Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Relational Responsibilities to Neighbors

Been in Marriage and Family Series.
1)  are great blessings and benefits there.
2)  But also great responsibilities and obligations  Luke 12:48 - To whom much is given, much is expected in return.

What's the next step in relational responsibilities and duties? .... The people around us.
Our word = community
Biblical word = neighbor - not simply in close proximity - Prov. 27:14

OT Law = many rules for neighbor/community.   The word neighbor is used over 150 times in the Old Testament. Civil Law -  Lev. 19:13, 15, 6:2 - unfaithful to God by deceiving neighbor

"Neighbor" included in the 10 Commandments - Ex. 20?16-17 - Moral Law
Neighborliness becomes huge in the Bible.

"Neighbor" has prominent place in the Wisdom Literature.  Prov. 3:24, 11:9, 12, 14:21

"Neighbor" is a part of the description of the Restored Kingdom - Zech. 3:10 - neighborliness is part of the New Kingdom

These laws/rules let to much debate.  Example:  "OK, BUT who is/qualifies as my Neighbor?"
This = 1)  attitude of "justifiable neglect" - I don't want to treat that individual the way I'm instructed to in the Bible."
2)  the background for Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan.  - Luke 10:25-37.  Note:  Samaritans were DESPISED by the Jews.
Emphasis - not who is your neighbor, but focus on being one.


#1.  A neighbor is more than one living in close proximity.  Neighbor includes one who God places in your path who is in need and you are in proximity.    Example:  good Samaritan - Num. 15:15

#2.  Your focus should be on being a neighbor (not identifying one)

#3.  Being neighborly is central to the Christian faith.  Matt. 22:34-40   (added to 10 words!!  Matt. 19:16-19)  So Apostles => Rom. 13:8-10  Gal. 5:14  James 2:8

#4.  An obligation to neighbors (naturally) includes an obligation to the community.  Luke 12:48, 1 Tim. 5:8

Note:  A ___________ community is made of  ______________ people.
God is seeking.... Peace among men
                           Prosperity for His creation
                           Promotion of His Kingdom

#5.  As a Christian you are obligated to the community because you are committed to Christ. 

Ask self (1)  is Jesus your Lord?
             (2) are you aware of His Rules?  Luke 10:36-37 - Go and do likewise.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Family Series - #5 - Preparing Kids for Marriage

Introduction:  Stats

  • 89% of adults will marry  (only 9% say don't want to marry)
  • The Average American spends 2/3 of his life in marriage
  • If a person marries, it'll affect every aspect of their life.  (physical, emotional, social, financial, vocational, recreational)
  • If you marry, as a general rule, nothing will have a greater affect on your life (with the exception of salvation)
  • (We know) a good marriage is a source of great pleasure, joy, comfort, satisfaction, happiness!!  (on the other hand, a troubled marriage creates frustration, disappointment, sorrow, pain, etc.)
  • Vast majority say "when I marry I expect it to be for life".
  • 100% say "when I marry I want it to be a success"

Question:  Why are we not more focused on preparing kids for marriage??

Some thoughts on "How to" prepare a child for marriage:

#1.  Be intentional
Needn't be a primary, constant thought, but should be an important goal, should be addressed.  Compare time and effort spent on sports.  Deut. 30:19 - "choose"

#2.  Pray for your child. - James 5:16
       pray specifically
       pray early

#3.  Evangelize your child.  Only the Holy Spirit can call, save, however, you can introduce 

#4.  Disciple your child
Deut. 6:4-9 "Shema" , Eph. 6:4
Note:  satisfaction level within marriage = highest among couples who attend church together!!  Faith matters to marriage!!!

#5.  Focus on Godly Character - (this is more than good character = Godly) 
Mal. 2:15 - a)  Godly character is NOT born, but built hopefully by a Godly couple!!
                  b)  emotional health seeks its own level  Point = Your child's emotional health determines who he/she chooses!!!
Statistics prove that just eating meals together effects the emotional health of children in a hugely positive way.

#6.  Teach practical marriage skills:  ie.  how to handle money, do housework, etc.
One huge complaint after the honeymoon has worn off is "my husband is such a slob"!

