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In-Laws or Outlaws? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 16, 2023 6:00 am

In-Laws or Outlaws? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 16, 2023 6:00 am

As many people know, in-law relationships can be complex and challenging. But as Pastor Skip shares today in his message “In-Laws or Outlaws?” God’s design is for in-laws to support and encourage, not create division.

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This whole leave and cleave principle that we have been discussing didn't even enter into Laban's thinking. It was all about him, not them. Laban failed to understand that the husband-wife relationship must always take precedence over the child-parent relationship.

As many people know, in-law relationships can be complex and challenging, but as Skip shares today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, God's design for in-laws is meant to support and encourage, not create division. But first, we want to share with you about a special resource that will help you understand God's unique purpose for fathers in a family. America is reaping the whirlwind of bad fruit from a generation of young men who lack the influence of a father. We desperately need to educate men of all ages and stages of life to begin to turn this destructive social trend.

Listen to Skip Heitzig. Where's dad? That's a crucial question in our world today. When fathers abandon their children, a series of dominoes begin to fall with devastating results. We see young men rampaging through streets destroyed by drugs, then continuing the vicious cycle by creating fatherless homes. We need to educate boys and men of all ages about how dads make a difference. And that's the theme of our current resource package that includes my full hour video documentary called Where's Dad, plus seven of my most important messages to men. I hope you'll order your copy now. Dads make a difference.

That's the title of a critical issues package you can order now. The dads make a difference package includes seven of Skip's most important messages to men and the full hour video documentary Where's Dad, hosted by Skip. I think it's pretty easy to see from just a reading through of scripture that it is dad's responsibility to set the moral spiritual tone in the home.

Remember, it was Joshua who said, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Get this package in either digital download or CD and DVD when you support Connect with Skip with your gift of $50 or more. You'll be joining us as we take Skip's Bible teachings into more major cities.

Request the dads make a difference package online at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. Okay, let's go to the book of Genesis as we join Skip for today's teaching. It might sound a little simplistic, but typically when I do a wedding and the bride is standing right here to my right, it'd be your left, groom is standing right here to my left, I paint a simple picture.

The simpler the better you remember it that way. I say picture your life as a triangle. You're in the bottom corner, ma'am.

Sir, you're in the bottom corner over here. God is in the corner up on top. If you want to grow closer to each other, you discover that as you seek the Lord, seek the Lord, grow closer to the Lord, grow closer to the Lord, something happens. You are growing closer to each other.

You are establishing a spiritual bond with each other that will not be quickly broken. That's the priority grid. We have a good example of this, not only here, we have a good example of this in the book of Ephesians, which we have been looking at in this series. Now don't turn there, just listen. Paul lays out the entire book of Ephesians with this grid that I'm talking about. Chapters one through three, Paul addresses your relationship with God.

You are seated with Christ Jesus in heavenly places. He's given you this, this, this, this, and that. Three chapters of that, your priority with God. Chapters four, five, and six, the second half of the book, Paul is writing about your relationship with people. So he speaks about your relationship vertically, God, horizontally, humans. The fourth chapter is general, how to get along with people anywhere.

Be humble, be loving. If you're a Christian, you see yourself as part of the body of Christ. But then he gets very specific in chapter five, as we have seen. Chapter five, he speaks about the husband-wife relationship first. Then in chapter six, the parent-child relationship, followed by the employer-employee relationship in the workplace. Now that is a deliberate pattern by Paul, because he does that in Ephesians.

He repeats that same pattern in the book of Colossians, and again in the book of 1 Timothy. So that is a deliberate God-given pattern of priority living. Number one, God. Number two, your husband or wife. Number three, your children.

Number four, everything else. Your vocation, your job, your hobbies, et cetera. That's God's pattern. If you don't keep this pattern, your whole life will get out of whack. If you don't keep this pattern, things like your job will start taking precedence over your family.

If you don't keep this pattern, your in-laws might creep in and you give them a higher level than you have with your spouse. Or, or as is often the case, your children take a higher priority than your spouse. You know, I've counseled some women whose life is so consumed in having and raising children that when their kids leave the house, they lose purpose and meaning in life altogether. What happened at some point in their journey is they began to identify themselves as a mother, but not as a spouse, a wife, and a mother. In fact, it's like they got married in order to become a mother and then forgot that other first relationship. So when the kids leave, they have nothing left. That has to be avoided. The priority grid, God first, spouse second, children third, vocation, avocation, everything else last.

