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Family Life - Part Five

Good Morning Family!

I'm so grateful to have all of you here today!

Let's begin with worshiping the Lord..

Heavenly Father,

We are so blessed to be given another day. Another with one another, another day to glorify and exalt Your Holy name. We give thanks to You Lord! We are thankful for Your presence, Your Son Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit, that works within each us here today. We are thankful for Your Word, that teaches us and instructs us how to better serve You and one another.
Forgive us Lord, for the times when we ignore and disregard Your instruction, the times that we treat Your children unjustly and unfairly. Forgive when we look past the needs of others, seeing only our own needs. Let us come to You today, seeking Your face, Your forgiveness and Your mercy O Lord.
In Jesus' name we ask and pray
Amen

"Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man."
Genesis 2:22 

Marriage:

Marriage was not created by man, or by some human government. Marriage was created and ordained by Almighty God and started at His command in the Garden of Eden. Because of this, as the church, as His people, we have an obligation to turn the focus of marriage back to God’s original design.

Let's first review what have we learned from the previous lessons...

God made the man first, but with something missing as he was alone.
God created male and female alike but different, and both were to reflect His image.

The man needed a helpmeet, so God put him to sleep and made a woman.
The man and woman were both happy about God’s gift of a spouse, and they enjoyed being together.
This was one man and one woman.
They were never meant to have a sexual relationship with anyone outside their marriage.

God said that this closeness meant that a man would leave his father and mother, and get married.

The man would then change his loyalty to his wife, and they would become one.
The authority would change from the father to the new “head” of the family, the husband.
The wife would “submit to” or put herself under the protection of her husband.

God's original plan for marriage can be found in Genesis 2:18-25. It is so simple, but sadly neglected today.

Since the beginning, men and women from every age, every culture have tried to figure out “good and evil” and devised their own plans.
And the results have been nothing less than catastrophic!

Divorce has become common in most nations, and the numbers are climbing daily. According to Dr. James Dobson in a Focus on the Family Magazine article from August 2001, entitled “Families in Crisis” the divorce rate is “slightly higher among Christians than among those who claim no faith at all.”
This is devastating and shocking, since as Christians, we are supposed to be leading others to a saving faith in Jesus. This includes following His guidebook, the Bible, in their daily lives.
What can we do as the church to help people get ready for marriage and make it last?

So where can we turn for help? Our source of help is God. He designed marriage and knows exactly how to make it beautiful and holy. He will answer us when we cry out to Him in our desperate need.

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Psalm 50:15

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

God not only has an answer, He has a better answer than we can imagine or think. He wants us to have the beautiful relationship and loving support in marriage that He intended from the beginning.

Everything we do to prepare for marriage should be centered in God’s Word. This does not mean that all our preparations will be spiritual. It does mean that our decisions and actions will be based on biblical principles. What we do will have its foundation in God’s original design for marriage.

As the church, our influence begins with the spiritual, but also involves the physical/natural too. We teach people how to live according to the Bible. We teach them how to get ready to die according to the Bible. But how much time do we spend training them how to choose a marriage partner or to prepare for marriage according to the Bible?

Here is how we should begin.
All churches need to give special teaching on marriage.

It should be given in Sunday school, when children are entering adolescence (teenage years).
It should be given during adolescence, as the students are maturing.
It should be given as men and women work or study toward a career or life plan.
It should be given in the young married class, as couples begin their families and start training their children.
It should be given in the most senior class to the older men and women who will be giving advice and training young couples.

Are you getting the picture?
Instead of little or no training about marriage, our churches should be full of it, on a continual basis, in every appropriate age group.
Youth groups should have special training about marriage.
Ladies Auxiliary meetings should have special training about marriage.
Men’s Fellowship meetings should have special training about marriage and how to train others.
Actually, marriage preparation needs to begin at home, as the children watch their parents live together and love each other according to the Bible. If children witness from a young age how God intended marriage to be, they will have a much better chance of following the original plan.