#7.  Teach respect for the opposite sex.
Gender competition for kids = natural, but adults???

#8.  Model godly marriage
60% of learning that affects behavior is based on watching someone we know and trust!
"Basic beliefs, behavior are formed by age 13".  Doesn't mean they can't change!  But = must change!!  (takes effort to change - not nearly as difficult if formed correctly from the beginning)
Note:  the greatest predictor of a successful marriage - the successful marriage of the couple's parents".

Summary??  Do you want your kids to have a good marriage???
#1.  WORK on yours!!
#2.  Model that WORK!!! - ie.  caring, sharing, apologizing, compromising, loving, etc.

#9.  Educate yourself - concerning marriage, children, the faith.  Is it important enough to expend effort to get it right???  Then do it!

#10.  Resource your child.  Vast amounts of materials out there.  One example:  Georgia Shaffer's "How not to date a loser".

Note:  Most young people WANT TO Know this stuff!!!   (Will it make a difference???  Are no guarantees!!

Proverbs 14:1

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Family Series #4 - Love and Respect

Recap:  Basic Butterflies and Buffaloes - "why is my husband/wife such a clod/nag?"
#1  they are HUMAN
#2.  Are MALE human/FEMALE human - two entirely different types of beings.

One largely overlooked difference = need for Love and Respect
Eph. 5:21-33 = longest passage on marriage in scripture

Summary verse = Eph. 5:33

I.  He is to feed her ..... LOVE.  ie:  agape love (almost unique to New Testament) ... active, sacrificial, giving, valued, precious  (John 3:16)
NOTE:  1)  this is a command  (imperative) - Eph. 5:33  "must"
              2)  this is a need (she obviously needs it or God wouldn't command it)
              3)  this is a marital need  (ie: to be met, satisfied within marriage institution)
                   (a) not necessary to survive but to Thrive. 
                   (b)  if not done here, then perhaps ___________???
             4)  It is to be offered unconditionally ... ie:  regardless of her behavior
                                                                              regardless of his feelings

II.  She is to feed him ....RESPECT 
definition:  recognition, honor, appreciation, admiration, trust

NOTE:  (1) this is a command - Eph. 5:33
             (2)  this is a need (he needs it or God wouldn't command it)
             (3)  this is a marital need (to be satisfied within marriage relationship.
                   (a) not necessary to survive ... but to thrive!!
                   (b) if not met within marriage, then _____?

            (4)  it is to be offered unconditionally, ie:  regardless of his behavior
                                                                          regardless of her feelings
Comment:  novel idea for 21st. Century America!!!

Ladies:  wanna be loved even when unlovable?  BUT won't give respect until it's earned!!'

What if he said "I respect you but don't love you anymore".
When you say "I still love you, but don't respect you anymore".
Needn't be words!!  Actions, tone, expression.

Courtship:  He treated her with time, attention, tenderness, affections, communication, praise service...
She treated his with admiration, appreciation, recognition, confidence and trust, looked up not down.

Then Marriage:  routine - granted - disappointments - slights - hurts - wounds - fester
                                                            1) what they desperately need
                                                            2)  what God clearly commands
So, she feels unloved and therefore withholds respect, and so he feels disrespected so he withholds love, and so on and so on downward.

Can we Reverse the cycle?  Rev. 2:4-5
Remember --- Repent ---- Do the Things You Did at First

You cannot hope to get what you need by withholding from your spouse what he/she needs.  (then did it unconsciously, NOW do it consciously .. on Purpose!!!)

GUYS:  #1.  She needs to be loved!  (unconditionally)
              #2.  She needs to feel loved (which means loved her in a way meaningful to her)
              #3.  This need is God-given.  (legitimate!  before the fall!)
              #4.  This is a marital need  (ie:  You are the solution, remedy)
    Eph. 5:33 (first part)

GALS:  #1.  He needs to be respected   (unconditionally)
              #2.  He needs to feel respected in a way that's meaningful to him.
              #3.  this need is God - given.  (legitimate!  before the fall!!)
               #4.  This is a marital need  (You = the solution, remedy)
     Eph. 5:33 (last part)

FOR BOTH!!  this is a Christian Obligation  - Eph. 5:21

Touchstone verse = Prov. 14:1