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Home Sweet Home: God's Plan for Family

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2022 3:00 am

Home Sweet Home: God's Plan for Family

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 31, 2022 3:00 am

Scour the TV listings from front to back and you’ll have a hard time finding a series that extols the virtues of traditional families. Long gone are the Father Knows Best kinds of TV shows. Yet the influence of media on the home is at an all-time high! Art doesn’t imitate life, it dictates trends, pushes an agenda. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us get back to God’s plan for the home . . . a plan for the family that He designed when He designed the family.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Pastor Greg Laurie comments. Scour the TV listings from front to back, and you'll have a hard time finding a series that extols the virtues of traditional families. Long gone are the father knows best kinds of TV shows. Yet the influence of media on the home is at an all-time high.

Art doesn't imitate life, it dictates trends, pushes an agenda. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us get back to God's plan for the home, a plan for the family that He designed when He designed the family. We are starting a brand new series today on the family, marriage, parenting, just the home in general.

And we are calling it Home Sweet Home. So I would like to take a quick poll. How many of you here today are married?

Raise up your hand. You're married. Okay. That's quite a few of you. Wow. All right. How many of you are happily married? Raise up your hand.

Not quite as many hands. That concerns me. Maybe it's good you care for this series. How many of you are single? Raise up your hand. Okay. How many of you are happily single?

You like being single. Okay. How about this.

You never want to be married. Raise your hand up. Okay. All right. Okay. How many of you are unhappily single? You want to be married one day.

You want to be married one day. It's okay. Don't be embarrassed. All right. Would all of you stand up please. Now look around. Look around.

The best place to meet someone is in church. All right. You can be seated. God bless you guys. All right. Well let's grab our Bibles now and turn to Ephesians chapter 5. That is where we are going to anchor ourselves in this five-part series on the subject of family and marriage and even a bit about singleness. And I am calling Home Sweet Home Ephesians 5. Let's pray together. Now Father I pray for every person here.

Every person watching and listening. First I want to pray for married people. Because I know there are some marriages that are unraveling. Some are literally on the way to divorce court. We are praying Lord You will save those marriages. You will snatch them out of that defeat and get them established on a firm foundation.

Maybe for the first time. I am praying now Lord also for marriages that well they are just struggling. It is hard.

A lot of difficulties right now. Would You bolster that marriage? Would You strengthen it?

If necessary would You restore it? Now Lord I want to pray for strong marriages. Would You make them even stronger and even better? And finally Lord I pray for anyone who is single. I pray that they will wait upon You to bring the right person into their life. That they will not rush ahead of You.

That they will not lag behind You. And that they will remain pure until that day when they are joined together. So we commit this series to You Lord because we need help. We know the family is under attack today. We know the home is under attack. So we want to look to Your Word for answers.

Speak to us as we open Scripture we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. The reason I have called this series Home Sweet Home is I just love the word home.

You know when you are on a long trip you say man I want to just go home. It is really not about what your house looks like. It may actually be an apartment. It may be big. It may be small.

That is not the point. It is home. It is an important place.

It represents a place of security and safety and dependability. One person wrote home is heaven for beginners. And you know when it comes to home the most important time if you are building a house is when you lay the foundation. First you want to get the blueprints right.

And you turn them into the city and they are approved and they come back. But you have got to make sure your electrical is right and your plumbing is right and your foundation is poured properly. Because if you get all of that down and then it is not done as it should have been done you are going to have to tear it up later.

I know it is fun to decorate and to choose paint colors and landscaping. The most important part of a house is the foundation. And the same is true of marriage. The most important part of it is our foundation. So we want to build our marriage on our relationship with God.

Here is what you need to do. This culture, this world, Hollywood as an example is not going to tell you how to have a successful marriage. Now we have seen all of these films. They call them rom-coms, romantic comedies, and all of these songs that have been written. And so we look to these celebrities thinking that oh I wish I could have a life like theirs really.

I don't know if you would really want that. I mean I was reading over the lifespan of some of the Hollywood marriages. I don't know if you even know this. This is kind of history now. But Kid Rock married Pamela Anderson. Their marriage lasted four months. Renee Zellweger married country star Kenny Chesney. Their marriage lasted four months.

Check this out. Eddie Murphy married Tracy Edmonds. Their marriage lasted two weeks. How does a marriage last two weeks? I mean that is mind blowing.

Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman. Their marriage lasted six days. I may understand that a little.

I don't know. Pop star Sinead O'Connor ended her fourth marriage after 16 days. So I am not going to look to culture for cues on how to have a successful marriage.

But I am going to look to a reliable source. The Word of God that tells us everything we need to know about how to have a strong and lasting marriage. The Bible tells us everything we need to know about marriage. Everything we need to know about singleness.

Everything we need to know about life in general. I feel somewhat qualified to address this topic for a few reasons. Number one my mom was married and divorced seven times. I think you know that.

You think well that actually disqualifies you doesn't it. No in a way it doesn't because I have seen what divorce looks like. And when people say oh the kids are resilient they will bounce back. Let me just tell you from a kid's perspective divorce is devastating.

If there is any way you can avoid that you do not want to do that to a child. It is even devastating when they are older you see. So I have seen it up close and personal. I know what it is like to go through divorce after divorce after divorce. Number two Kathy and I have been married for 42 years. So God has been good to us. We are very thankful for that. When we got married we were determined to have a strong and lasting marriage. And we have had that by God's blessing.

Number three I have been a pastor for over 41 years and I have counseled a lot of couples. Let me say this at the outset. Most marriages that I have seen dissolve did not have to.

Let me say it again. Most marriages that I have seen dissolve did not have to. But they were unwilling to do what the Bible says. And the one thing that people often cite as to why their marriage is failing is irreconcilable differences.

If I hear that one more time I am going to pull what little hair I have left out of my head. Irreconcilable differences. Give me a break. Kathy and I have had irreconcilable differences for 42 years.

No seriously. She is very neat and I am messy. She is sometimes late.

I am often early. She likes to watch anything on television as long as the people have a British accent. And I like shoot-em-ups and mysteries and things like that. She is cute and I am fat. It is irreconcilable. It will always be there. How is it that the very thing that drew us together now is supposedly driving us apart? I mean why were you drawn to your husband or your wife? Well they were probably different than you. It is like that old expression that says opposites attract.

Maybe there was something in them that you did not have in your life and you liked it. But now that very thing that attracted you to them initially has turned into this wide chasm. It has turned into a problem that cannot be resolved.

I disagree. I say you recognize there is going to be irreconcilable differences. Embrace it and say viva la difference. It is ok. That is life.

That is the way it works. And understand that you can always improve in your marriage. The best husband will always be aware of the fact he can do a much better job. But if in your smugness you lay the blame at the feet of your mate that tells me the main problem is you not them. And when I talk with someone and say it is all her fault.

She this and she that. Well how about you? How are you? I am doing great. How about a great husband?

I already know where the problem is. You see because we have to recognize we each play a part. But before I address a marriage let me just say a few words to singles because many of you are single. And I just want to tell you that there are certain advantages to being married and certain disadvantages. And there are certain advantages to being single and certain disadvantages. Ok.

Here is the thing you need to know. When you are married you make a commitment and you have to take that commitment seriously. Because we are told over in 1 Corinthians 7 an unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please him. But a married man can't do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.

Now Paul is not saying that critically. Like it is a bad thing to be married. But what he is saying is when you are married you have to think of someone else besides yourself now. And for a husband he has to think about how to please his wife.

A wife has to think about how to please her husband. That doesn't mean you can't still continue to please the Lord. But what it does mean is now you have limitations in your life that you did not have before. When you are single you are mobile. In many ways you are free.

So that is good. Use your mobility for God's glory and use your extra time to serve Him and grow closer to Him. And pray about the right person. Because here is what you don't want to do. You don't want to hook up with a non-believer.

And this happens far too often. And then you end up married to a non-believer. And when you are married to a non-believer the Scripture says you should stay with them. And I have met people who I am not happy in my marriage. He is not a Christian. Or she is not a believer.

Why did you marry him? Well you know they told me they were a Christian when we got married. They told you?

Was there any evidence of it? Just because someone says they are a Christian doesn't mean they are a Christian. You know if some guy asks you out why don't you invite him to church with you? You know instead of going out somewhere else with him. You know I read about a dating service that is called Just Coffee. So you can just have a cup of coffee with someone and you are not stuck on a whole dinner escapade.

So if you get one look at them and don't like them you say I want a really really small espresso. And you look at them and say hey it is great having coffee with you. Bye.

