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The Family Matters | God's Design for the Home

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2023 3:00 am

The Family Matters | God's Design for the Home

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 20, 2023 3:00 am

The cultural definition of a family is quite broad and all-encompassing. It’s proudly inclusive. But when we get creative with what a family is, we get creative with how a family works. And if we get too creative, maybe it’s time to consult the Creator. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie gets us back to bedrock truth as laid out in God’s timeless Word. We’ll go back to the 10 Commandments and discuss how to honor God’s design for how homes can function best.

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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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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. It's very easy to critique a parent until you become a parent. A lot of the things you said critically of your mom or dad you'll realize in many ways they were doing their job right. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie speaks about the challenge of parenting and the Lord's command to treat our parents with respect. Honor them. Even when they say the thing you hate, parents say, which is, because I said so.

Come on! And then you become a parent and you go, now I think I understand. The cultural definition of a family is quite broad and all-encompassing.

It's proudly inclusive. But when we get creative with what a family is, we get creative with how a family works. And if we get too creative, maybe it's time to consult the Creator. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie gets us back to bedrock truth as laid out in God's timeless Word.

We'll go back to the Ten Commandments and discuss how to honor God's design for how homes can function best. Heard about a police officer that pulled a guy over. The guy had two penguins in the backseat of his car. The officer said, sir, what are you doing? The penguin is an endangered species. You can't drive around with them.

You need to take them to the zoo immediately. The man agreed. The next day the officer saw the man again. This time he still had the penguins, but they were wearing sunglasses and wearing Hawaiian shirts. And the officer said, I told you to take these penguins to the zoo yesterday.

The man said, I did. And we're going to the beach today. Talk about missing the point. And I think we're missing the point in so many ways in our culture today because we ignore God.

And we ignore the commandments that He gave us for our own good. These are guardrails. I went to Disneyland the other day with all my grandchildren. I'm going to have to finance that for sure. And one of the rides we rode was Autopia. You ever been on that? Those little cars.

I don't think they've improved though since the 50s by the way. But so you have these little things that hold you in line. So I was in the car with my granddaughter Ali. She was staring and I was hitting the accelerator you know.

And she's still figuring this out which way to turn the wheel. But that rail held us so we did not go over the side and end up somewhere else right. The Ten Commandments are like guardrails that God gives us for our own protection. As they've said they're like the walls of protection around us to keep evil out.

And we disregard them and ignore them at our own peril. Now as we know there's two tablets. The first four commandments are in tablet number one. They have to do with our relationship with God. Commandment number one. The Lord says you shall have no other gods before me. And by the way if nothing else as a result of this Ten Commandments series I want you to memorize the Ten Commandments and know them in order.

Ok. Let's work on that together. Commandment number one have no other gods before him. Commandment number two.

No graven images and anything that's in heaven above or earth below. Commandment number three. Don't take the Lord's name in vain. Commandment number four. Remember the Sabbath. They keep it holy. Now let's come to section number two.

Tablet number two. Commandment number five. Honor your father and mother. Commandment number six. You shall not murder. Commandment number seven. You shall not commit adultery. Commandment number eight. You shall not steal. Commandment number nine. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Or basically you shall not lie. And finally commandment number ten. You shall not covet. These are the Ten Commandments.

And I want to focus on commandment number five. To honor your father and mother. This of course starts with the marriage. Notice it's a father and a mother. A man and a wife. Not a man and a man. Not a woman and a woman. Not a man and two women. Not a woman and two men.

It's a man and a woman. This is God's template for the family and this is his order. And when we mess with it trouble will follow. It's been said a family can survive without a nation but a nation cannot survive without the family. And that is why the devil hates the family. Did you know he hates your family? Did you know Satan wants to destroy your family?

And he works on it it seems over time these days. And as you look at our nation today you can take almost every social ill that we are failing and trace it directly back to the breakdown of God's order for the family. For instance in 1960 fewer than six million children lived in single-parent families. Today 19 million children are being raised without a father. That's more than one in four without a father in the home.

And this disregard of the fifth commandment is undermining our nation. And I can give you a lot of stats to support that statement. Because you might say well that's just your opinion Greg. Well actually I can support this with a lot of data and show that the Bible is true and what it says. For instance did you know 71 percent of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. We spent untold millions and millions of dollars fighting addiction and homelessness.

