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Psalm 127:1, Genesis 2:18-25
A FIRM FAMILY FOUNDATION
Intro: There may be some people listening to these sermons and you wonder if there is anything here for you. You may think that since your children are grown and gone that these messages do not touch your life. If you are single or living alone, you may believe that sermons about the home and family have nothing to say to you. No matter where you are in life you still have family. The things we are going to discuss today will apply to everyone here, whether you have children or not, or whether you are married or not.
We are going to our time today in Genesis 2 and talk about building A Firm Family Foundation. We are going to talk about what our families need to be strong in the Lord.
Before we look specifically at our text, I want you to turn to Psalm 127:1. I think this verse will prepare the way for what I want to say today. This Psalm is about the family, the importance of family, and the importance of children in the family. The first part of verse 1 says, Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it
Psalm 127 is in a series of psalms which bears the subscription A Song of Degrees. There are 15 of them right in the middle of the book of Psalms. It is interesting to me that the middle of the songs of degrees is a psalm that has to do with the family. I think it reminds us of the centrality of the family and the importance of the family.
You and I know that a nation is only as strong as the families that make up that nation. We also know that a church is only as strong as the families that make it up. So the placement of this psalm is very important.
Another thing I noticed as I looked through these songs of degrees is that most of them just say A Song Of Degrees. But four of these psalms say A Song Of Degrees Of David, indicating that perhaps David is the one who wrote that psalm. This psalm is different, it says at the beginning of that psalm, A Song of Degrees for Solomon. I think that is important also. Then it begins by saying, Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.
As you know from your Bible history, Solomon was a great king and he was the son of King David. The thing which probably characterized his administration was the fact that he was the one selected to build the temple in the Old Testament. Solomon was a man who understood building. He understood what was involved in building.
For instance, Solomon would surely understand that building is hard work. It's not an easy thing to build. If you have a construction project there is hard work involved. You would agree with me that it is hard work to have a good marriage. It is hard work to have a good family.
It's hard work to build a business. Businessmen know it is hard work. It takes long hours. It takes financial sacrifice. It takes extensive training if you are going to build a good business. If it takes all that time and effort to build a business, we should not think for a minute that somehow marriage and family are just going to automatically work and it won't take a lot of work.
I think Solomon would also understand that it is important that you have a good general contractor. Hiram was the general contractor for the temple in the Old Testament. He was a very capable contractor. If you are going to build a family it is important to have a good general contractor. Except the Lord building the house... You can't build a marriage and you can't build a family unless Jesus Christ is the general contractor.
Jesus was a carpenter when He lived on the earth. Jesus is involved today in three very important building projects.
· He is involved in building a home for our future; a place called heaven. He said, I go to prepare a place for you
· He is involved in building a place for our faith, the church. He said, On this rock I'll build my church.
· He is also interested in building a home for your family. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.
It takes hard work. It takes a good general contractor. There is no silver bullet when it comes to the matter of marriage and family. Most of us would like for there to be a silver bullet. If we could just read some book and have a good family. Or, if we could just attend the right seminar and find that it would be a cure-all to having a great family. Or you could just come here and hear the preacher and get one silver bullet sermon and solve all the problems of your family.
There are no silver bullets when it comes to building a family. A wedding is a piece of cake. It's easy. It just takes a few minutes of time. Marriage and family will take you a lifetime. A wedding is an event. A marriage and a family is an accomplishment.
Solomon surely understood that it takes work to have a family. It takes the Lord to have a family. But I think there is something else Solomon would surely realize. In order to build a house you have to have an adequate foundation. He would understand the importance of the foundation.
When Solomon built this temple the Bible says he built it out of rocks that were quarried from underneath the city of Jerusalem. In fact the Bible says they built it without the sound of a hammer. They went down into those rock quarries and carved out these massive stones and these stones became the foundation for Solomon's temple.
Solomon knew the importance of a good, godly foundation in a marriage. We need to take a fresh look at Gen. 2:18-25. Those verses, which teach us about the first family, teach us how we can build A Firm Family Foundation. I want to give you some basic building blocks upon which to build a solid family foundation.
I. v. 18 A GOD ORIENTED
· Look at verse 18. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. That verse teaches us that in order to have a good family you have to have a God-oriented foundation.
· The key phrase in that verse is I will make The first family was formed by God. It was founded by His power and sanctioned by His authority. You have to have an adequate authority for your family.
· Every family is built upon some source of authority. There is some basis by which you build your family; by which you make decisions for your family; by which you determine the value system of your family.
· There are basically two directions you can turn when it comes to what will be your source of authority in family.
One place you can turn is to the culture. You can turn to the culture in which you have been brought up, or the culture which surrounds you today. Most people, when they establish a family, draw from the values and the standards of their previous family. They tend to build their own family and make it like the family in which they grew up.