Out you go. How about instead of just coffee just church. So a guy says hey I want to go out with you as a Christian girl. Are you a Christian? Well yeah I love God. Even the way he says it is kind of creepy.

I love God. Really? Ok I will tell you what. Let's meet at church.

What? Yeah me too. I want to take you out to coffee. Yeah we have coffee at church. Really good coffee. Meet me at church and we will have coffee afterwards.

That will really narrow the field down a bit. Why should you not be involved with a nonbeliever? Because 2 Corinthians 6.14 says, Don't be unequally yoked together with nonbelievers for what fellowship does light have with darkness or Christ have with Satan? Another translation puts it this way and I like this.

It is sort of a paraphrase. Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong?

That is not partnership. That is war. Is life best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Well stated.

No. Because here is what is going to happen. In most cases the believer is not going to pull the nonbeliever up to faith but the nonbeliever is going to pull the believer down.

That is why it is a trap and something we should avoid. Listen single person. Wait on the Lord. And the person that God is going to bring to you maybe you know them already.

And maybe you are going to meet them tomorrow. But whatever the state is you can start praying for them today and pray for wisdom for that right person and for that right moment because once you are married now you enter into a relationship that you want to last a lifetime. James Dobson said don't marry the person you think you can live with.

Marry only the individual you think you can't live without. Pastor Greg Laurie will have something special as today's program continues in a moment. Emails, letters, and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us.

And they let us know the effectiveness of these studies. Greg you have changed my life. I had graduated from college last year. I came back home, got a full time job and I was kind of putting my faith on the back burner as I was transitioning from being a student into full time work. And now in my mornings I listen to your podcast and I have never felt closer with the Lord.

I have been praying more and I have been going to church regularly. And your podcast has had an impact with my faith. So thank you for the work that you do in California.

I am here in Tennessee and I get to listen to you usually in the car on the way to the gym where I work out. And I love your message. I love the simplicity and I love the truth that you bring each and every single day. So thank you for sharing the word of the Lord and all that you do there with Harvest Ministries. What a great story of how Pastor Greg's teachings from God's Word have made an impact on this man's life. And if you'd like to listen to Pastor Greg's podcasts you can do that through Google, Apple or Spotify. Or just go to Harvest.org.

That's Harvest.org. Well as we continue Pastor Greg discusses the practical side of marital relationships with his associate pastor Jason Powell. Good insight is just ahead. So we've had some good questions come in Jason.

We've got a lot of really great ones. One person said is there a too fast in Christian dating? And you move too fast. Can you get married too fast?

Is there a time limit that you need to stay in? Well I would say the answer is yes but there can be exceptions and I'll tell you why. I interviewed Pastor Chuck Smith a number of years ago before he went to heaven. And Chuck was probably around 85 when I interviewed him. And he met his wife Kay. She wasn't his wife yet obviously.

He met Kay and three months later they were married. So I can't say never. But I will just say in general as a principle it's good to wait.

And I would recommend a minimum of a year. Because and here's why. If it's real love it will stand the test of time. The Bible says many waters cannot quench love.

Neither can floods drown it. If you're in so much of a rush you have to be careful because the Bible does say love is patient. And that means long tempered. So you know wedlock should be a padlock. And you know we need to understand that when we go into this marriage.

So I would say slow it down. What else you got Jason? Yeah and so we've got a question.

A few of these came in. I'm widowed. What does the Bible say about that? Am I free to get into another relationship?

Of course absolutely you are. And you know you want to go through a time of mourning. And you don't want to rush that. You don't want to rush into a relationship. You could almost give the same answer to someone where a relationship falls apart.

And they rush too quickly. And they make the wrong decision. But absolutely you could remarry again. And maybe you want to remarry again. Depending on how the Lord leads you. Depending on where you're at in life.

Depending on a lot of things. But I mean in a technical sense there's no reason you could not remarry again after that. Yep so we've got someone that has gone through a divorce. And they say that how do I talk to my kids about marriage when I've been divorced twice? I feel like such a poor witness. I live for the Lord but I've made serious mistakes.

How do I talk to them about relationships? Well I would think you have to own it. I think you have to be honest. And I would just sit my child down and say I've made some big mistakes and I've failed. And I'm sorry for that. And I'm sorry for the pain that's brought into your life. But I've asked God to forgive me. And then I think you need to take them to scripture.