But how much money did we spend supporting the family? Because that is at the root of most homelessness and addiction. 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. A child from a fatherless home is 68 percent more likely to use drugs or alcohol.

Four more likely to become sexually active at an early age. And three times more likely to commit a violent crime. 85 percent of all youths sitting in prison came from a fatherless home.

Listen to this. Fatherless children are anywhere from 100 percent to 200 percent more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. Fatherless sons are 300 percent more likely to end up in juvenile institutions. Fatherless daughters who marry have a 92 percent higher divorce rate. Fatherless daughters are 111 percent more likely to have children as teenagers.

Wow. Maybe God knew what he was talking about when he said honor your father and mother. The assumption is we would do it God's way.

And we have not done it in many ways God's way in our nation and we are facing the consequences. Now let me say a word to single mothers. First of all God bless you.

And I mean that with all of my heart. Because you have your work cut out for you. I don't know. I don't know how you ended up as a single mom. Maybe your husband died. Maybe your husband walked out on you. They do that sometimes.

Guys can be creeps right? Maybe you got pregnant outside of wedlock and you felt a lot of shame and embarrassment over that. But thankfully you did not go get an abortion. You carried the child to term. And I thank you for doing that. I am thankful my mom did that. Because she got pregnant out of wedlock. A one night fling.

Voila. Greg was conceived. And this was the 50s when it was very controversial to have a baby when you weren't married. But thankfully I was born. But you see I understand how this can be. I was raised by effectively a single mom. I'm sure she was married and divorced seven times.

But these guys it was like they were coming through a revolving door. So there was never a stable father figure. And so the reason I bring this up is because it's hard for you right now and we want you to know that God's heart goes out to fatherless children. Psalm 68 the Lord says he promises to be a father to the fatherless.

You know if you're a single mom take advantage of other men godly men that you will meet in the church. Sometimes a coach can make all the difference in a child's life. It could be a teacher. It can be a youth pastor. A Sunday school teacher. Just somebody else. A positive male role model for those people.

Let us help you. But this assumes that it begins with a strong and happy marriage. Is that even possible today? J. Paul Getty one of the richest men who ever lived said he would give all of his fortune for one happy marriage. But we've seen so many unhappy marriages. We think is this even possible to have one in these days? You know sometimes some people have been married for a while.

They take each other for granted. Heard about a couple that were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. So a bunch of friends and family were gathered and the husband said to the wife dear I'm going to take you for our 25th wedding anniversary to Australia. She was so excited she says I've never been down under. Kangaroos.

Koala bears. It's going to be amazing. Honey if you're going to do this her 25 years of marriage what are you going to do on our 50th anniversary?

Says that's when I'll pick you up. So that looks that's not good. You know millennials are not getting married at the same rate that baby boomers did at an early age.

Maybe it's because so many of them come from broken homes and they don't want that to happen to them. So the question is can a man and a woman fall in love and be married and live happily ever after just like the fairy tales tell us. Okay I hate to discourage you but the answer is no. You will not live happily ever after but you can live happily even after if you do it God's way.

You can. You might say well Craig what qualifies you to talk to us about marriage? I've been married for 46 years.

Mic drop. Okay now that that sounds like I'm bragging. I married a wonderful woman and it's God's blessing on us and just doing what His Word says. But I had the statistical card stacked against me with my mom married and divorced so many times. But I don't care what hand you've been dealt in life and what your parents did or what your grandparents did. Now it's about what you're going to do and I'm telling you if Christ enters the narrative He can change your story and He can change your future but you need to ask Him to come and take control.

He can do it. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We really enjoy hearing when Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching touches lives. I just want to start off by saying I struggled with drugs and alcohol for a long time. I come from a broken home. I feel like I could relate to Pastor Greg a lot.

Life is hard and we all have our own battles but I should have done better. Now I'm repenting and changing and one day I happen to run across one of Pastor Greg's talks and you know his voice just captivated me and the way he preaches and preaches and everything. I just want to give thanks to him for his work towards spreading God's truth because it is the truth and it's changing my life and Jesus is real.

The peace and the love they offer us I feel it in my heart and thank God for everything. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries and if you have a story to tell I hope you'll contact us today. Call 1-866-871-1144. That's a special number for this purpose only.