What are the critical areas of marriage should be dealt with in these special teachings?
Go back to God’s plan, and the subjects are evident:
Man needed someone, so God designed a special “helpmeet” just for him, Genesis 2:18.
She was “bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh”, Genesis 2:23. She was not created out of the dust, but out of man, and called “woman.”
God made male and female, both in His image, but with obvious physical, emotional, and psychological differences. Men and women are not supposed to look alike, respond the same way to things, or think the same, Genesis 1:27
They are alike—but different.
The first man and woman were not embarrassed with their physical union, Genesis 2:25.
They enjoyed each other, and only each other, Matthew 19:6.
This closeness to his wife was the reason the man was willing to leave his father and mother, Matthew 19:5.
The loyalty of the man needs to change from his parents to his wife, as he should cling to her, and they should be intimate in every way, Matthew 19:5.
When a new family unit is formed, the husband becomes the “head,” and leads the family to follow Christ, Ephesians 5:23-25.
In a godly family, the wife submits to the leadership of her husband “as unto the Lord”,
Ephesians 5:22-24.

This kind of intense, continual, seeking after God’s wisdom produces results. The promises of God are true, and He cares, very much, about marriage and the family. 

"My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,

So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;

Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,

If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures; 

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God. 

For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 

He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints. 

Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path. 

When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 

Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you."


An important and practical suggestion about marriage comes instruction given to Christians, from the apostle Paul, 

"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves."
Romans 13:1-2

God’s Word speaks very clearly about this.
The apostle Peter even spoke of it in his writing to the church in 1 Peter 2:13-17. God means for us to obey our governmental laws or face the consequences.

"Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king."

Church, 
Customs and traditions are not enough!
We must obey the law. It is important to make our vows before God and man. This begins with obedience to God’s Word and includes obedience to the law. This needs to be clearly understood by every couple that comes to the church and asks to be married. One of the first questions they should be asked is whether or not they have obeyed the law and fulfilled the proper ordinances needed for their marriage to be legal.

There are many other practical tips for marriage preparation.
Even though not required by law in some parts of the world, it is wise for both the man and woman to have a blood test.

A wrong combination of the RH factor in parent’s blood is one of the known causes of infant mortality. The RH factor does not usually work against the first child, but can be deadly to the second or third. If the RH factor is found in both parents, there are a number of things that can be done to prevent serious health problems in their children. Talk to a health official, licensed professional, a doctor or nurse to learn more.

Not to mention, HIV infection is a serious problem in our world, especially in developing nations. In a story called “Africa’s Hope” by Mary Jane Welch, it was revealed that at the end of the year 2000, nearly 70% of all HIV-infected adults in the world lived in sub-Saharan Africa.
Even sadder is the fact that 80% of all HIV-infected children lived in the same area. 
A simple blood test prior to marriage can warn all concerned and prevent many problems later.

In closing....

I know that some of this sound harsh, but we as God's people are to be the example to the world.
To be "set apart", not fit in with the world.
Our children learn best from the examples we set before them, what is acceptable and tolerable in a marriage.

I'm not trying to condemn anyone, but simply restore the family.
Following God’s plan for marriage and the family is our only hope.
Society does not have the cure for the family.
Attempting to devise and create our own plans have only lead to further destruction!

Modern medicine can help with many things, but as of today, has no concrete answers in curing such diseases as HIV/AIDS.
Following God’s plan of having only one sexual partner is the best solution.
Divorce and promiscuity, has lead to more single parent homes, leaving one parent to support the household, has caused children to be left alone, a rise in juvenile delinquency, and much dependence on governmental assistance.
Because the father is either unknown or no longer around to give loving discipline and financial support to the family.
It has been the cause of many children losing the blessing of a mother’s guidance and love.

If a marriage begins outside of God’s original design, it will certainly crumble. The best way to prevent this is to build on the firm foundation of God’s Word.
The church must train children, young people, and adults in God’s original design for marriage and the family and we must be living examples.
We must obey the laws of the country in which we live.
A couple should take as many health precautions as possible before marriage to prevent illness, sickness and death.

If before marriage, habits are formed that follow God’s design, it will be easy to continue them after marriage. Make it a habit to live the way God said. He wants to help, if we will let Him. 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.


Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen
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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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