A Christianís approach life situations part 20

Family Matters

 

Today we will be looking at how a Christians should deal with family matters. Now, this could include a bunch of stuff, but I want deal with how Christians should view marriage and family life. However, the majority of this lesson will show how the Bible says we should deal with our children.

 

A Christian home should be different than a worldly home because the way our household is ran should be regulated by Godís plan for the home.

 

First of all, when a Christian man and women get married, they should realize that God wants their marriage to last until they die. So, Christians should enter their marriage knowing that is life time commitment. There are many in the world who do not view marriage as such. Instead, they have it in the back of their mind that they can simply get divorced if they donít like the way things are going and they can go find them another mate that will make life easier for them.

 

However, the Bible makes it clear that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16) and He wants married couples to work their problems out instead of running from them by means of divorce. There are certainly situations where some are forced into divorce because it takes two to make a marriage work. However, the Bible only gives us one reason that a person can divorce and then remarry in order for that marriage not to be a sin.

 

Matthew 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."

 

Jesus says the only reason a person can remarry and it not be adultery is if the divorce happened because of sexual immorality. One other way the Bible permits someone to be remarried is if their mate dies according,

 

Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

 

These are the only 2 exceptions given in scripture that will make remarriage holy before the Lord. These verses show how much importance God places on the marriage relationship. If more people of the world would take Godís instructions on the importance of marriage, the divorce rate wouldnít be over 50% in the United States because more people would do their best to try and work their problems out and more people wouldnít jump the gun and marry someone quickly without getting to know them very well.

 

God gives the husband and wife some excellent instructions on how to maintain a happy marriage and it comes from,

 

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

 

33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

 

If you want to have a happy marriage it has to be built upon love. If we are selfish and we only think of ourselves then our marriage is going to be a difficult one. But, if we love our wife or our husband like we do ourselves and we treat them like we want to be treated then we are going to have a happy marriage. Paul tells the men to love their wives as Christ loved the church and we all know that He loved the church enough that He was willing to give His life for it. If we have this same type of sacrificial love for our mate, we will learn to deal with the differences that we have, and find away to compromise so that both parities are happy.

 

Paul tells the wives to respect their husbands because they are supposed to be the head of the household and the spiritual leader.

 

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

 

In a Christianís family, the husband should be a good example of righteousness to his wife and to his kids. The wives should encourage their husbands to take on this God given role. Sometimes us men need a little push in the right direction.

 

Both husband and wife must work everyday at being examples to one another and especially to their children. We cannot be living in sin or do things that are contrary to Godís Word and then expect our children not to imitate our behavior. For instances, I have been in homes where the parents teach their children that they shouldnít drink alcohol because it bad for you, but then these same parents have a bar in their home full of hard liquor andbeer in the refrigerator. They drink it in front of their kid and yet expect them not to be a drinker.

 

Another example would be those who teach their children not to smoke because it so bad for you, yet mom or dad will continue to smoke in front of the children.

 

I have known some parents that would spank their children if they said a curse word, but those same parents curse in front of their children all the time. I could continue giving example after example, but these are enough to show that you must practice what you preach. You cannot expect your children to take you seriously when you tell them not to do something, yet you do it. If you really thought that is was wrong, then you shouldnít be doing it yourself.

 

In a Christian family we need to know what our children are watching on TV and especially what they are looking at on the internet. It is far to easy these day for a young child to see things and hear things that would make you cringe and sick at your stomach.

 

Another important thing in a Christian home is that we worship together. Again this is another area that the husband should be leading in. As a Christian, he should want his family to have their priorities straight. He should encourage them to make it to every worship service and bible class possible especially when it comes to his children.

 

One think that helps me put things in perspective is by comparing what I am willing to do for worldly things and comparing it to what I do for God. For example, many Christians parents will make sure that they get up on time to get their children off to school because they donít want them to be late. Even if they complain that their tired or not feeling very well, they will make them get ready anyway and send them off to school. While they are at school they are learning things that they should and things that they should not.

 

Five days a week they are exposed to other kids that are educating them in the way of the world. They learn about drugs and how they make you feel. They learn every curse word and dirty saying that there is and they get pressured into having sexual relations before they are married. If you donít believe me, just ask a few 1st or 2nd graders what they know about some of these topics and you will find that know quite bit about it. Now they may not fully understand what they have been taught at that young age, but they still know the words.

 

Now I want you to think about that as a Christian parent, surely you must understand the importance of combating that sinful information with the righteous of God. We can combat the negative information by teaching our children at home that those things are wrong and show them why from the Bible. It also important that we take our children to Bible class and worship, so they can learn more about Godís way and how they should deal with these temptations and information that is being fed to them at school.

 

Yet, what do some Christians parents do when it comes time to get ready for Bible class or worship? Sometimes they will skip it because they are too tired or sometimes they get up late and are not concerned with making it to Bible class or worship on time. Do you see the difference? Why we would be so concerned about getting our kids to school on time whether they are tired or not and not be concerned about getting to Bible class or worship on time?

 

Now I donít know how it is done at Lone Grove, but I know that when I went to school if you were late 3 times it counted as being an absence and you were only allowed a max of 9 days of absences per semester before the failed you in that class. Could you imagine that being in place in the church today? Ask yourself the question, How many absences would I have in a semester based on the rules?