866-871-1144. Well we're in Exodus 20 today and Pastor Greg is basing his insights on commandment number five, honor your father and mother. It's a message called the family matters. Well let's talk a little bit about marriage and let me say this to you who are married. There's a lot I could say to hopefully encourage you in your marriage but let me give you one biblical principle from Ephesians 5 verse 21.

It says submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. So my point is put the needs of your spouse above your own. Wives this means you submit to the loving leadership of your husband. Husband that means that you bow to the needs of your wife.

See if you go into a marriage saying that person is going to meet all of the needs of my life you're going to be really disappointed. No person can do that. There's no perfect man walking around who can do that. Well there was one but he's taken. Sorry I'm married.

But no I'm kidding. No there is no perfect man. There's no perfect woman. And we have this false idea of what a person can do for us.

And we need to be realistic. A word to you who are singles. Don't look for the right person as much as you should focus on trying to be the right person. See the idea is I go into a marriage not saying how can you fulfill me. I go into a marriage saying how can I fulfill you. How can I love you.

How can I put you first in my life. So some girls sometimes will say well you know this guy I'm going out with I'm going to marry he's rough around the edges and he has a lot of problems but I'm going to fix him. Probably not.

Probably not. In fact I have to warn you he might get worse. So you won't fix him at all. Don't go into a marriage thinking you're going to change a dude. Okay. Because he might be far worse than you thought he was going to be. You want to start by looking for a godly man or a godly woman.

That's why and I don't really know why I have to say this but some people miss this memo. You should never become romantically involved with a non-believer. Ever.

Why? Because the Bible says don't be unequally yoked together with non-believers for what friendship does light have with darkness or righteousness with unrighteousness or Christ with the devil. And here's what happens. You might say well I'm going to win him to the Lord. We'll get married and I'll bring him to Christ. I believe this is something God wants to do or you go out with non-believing guys or girls and you call it missionary dating.

Let me tell you what's going to happen. Instead of you pulling them up they might end up pulling you down. See when the Bible says don't be unequally yoked together understand what a yoke is.

I'm not talking about eggs now okay. A yoke is a wooden device that's put over to oxen and they would be pulling your wagon or you'd be plowing your field with them. So if you put a yoke on a strong ox and a weak ox will that affect the performance? Yes.

It'll pull in the direction of the weak ox. Let's say it another way. If you had a living ox and a dead ox would that affect what you're about to do?

Yes. And that's exactly what happens in a relationship when you have a Christian and a non-Christian. The Christian is spiritually alive because they've been born again. The non-Christian is dead in their sins.

That's what the Bible says. So you'll be pulled often in the direction of the one who doesn't believe rather than being pulled in the direction of the one who does believe. Let me illustrate it another way. Let's say I chose some person in the front row that was smaller than me and I said I'm going to pull you up on the stage and I took hold of your hand with my massive strength.

I was able to get you up here. But the reality is you could probably pull me off this stage more easily because you have gravity on your side. So when you're in a relationship with a non-believer you have the new nature and the old nature and they only have the old nature so it's easier for them to pull you down than it is for you to pull them up. So look for a godly man. Look for a godly girl. Well the guy I'm going out with I think he's a Christian. Why do you say that? He says God a lot. I think we talked about that and taking the Lord's name in vain. You want more than that.

Look for a godly person. Point number two. This is for married folks now. It's not about you. It's about your mate. Ephesians 5 21 says submitting to one another in the fear of God it could be better translated supporting one another in the fear of God. We're here to hold one another up and then children may come and if they come now you want to raise them in the way of the Lord and to the children. The Bible says honor your father or mother which means to give weight to them. It gives respect to them.

Value them. You might say well Greg what if I don't respect my mom and dad because they didn't do a great job. Well let's just talk about the office of a parent. It's very easy to critique a parent until you become a parent.

And a lot of the things you said critically of your mom or dad you'll realize in many ways they were doing their job right. But honestly there are times when moms and dads blow it. Fathers abandon their children or they're harsh or austere. Mothers abandon their children. Sometimes they don't have time for their kids or they're mean or there's other issues involved.

Even abusive. And so you say I can honor them. Well first of all just out of respect. Like you should honor the president or an elected official.

