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Summary: God estalished families to give support and structure to societies. In our country families seem to be failing in their purose. We will define families and help them see how to help themselves with God’s guidance.

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WHERE DOES IT HURT?

Ephesians 5:22-6:4

Scripture reading: Genesis 2:15-25

INTRODUCTION:

1. 34 % of all births to U. S. women in 1999 were to unmarried mothers

a. That number is 47% here in Alcorn County

2. 5.5 million Couples are cohabitating.

3. 50% of all U. S. marriages are likely to end in divorce.

4. 20 million Americans are divorced.

5. The number of working mothers went from 43.8% in 1975 to 71.9% in 1996.

6. Only 50% of marriages are headed by couples in their first marriage, 30% are single marriages and 20 % are remarriages.

7. Only 56% of all children live in homes with both biological parents present.

a. 71% of children in Alcorn County are in single parent homes

8. Well over 1 million couples divorce each year with only 3 million marriage licenses.

9. Where does all this hurt?

10. It hurts most at home, and home is the foundation for society.

11. Without the proper homes, our culture and society will fail.

12. Without the proper homes, the gospel can fail. At least in our homes.

13. If the gospel fails in our homes then it cannot possibly have the impact it should have on our culture and it will further fail.

14. In our text Paul gives us indications to what we need to do to make these families successful.

15. (Read Text)

16. In this lesson we hope to accomplish three things:

a. Identify families and certain problems facing them today

b. Identify solutions to those problems

c. Identify biblical roles to each individual in the family

17. It is the hope, prayer, and aim of this lesson to help us all learn how to build stronger families.

18. Whether we are not married, early beginning families, well on the way families, or empty-nesters watching our children raise their own children, there is a need to learn the skills needed to make stronger families.

TRANSITION: What is a family?

I. Identify families and certain problems facing today’s families

A. In order to help with something, we must know what we are helping.

1. Definition of family from U. S. Census report:

a. Two or more people

b. Related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together

2. Notice what is left out of the official definition of family

a. Commitment

b. Shared resources

c. Intimacy

d. Common values

3. In order to be a family one has only to live in the same house and have some common legal affiliation.

4. How sad that the American family does not have any real bond.

a. The only thing holding our families together is paperwork.

b. The only tie we have is what some judge awards in court or some doctor assert is true on a birth certificate.

c. There must be something more to families than living in the same house.

B. In our text for this lesson Paul says that families are built on the same model as the Lord’s church.

1. That is more than just some piece of paper.

2. It involves

a. Commitment to each other and the overall well-being of the church

b. Shared resources, fellowship, working together for the good of each other (Matthew 7:12, "In everything therefore, treat others in the same way as you want them to treat you")


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