 

Friends we need have our priorities straight. Jesus calls for us to put the kingdom first our lives. Bible class and worship is absolutely essential for children to give the greatest amount of exposure to the words of life that comes from the word of God.

 

We must realize that is our responsibility to raise our children up knowing God, so that they will be rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

 

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

 

Once again we can see that the Father is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the house and he is to make sure that his children are trained in the ways of the Lord.

 

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

These sayings in Proverbs are generally true. Most of the time if you raise your child in a Christian home, and you teach them and encourage them to follow after God they will. However, sometime children can be taught the right way, but they can still decide to move away from God when they leave the home. But, even those that do walk away from God, you will see that many of the decision they make will be based on Biblical principle because those principles will always be a part of their lives.

 

To train a child up in the Lord sometimes requires more than a good example or teaching them the right way. Sometimes we have to discipline our children. While no one likes doing this it is absolutely necessary to teach the child that their behavior will not be tolerated. Some physiologist say that you shouldnít discipline, but instead allow the child to figure things our for themselves. However, the Bible makes it clear that disciple must be done.

 

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

 

Proverbs 6:23 Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,

 

Proverbs 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

 

Without discipline, a child will not learn to correct their behavior and an undisciplined child will make the whole family miserable because the child will be out of control. Lets look at a few passages that teach this same idea.

 

Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.14 You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.

 

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

 

Notice we are discipline our children promptly. If we wait to long then they will not associate the punishment with their bad behavior. It also says that if we donít discipline our children then we donít love them. The reason this said is because if we love our children we want them to be right with God and not living a sinful life and this requires discipline, so it must be administered.

 

We also learn from our text one form of discipline that many psychologist look down on and that is a spanking. As Proverbs 23:13 said a spanking is not going to make your child die, but it can get their attention and make them change behavior so they donít get another spanking.

 

Now when you do spank, you should not spank when you are angry because you donít want be abusive. You need to be in control when you spank so that you donít go overboard. Spanking is a consequence of bad behavior and its important that you combine a spanking with a rebuke as,

 

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom

 

Rebuking lets them know why they are being disciplined this is why important that rebuking be a part of any discipline that give you kids. If you simply grab them and spank them with no explanation it will leave them confused even though you may think they know why they got the spanking. Of course there are other forms of discipline that we can use that are found in the Bible as well.

 

Ezra 7:26 Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be death, or banishment, or confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.

 

Notice one of the punishments listed here not obeying Godís law was confiscation. God did this with the children of Israel as well. When they fell away from Him, He allowed their enemies to come in and confiscate their treasures. He would use times like these to discipline them and in a similar way we can use this same concept to discipline our children.

 

When they misbehaveí we can take away things that belong to them such a video games, computer time, or TV time. Whatever they consider precious take it from them for a period of time to show them that they will lose those things when they do not mind. This method works very well on teenagers if they lose the privilege of driving for a week.

 

 

If your child does damage to someoneís property or steals something, then you might make them work to repair the damage or to work long enough to repay what the did. This is something that happened in the OT as well. If a person was guilty of this and they didnít have money to pay them back then they had repay by working for it. When someone has to do some good ole fashioned labor to pay for their wrong deed it usually will deter that child from repeating that mistake.

 

Another method comes from what God said about the Babylonians and how they had dealt harshly with the children of Israel.

 

Isaiah 47:3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man."††

 

One form of discipline is letting people know what shameful sin your child committed especially a teenager. If they get caught doing something shameful and you tell what they did in front of them to their other family members or someone close to them it will shame them and they will never forget it, and most likely they will never repeat that wrong again.

 

Back in Ezra 7:26 we are saw that a form of punishment was imprisonment. God used this method against the children of Israel as they were imprisoned for 70 years under the Babylonians. We could relate this method to grounding. When our child misbehaves we can ground them to their room and not allow them to go to any activities no matter how much they beg.

 

All of these methods of discipline are there for us to use help us discipline our children and we must be consistent because if we are not our children will not take us seriously and they will keep pushing your buttons.

 

Finally, I have a message for all the children. When you parents our grandparents discipline you, they do it out of love and they want you to become a faithful member of Godís church. Godís word has some instructions for you as well.

 

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."

 

God wants you to respect your parents and your grandparents. It is your God given responsibility to obey and honor them. They love you and would do anything for you so you should respect the decisions they make and the punishments they give you.

You should be very thankful that we are no longer living under the authority of the Old Testament because I want you to see what Godly parents used to do be able to do when a child would not obey and would not allow the punishment that was given to them to change their ways.

 

Deuteronomy 21:18 " If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them,19 "then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.20 "And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.'21 "Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

 

When you think about this, this should make you very thankful that you live under the New Testament times and it should make you appreciate the discipline that you are receiving right now because it far better than been stoned to death. So respect your parents and realize they know what is best for you.

 

I hope this lesson has shown you how important it is for a Christian family to be different than a worldly family. We should do our best to choose the right mate and to make our marriages last a life time. We have learned how important it is that we train our children up in the admonition of the Lord by setting good examples, by teaching them what is right in the site of God, bringing them to Bible class and worship and disciplining them when it is necessary. Finally, we learned the children are to obey their parents.