Be they a mayor a governor or whatever it is because that's an office God has placed a person in. So there's a respect that goes with the office with the office of parent. But sometimes honestly we need to forgive our parents. Because some of us have never done that and it affects us into our adult life. One expert said quote the psychological truth is that holding on to our past resentments towards parents robs us of our current peace of mind and our ability to experience satisfaction in the here and now relationships. End quote. Honor them. Even when they say the thing you hate parents saying which is I told you so.

Mom can I can I go out and do thus and so with my friends? No. And why not? Because I said so. Come on. No. You can't go because I said so. Oh I want to go.

Everybody's doing it. And they'll say you'll understand one day right. And then you become a parent.

You go hmm now I think I understand. But it's hard to be a parent and we need God's help. Our kids to us are a gift from the Lord. Actually in Psalm 127 verse 3 it says children are a heritage from the Lord a reward from Him.

That could better be translated a gift. Listen our kids are not ours to mold but to unfold. They're not ours to keep but to nurture. So do everything you can to raise your child in the way of the Lord. Pastor Greg Laurie with practical insights today on issues surrounding the Christian family. In fact the message title on today's edition of A New Beginning, The Family Matters.

Well Pastor Greg we're excited to make available the film Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon on DVD. Yes. Johnny's early life was dramatic.

Heartbreaking. Yeah. And even after he saw great success there was still a lot of drama that surrounded Johnny's life. But we have a way for people to look beyond the drama to the man behind the man in black. There's a lot we can learn about the life of Johnny Cash isn't there?

Yeah there really is. You know it surprises some people to know that Johnny was a very strong Christian and he always believed but he did have lapses in his faith. He did have struggles with drugs throughout his life and career. He did make some really bad decisions and he made some really good decisions.

Well sounds a lot like us doesn't it? And so he was a man that that had a story to tell and it was brought out in his music and throughout his career. But here's what I appreciate about Johnny. Early in his career he began to succeed. He became a huge star around the world and he had a television show that was a major hit and Johnny used that considerable platform to preach the gospel. He had great Christian artists sing with him. He even invited Billy Graham on once much to the chagrin of the TV network that was sponsoring this.

They were saying to Johnny stop talking so much about your faith and he even did it more. But then he would have a lapse. He would mess up and then he would get back on his feet again. But Johnny always knew where the north star in his life was. He always knew what mattered. He never turned away from the Lord.

He just struggled. He was like the modern day version of the prodigal son. But you remember how that story ended. When the prodigal son returned the father welcomed him with open arms and the same is true for Johnny Cash. You know it's interesting Johnny began and ended in a in a very powerful way musically. I personally and this is my opinion believe that his best music was at the beginning and the end of his career and that was also true of his spiritual life.

He was strong at the beginning of his life and very strong at the end of his life with some slip-ups and falls in between. That's why the title of this movie is Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon. There's no doubt he's an American icon.

But he is an American icon. But he was redeemed and God blessed him and forgave him and gave him new opportunities. And you're going to hear the whole story and you're going to hear some things you've never heard before. And I think you'll be deeply moved. This is a beautifully done film. First-rate quality done by the same team at the Kingdom Story Company that did Jesus Revolution. So this film is going to impact you. It's a film you can show to friends and family and non-believers.

In fact you can invite them over for a watch party. And also another thing I would add is we include on this DVD a bonus content which is only in the DVD we are offering to you here at Harvest. And on this bonus content is a special message I did wrapped around the story of Johnny Cash a gospel message complete with a prayer a person could pray to accept Christ.

I think this could be a really effective tool for you to use to touch people around you. So order your own copy of Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon on DVD complete with a streaming code which means you can download it and also bonus content and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size. Now I'm going to ask you to be more generous than you might normally be because we've had to pay more for this resource but we want to get it into your hands and so whatever you send will be used to help us continue to teach God's word and proclaim the gospel.

So order your copy of Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon from us here at Harvest Ministries. Yeah why not give us a call today we'll be glad to make all the arrangements. It's our way of thanking you for your partnership in teaching believers and sharing the gospel with those who haven't yet met the Lord. So call us today at 1-800-821-3300.

You can make that call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg offers more practical insight on God's plan for harmony in the home based on our study of the 10 commandments. 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 / 2023-10-29 09:52:53 / 2023-10-29 10:02:55 / 10

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