So I'd sum it up this way. Be passionately in love with God. That's the best gift you can give to your spouse. Be passionately in love with your spouse. That's the best gift you can give to your children. And as you are passionately in love with your God and your spouse, that's the best message you can send to your in-laws.

Okay, now the story takes a little bit of a turn here. Jacob has left his parents. He's had God's assurance, and now he's about to meet his future wife and father-in-law, Laban.

Chapter 29, go to verse 10. And it came to pass when Jacob saw Rachel. It's like love at first sight. The daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brothers, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth.

Can you just picture this? He's going to show himself chivalrous, a caretaker, and watered the flock of Laban's mother's brother. So far, so good. It's love at first sight.

He's showing himself strong. But the next verse I've always found a little weird. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice and wept. Okay, am I the only one that thinks that's a little bit odd? Your first kiss? Oh, ho, ho, ho.

She's thinking, is it the garlic I ate? What? I can't explain it.

It's just something that I always found humorous. Brings us to the third role, the role of in-laws. And before we jump in, here's basically God's design for in-laws. In-laws are to be supportive. They're to support their children's mate. I would even say they should support their children's choices, which include their children's mate. That's the role. The role is never to be divisive, never to be manipulative, always to be supportive. I share that first because Laban does none of these things.

He breaks every rule in the book. So let's look at chapter 29 at verse 18. Now Jacob loved Rachel. So he said, I will serve you. This is to Laban, her dad. I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter. And Laban said, it's better that I give her to you than I should give her to any other man.

Stay with me. So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. One of the most romantic verses in the scripture. Jacob said to Laban, he said after seven years, give me my wife for my days are fulfilled that I may go into her.

He wants the wedding night. And Laban gathered together all the men of that place and made a feast. Now it came to pass in the evening that he took Leah, his daughter, and brought her to Jacob. And he went into her and Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter, Leah, as a maid. So it came to pass in the morning that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, what is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?

No, listen to this. And Laban said, it must not be done so in our country to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill her week and we will give you this one also. Notice how he refers to his daughter.

We will give you this one also for the service with which you will serve with me yet another seven years. Jacob did so and fulfilled her week and he gave him his daughter, Rachel, as wife. It's pretty clear that Laban has no regard for his daughter and even less regard for his future son-in-law. Laban is in this thing for his own benefit and for his own financial gain.

Okay, now we need to fast forward 20 years from this point. They get married 20 years into the future when Jacob has his own family, his own children. He has his own property. He's had a family business with his father-in-law, Laban. It's time for them to split company. So I take you to chapter 31.

Just turn a couple pages there. Chapter 31, 20 years later. And listen as Laban reveals his true heart to his son-in-law.

I take you over to verse 41. Jacob is speaking. Jacob says, thus I have been in your house 20 years. I've served you 14 years for your two daughters and six years for your flock and you have changed my wages 10 times. That does not mean a price increase or a wage increase. It's not like you got a raise.

You got a raise, but it was lowered. Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Jacob had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.

So they're getting into an argument. Okay, listen to father-in-law. And Laban answered and said to Jacob, these daughters are my daughters. These children are my children. He's referring to his grandchildren, Jacob, his son-in-law, kids. These are my children and this flock is my flock. All that you see is mine.

But what can I do this day to these my daughters and to their children? Doesn't even include Jacob, which they have born. Can you see this man's heart? It's all about him.

He sees it all as his. And in splitting with his son-in-law, he shares the truth about who he is. There was a wealthy businessman whose daughter married a young man. Now the businessman father-in-law approaches his son-in-law and he says, you know, we love our daughter very much. And now that you're married to her, I'm going to make you a 50-50 partner in my business. Very, very lucrative business.

So you have 50 percent share in this business. The only thing you need to do is go to the factory every day and learn operations. The young man said, you know, I really hate factories. I can't take the noise. Father-in-law said, okay, then I need you to go to the office every day and at least learn some of the management of the operations in the factory. And the kid said, you know, I can't see myself stuck behind a desk all day. I'm not an office kind of a guy.