And this is the model. And we fall short of this. But this is what we should all seek to live by. I think sometimes parents are afraid to apologize to children. Because we're all knowing and we don't make mistakes. But actually we make mistakes all the time. We know it.

The kids know it. And so there might come a moment where you just say you know what I really blew that. Or I'm sorry I said that. Or that was out of line.

And in her case she just needs to be honest. But point the child to Christ and point the child to scripture. Pastor Greg Laurie along with Associate Pastor Jason Powell. We're just getting started in a new family series here on A New Beginning. Hope you'll be along just as often as you can.

The title of the series is Home Sweet Home. And it's also the title of today's message. Hey everybody. I have a very special guest with me right now.

My friend Levi Lusko. And he has written a brand new book for you parents to read to your children. To help them grow spiritually.

It's called Roar Like a Lion. 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith. You know what I love about this book is it's beautifully done graphically. It takes the truth of the word of God and presents it in a very appealing way. Little sidebar articles filled with little factoids to keep the interest of the kids.

And the parents or grandparents depending on who's reading it. But Levi's here with me right now. Levi I thought maybe I would ask you to pick one of these devotions and just read it to us.

So we can see what Roar Like a Lion is all about. Well thank you so much Pastor Greg. I just want to encourage everyone to make sure and support New Beginning. Because above and beyond you receiving this amazing gift. You're going to have fruit in heaven through what God does as people come to know Jesus on a New Beginning every day. And that's such an important calling.

I want to read day 60 which is called Supernatural. And the scripture verse for the day is from Psalm 42 11. Which says, why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him.

My savior and my God. So you didn't make the team you spent weeks practicing for. You flunked the test even though you studied hard. Your mom got called into work and that trip you've been dreaming of is suddenly canceled. Life comes with so many good things.

But it also comes with disappointments. When things don't go the way you had planned what do you do? Do you mope around all sad and gloomy? Do you complain or throw a fit?

After all you're upset. It's only natural to show it right? What if you chose to do something supernatural instead?

Now when I say supernatural I'm not talking about ghosts or magic or nonsense like that. I'm talking about doing something bigger and better than what people usually do. Like praising God. Or looking for something good in the middle of your disappointment.

Or showing others how good God is through the way you act. Okay so you didn't make the team. So cheer on your friend who did. Yeah you flunked the test.

But a number on a piece of paper doesn't make you any less wonderful to God. And missing the trip was a bummer. So why not think of something closer to home that your family can do together? When you're disappointed don't do what seems natural. Do the supernatural thing. And the prayer for the day. Dear God, when things don't go the way I want them to. Help me remember all the reasons I have to praise you.

Amen. And then the did you know for the day which I have to tell you in our family we never say did you know. We always do the highest squeakiest voice we can and we always say to each other. Did you know?

It doesn't work unless your voice cracks. So we go as high as we can. It's a fun little game we do. Here's the did you know. What does Abraham Lincoln's beard have to do with board games? It all started with a man named Milton Bradley. He was a talented lithographer.

A kind of printer. And one of his best selling prints was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. A beardless Abraham Lincoln.

When Lincoln grew a beard no one wanted the beardless prince anymore. It was a pretty disappointing time in Bradley's life. In fact he had to find another way to make a living. He created a board game called the checkered game of life. Which later became simply the game of life.

Thankfully it was a hit. His company went on to create several other games you might have played. Including Candyland, Operation, and Battleship.

I think I played all those. Yes. So listen everybody. You've just been listening to Pastor Levi Lusko read from his brand new book, Roar Like a Lion. 90 devotions to a courageous faith. And we want to send you a copy of this book for your gift of any size. And whatever you send to us here at A New Beginning. We'll take those resources, that money, and channel it into continuing this ministry.

And even expanding this ministry around the nation and the world. So for your gift of any size, we'll send you your copy of Roar Like a Lion. It's such an engaging resource.

The artwork from Katherine Pearson is just stunning. And what better time to get a new devotional resource than right here at the start of a new year. So thanks so much for partnering with us so we can continue to touch lives with the gospel. And to thank you tangibly, we'll send the new book Roar Like a Lion by Pastor Levi Lusko.

And this is the last time we'll be able to mention this resource. You can make your donation online at harvest.org. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or reach us by phone anytime 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Well next time, Pastor Greg shares more practical insights on how we can enjoy successful marriage relationships. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-15 09:55:33 / 2023-06-15 10:05:55 / 10

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