For many people that can be a good thing. If you had a Christian mother and dad and they loved the Word of God and they loved the Lord and if they taught you the Bible and Bible morality and taught you to love Jesus and love one another, then you have a marvelous family heritage. That would be a good foundation on which to build your family.
Of course, it is a sad thing that there are some children who leave those kinds of godly families. They reject the godly values of their parents and their previous families and go in another direction.
Some people just model their family after what they knew growing up. That might not be a good thing at all!
For instance if your family was built on materialism; if material possessions were the most important thing in that family, thats a bad pattern to follow.
If alcohol or drugs were in your family, that is a bad pattern to follow. Does it bother you when you a couple in a restaurant with small children and mom and dad are drinking alcohol in front of those children? Chances are those children are going to grow up in an atmosphere of turmoil and conflict. One of the greatest tragedies in families today, is the use of alcohol by parents. Their choices have brought untold sufferings upon themselves and the children they raise!
Maybe some families have nothing but fussing and quarreling and yelling in the home. If you saw family arguments and whoever yelled the loudest and got the most violent won, then you may perpetuate that in your own family. If thats all you ever saw, then you would think thats the way to do it, but it is a poor pattern to follow. It may be the culture from which you came.
· Others find their source of authority in the culture around them. They have been brainwashed by the culture. They allow the media or the standards of the so-called celebrities of our day to serve as the basis for their own standards. They allow the culture to determine how they will behave in their family.
The media elite in America today are making a concerted effort to destroy family life as we know it and as it ought to be. The culture is doing everything in its power to undermine and totally destroy the biblical foundation for the family. The standard in todays culture today is the Osbornes, the Simpsons, and the Bunkers. The world would have you believe that's the way a family is supposed to be. The whole idea of mocking morality and belittling the institution of marriage and the family is what we are hearing in our culture today.
One of the trends among the so-called celebrities is for women to have babies and not be married. That's the in thing now. Just pick out a guy and have a baby. A baby becomes like an accessory like a piece of jewelry. You have a diamond ring and a diamond necklace and now you have a baby on the side.
If that is your source of authority, you are headed for some difficult days in your life and in your family.
· I want to show you how to build A Firm Family Foundation. The way to do that is for your foundation be a God-oriented foundation. Look at verse 18. And the Lord God said... This is God talking. God is the One who is establishing the institution of marriage and the family. I will make... Marriage is a divine institution. Family is a divine institution.
A bunch of cave men didn't say, Why don't we just have a marriage and let's just have family. It came from God! Marriage and family is God's idea. So we must learn from God how a family is put together. We must get God's instruction in family.
· You can learn a great deal from books. You can learn a great deal from marriage counselors. You can certainly go to seminars and there is research out there that can be helpful to you. If there is truth there, that truth can be incorporated and used creatively and effectively. But the ultimate authority of what marriage is supposed to be and what family is supposed to be is what God says in the Bible it is supposed to be.
God has given us a Book. In this Book are principles and precepts and promises which can be followed to help us have a fantastic family.
· There has to be a source of authority. I'm going to talk to you what God says about the husband and father in the family. I'm going to talk to you about what the Bible says about a wife and mother and the children.
· If you have a God-oriented foundation, if you get your convictions and values and standards and directions from what God has revealed in the Bible, then you will have a proper authority in your family. God must be the first and final authority upon which the home is built!
I. A God Oriented Foundation
II. v. 24 A GOAL ORIENTED
· God gave Eve to Adam and they were brought together as husband and wife and married. Here is what Adam says, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.
· The goal is oneness. The goal is togetherness. The goal in a marriage and a family is unity. The goal is to leave and cleave.
The Lord is saying here that there is a temporary relationship in the family life and there is a permanent relationship in family life. See that word leave? That word reveals a very important principle. It means to depart from. It tells us that when we are married, we are to leave our parents. We are to leave our previous family behind.
· What does that mean? Of course, there is a sense in which you never really do leave the previous family. I read some time ago that when a man and a woman climb in the bed every night there are six people who get in that bed. There is the man and his father and mother. There is the woman and her father and mother.
Actually, for all of the rest of your life you will be affected by your family. You will be affected by the kind of family you came from. Your upbringing will determine how you solve problems, and how you relate to one another!
So in one sense of the word, you don't leave the family. In another sense of the word, you ought not to leave the family. Hear me out. He's not saying here that you sever the relationship. He is not saying that you have no more contact. No! We grandpas and grandmas would get upset if that's the way it was. The truth of the matter is, you can just send over the grandkids and you can stay home.
So there is a sense in which you do not ever leave your family and there is a sense in which you ought not to leave your family. You do not break total contact with them.