So the father-in-law says, okay, so we've got a problem here. I've just offered you 50 percent in a lucrative business. You say you can't work in the factory, you won't work in the office.

What am I going to do with you? The young man smiled and said, easy, you can buy me out. Very shrewd young man and a very lazy young man. And that was not Jacob's problem at all. Jacob is a hard worker, as the text reveals. But that was his father-in-law's problem, who was using his son-in-law, Jacob, to get rich off of while he did all the work and he himself was lazy.

That was a problem. I'm sure that Laban probably thought, like some dads do, there's not a boy, there's not a man on this earth who's good enough for my daughter. Ever heard that before? He's ever said that before.

Maybe he thought that. I heard about a girl who fell in love with the young man and brought her home to meet her father. Father couldn't stand the guy.

Not good enough for my daughter. Worthless, rejected, and would not give a blessing for their wedding. This didn't just happen one time, it happened three times. Three different young men brought home, father rejected all of them. Finally he said, I've got to find somebody who's more like my father so my father will accept him. So finally she finds this guy who's so much like her father that he walks like her father, he talks like her father, even looks like her dad. Brings him home and says, surely my dad will approve of him. She brings him home, wouldn't you know it, her mother couldn't stand him.

Lose, lose. This whole leave and cleave principle that we have been discussing didn't even enter into Laban's thinking. It was all about him, not them. Laban failed to understand that the husband-wife relationship must always take precedence over the child-parent relationship. Now what that means to us practically is that parents should always accept their child's mate as if that were their own child. You can't have different categories of love and respect. This is my daughter, this is my son-in-law, this is my daughter-in-law, this is my son. They're one flesh. It's the package deal.

Laban didn't get that. By the way, rule of thumb, in giving advice to your children when they're married, don't do it unless they ask you for it. That's the rule of thumb.

Well you know I've always, and let me tell you, don't even go there, just zip. And if they ask you for it, then offer it. But don't offer it unless they ask for it. Otherwise, the in-laws become outlaws. Here's the fourth rule, and we'll close with this, the role of children. We've seen the role of parents to release, the role of God to direct, the role of in-laws to support. Now here's the role of the couple getting married, the children.

And that role is to honor, to honor their parents' significance and both sets of parents. Take you back to chapter 31, but look at the very first section of it. Go back to 31 verse 1. It's a conversation between Jacob and his wife. Jacob heard the words of Laban's sons saying, Jacob has taken away all that was our fathers, and from what was our fathers he has acquired this wealth. So there was a rumor going on that wasn't true about Jacob, that Jacob was using Laban to get rich off of when actually Laban was using Jacob for that.

But he hears the rumor. And Jacob, verse 2, saw the countenance, the facial expression of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, return to the land of your fathers to your family and I will be with you. So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock and said to them, I see your father's countenance that it is not favorable toward me as before, but the God of my father has been with me. And you know that with all my might I have served your father, and yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages 10 times. But God did not allow him to hurt me.

Look at verse 9, so God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. Probably everything Jacob said was true, but to say that in this manner to his wives, the daughters of that man, his father-in-law Laban, may have been a mistake. The role of children is to honor their parents collectively significance. Be careful, first of all, how you talk to your parents and parents-in-law. Be careful that when they're talking you don't interrupt them, even if you disagree with them. Have the respect and honor to let them speak and finish without you interrupting or talking them down or giving them a jab. Also be very careful what you say to your spouse about his or her parents in the presence of your spouse.

You want to make sure that you are honoring what you say to them. There was one young husband who bought his mother-in-law for Christmas a cemetery plot. Yeah, that's a message in and of itself. And the following year he didn't buy her anything for Christmas. And so the mother-in-law said, I noticed you didn't buy me anything for Christmas.

And the young man said, you didn't use the gift I gave you last year. Not a good example. In fact, this whole episode of Jacob with his father-in-law is not a good example. It happens to be a true example.

It is not the example we are to follow. Let me give you what I consider a good example of an in-law relationship and it's out of one single verse. In Luke chapter 4, look at it later, Luke chapter 4, there's a verse about Peter's mother-in-law. We don't usually think about Peter having a mother-in-law, but listen, it says when Jesus and the disciples came from the synagogue in Capernaum and they went to Peter's house, Peter's mother who was living with them, stop right there first of all, Peter has his mother-in-law living with them. Second, Peter's mother-in-law is sick and brings Jesus to the house to heal his mother-in-law.

