Family

Family Matters 2007 Part 3

Text: Deuteronomy 6:1-9

When D.L. Moody was asked by a reporter why he had never married, Moody quipped back “I’d rather go through life wanting that which I did not have than to go through life having something I’d wished I hadn’t”.

Groucho Marx once said, “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution”.

Rodney Dangerfield said, “My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.”

Henny Youngman said, “My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant for some good food. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.”

Many have kind of negative attitude towards marriage don’t they? Someone once said, “in the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.”

But does marriage have to be so miserable? I don’t think so. And I don’t believe God thinks so either. The Bible teaches us very clearly that God designed marriage for happiness. A recent study surveyed various people groups and found that the people who claimed to be the happiest in life were married men.

Carl Zimmerman, who spent decades studying the rise and fall of the major empires of history while also tracking what happened to the family units in those civilizations wrote a very compelling book called, “Family and Civilization” In his research for the book he studies 3000 years of family life. This Harvard Professor makes a powerful case for the tradition family structure. The summation of the book goes something like this…so goes the children so goes the culture, or so goes the family so goes society! In his book Zimmerman gives 7 warning signs to a declining nation:

• An Increased rate of divorce. Quick and easy no fault divorce.

• The failure to understand the permanence of the marriage model.

• A looser standard of family as a solution to social problems.

• Lack of respect to parental authority.

• A promotion of co-habitation over marriage.

• The breakdown of most inhibitions against adultery.

• Acceptance of all forms of sexuality.

Dr. Zimmerman wrote, “As we watch the destruction of the family, so we simultaneously watch the collapse of society.”

You might be thinking, “This is just another Christian’s conclusions rallying around the “Marriage and Family Debate.” It you think that, you’d be wrong. This man was a secular historian and from all accounts never confessed to be a Christian. By the way, this book was written in 1947!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it”? A sobering thought as we consider the almost violent shift in American culture and society.

I don’t personally think that it is our destiny to repeat history, I think it is in the hands of this generation to MAKE HISTORY!

When it comes to being a “history maker” and a trend setter in the family, I think Moses gave three essential tools to make that happen; Tools to build a Great Family.

1. Create a place where godliness is lived out (vs. 1-2)

Like it or not, the moment our children are born, it’s God’s plan that mom and dad be the primary role models for them.

Hillary Clinton once said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Wrong Hillary! It takes courageous parents.

In my secular work I meet so many parents who exemplify former NBA star “Sir” Charles Barkly when he said “I don’t want to be a role model”. See, that’s simply not our choice. We only have two choices in the matter; to be a positive or negative role model, but it’s one or the other!

2. Create a place where the Lord is expressively loved (vs 4-5)

There are two powerful principles that you and I need to be passionately teaching our children and every life that we influence.

a. That God really does exist

b. That we need (desperately) a relationship with Him.

Folks, absolutely no pressure here, BUT how you express such things as Unconditional love .. Forgiveness .. Grace, Faithfulness (commitment, loyalty, stick-with-it-ness) is exactly how your kids and the unchurched around you will view Jesus in their own lives.

Why is it that we are producing a generation that is abandoning the Church? Could it be because they have not seen a connection between “church going parents” and “Christ loving parents”?

Don’t fall victim of giving your kids the “God shot”

ILL: Flu shot - inject a small amount of the virus to build up an immunity to the real thing….. We expose our kids to small amounts of God on Sunday but they see little of our relationship with God Monday through Saturday.

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