Not a lot of men would do that. They wouldn't say, Jesus, heal him. Might say, Jesus, just finish her off. Mother-in-law is living with Peter. Peter wants her healed. That's honor and respect.

That's a wonderful example as seen in the life of Peter. I'll add one more thing to the mix and we close. If you can, bring it down a notch. When you're around your in-laws, you might have the tendency to just tighten up. Uh-oh, here's my mother-in-law, father-in-law. Hi. Really good to have you this month. If you can, try to bring it down and try to relax and even bring a little humor into a situation that would not change without it. I close with this.

I found it kind of funny. Ann Landers received a true letter from a young man. Dear Ann Landers, my sister-in-law Janice telephones once or twice a week. When I say hello, she says, is Alice there? She never says one word to me, no recognition whatsoever.

For 10 years, I've been a wonderful husband to this woman's sister and a loving son-in-law to her mother. My wife has asked Janice nicely to say hello to me, but Janice says she doesn't want to be bothered with formalities. So several weeks ago, I sent Janice a card with the following note.

With the following note. It said this, when someone who knows me and phones says neither hello or how are you, I feel as though that person is being intentionally insulting. I would consider it a gesture of goodwill if you would say, hi Bill, how are you from time to time? I will inform you immediately if Alice is not home or we'll go and get her if she is.

Thank you. Janice responded to him with a note saying it would make her feel like a phony if she were to change her current behavior to something different. I'm at the end of my rope, writes this young man to Ann Landers. I cannot continue to ignore my sister-in-law's insulting behavior unless you tell me otherwise. I intend to hang up on her if she doesn't acknowledge me.

Kindly give me your opinion of this bizarre situation, signed battered brother-in-law in California. Ann writes back, dear battered, Janice has figured out how to get your goat and you, like a fool, have fallen for it every time. Try a different approach. Next time Janice phones to talk to your wife, say, this is the butler. Madam Alice is entertaining the queen of Romania.

Who should I say is calling? Unless she is totally without a sense of humor, this should soften her up a bit. She's saying, try to add a little humor into a person's life who's just tight.

Might backfire, but try it. We've had 20 weeks of keep calm and marry on. A couple more weeks, we're out of it. It's been my prayer every week for the marriages in this fellowship that they grow deep and strong and they forge tight bonds of communication and interrelation that will withstand the storms of time. I'm hoping that what we've learned so far, we've tackled some subjects that usually are not tackled in a marriage series because we are hoping to bring discussion about them and offer tools that can help all of us in our relationships. By God's grace, that has happened. That wraps up today's message from Pastor Skip's series, Keep Calm and Marry On.

Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip and Lenya to share some exciting news about a trip to the Holy Land. I'm guessing that many of you have thought about, talked about, maybe even dreamed about visiting Israel.

Well, let's make that happen. Lenya and I are taking a tour group to Israel next summer in 2024. And I can't wait. We'll start in Tel Aviv, head north to Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River. We'll spend several days in Jerusalem and see the Garden of Gethsemane, the Upper Room, and so much more. And we'll wrap it all up with a swim in the Dead Sea. Now, I've been to Israel many times, like over 40. In fact, I can honestly say, though, that visiting the places where the Scriptures unfolded, where Jesus lived out His earthly ministry, it never gets old.

No, it doesn't. The incredible sightseeing will be punctuated by times of worship and teachings that you'll never forget. And Jeremy Camp and Adie Camp will be with us to lead worship. Make plans to join us next summer in Israel. See the itinerary and book this Israel tour with Pastor Skip Heitzig at inspirationcruises.com slash C-A-B-Q.

That's inspirationcruises.com slash C-A-B-Q. And we're excited to give you more content from Pastor Skip and this ministry right to your mobile device. Be on the lookout for our first text message welcoming you to the group. That's coming your way if we've connected with you through prayer or a monthly resource. And in the weeks ahead, we'll let all our listeners know how to join in. Be sure to come back next week as Skip begins a message about how God can work through a believing spouse to reach an unbelieving husband or wife. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on his word, make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-16 05:15:23 / 2023-06-16 05:25:29 / 10

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