· What does he mean when he says to leave your father and mother? He is saying that when you get married and have a family, you are putting together something which is brand-new. You are putting together something which has never existed before. It's your family. It's your marriage. The goal is unity in that new family and that new marriage.
That's why you have to cut some strings when you get married. Clip those financial strings. I told my kids when they married if you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to take care of yourself and don't be coming back to me. Now, that works most of the time, but not all the time.
You cut some of those strings of dependency. You have to learn to develop some independency in your marriage. Leave your father and mother and cleave unto your wife, and they shall be one flesh.
(Ill. One of the hardest parts is for the parents to let the children go. Children need to leave, and mom and dad need to let them go!)
· That word cleave carries several ideas. It carries the idea of compatibility. If you are going to have a good marriage and a good family, there has to be compatibility in that family. This is one of the big myths about marriage and family. It is the myth that we are just automatically compatible to one another.
Here is a couple and they get married and think they are so compatible. They enjoy being with one another. They think they are loading up and sailing away on the love boat. If that be true, a lot of couples feel like they have missed the boat. The truth of the matter is we are not very compatible.
Let me read you what Cecil Osburn said. The difficulty of achieving a happy marriage is compounded by the fact that men and women are basically incompatible. They have goals, needs, emotions, and drives which are incompatible with those of the opposite sex. We are basically incompatible. It takes a lifetime of marriage to develop compatibility. The same thing is true in a family when children are born. They are all different. Here are two children who have the same mother and father and they are total opposites.
So here you have this conglomerate of people who are different. You are trying to work it out and develop that compatibility. You are trying to learn to talk to one another. You are trying to learn to negotiate with one another.
· He says you are to cleave together. Over in Matthew 19 where Jesus quoted this statement, He said this, What God hath joined together... That's an interesting word, join. It really means to be glued together. It means to be stuck together. It refers to a bond that is so strong that it cannot be broken without serious damage to both pieces.
So, He is talking about commitment. I believe the number one requirement for a strong family is commitment. When you marry, you are committed to that wife. You are committed to that husband. When the children come along, you are committed to those children. You are committed to one another. You are committed for the long haul. You are committed to love one another and every member of that family must be very special and precious to you. Every part of that family needs to be glued together. We learn to talk with one another. We learn to live with one another.
· I'm going to give you a question to ask yourself either right now or some time later on. What is life like for my spouse having to live with me? Ask yourself that question.
· A Firm Family Foundation! If the foundation is to be firm, strong and lasting, it must be a God-oriented foundation. That kind of foundation gives a family authority. It must also be a goal-oriented foundation. That gives a family unity. You have a goal. You are working toward oneness Here's the third block for a fantastic family.
I. A God Oriented Foundation
II. A Goal Oriented Foundation
III. v. 25 A GRACE ORIENTED
· Verse 25 says. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Wouldn't it be great if there was a verse 26 in that chapter and it read like this? And they all lived happily ever after. But you and I know better than that.
· After Genesis 2 what comes next? Genesis 3. Chapter 2 closes with them being naked and unashamed. In Genesis 3:10, it says that Adam said to the Lord, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.
You are already ahead of me. You know where this is headed. In Genesis 3 we have the sad record of the first family and the entrance of sin into their family and in to the human race. Man became a sinner. Adam became a sinner. Eve became a sinner.
One of the things you have to understand to have A Firm Family Foundation is that we are all sinners. You married a sinner. Your spouse married a sinner. This is true even in Christian families! Mom and dad may be saved, and all the children may be saved. You may all be saved, but you are also all sinners. Christian dads battle temptation. Christian dads make mistakes. Christian moms struggle and blow it sometimes. Christian boys and girls and young people act like pagans some times. We are all sinners.
· Something else, we are all selfish. When the Lord confronted Adam about his sin, what do you think he did? It's that woman. It's all her fault. What do you think she did? It's that snake. Adam got even worse than that. He said, It's that woman YOU gave me. It's all your fault, God. Not only are we all sinners, but we are all selfish.
· Notice what happened in Genesis 3. It says in verse 21, And unto Adam also and to his wife, did the Lord God make clothes of skin and clothed them. What's that? That's a picture of salvation! That's a picture of grace! Grace covered their nakedness. Grace covered their sin!
Not only are we all sinners and are we all selfish, but we are all damaged goods. But, we are all salvageable. We can all be saved by God's grace. God can change you, sir. You say, I'll go over there and hear him, but its not going to help our family. Let me tell you, sir, God can do a work of grace in your life. You don't have to be the sorry thing you are today. You can be everything God intends you to be by His grace.
· A grace-oriented foundation! A family where grace is understood makes all the difference in the world. If you understand grace, then you can understand forgiveness. Grace means that you get what you don't deserve. Mercy means that you don't get what you do deserve.
· Studying this message God showed me something I had never seen before. I think the greatest example in the Bible of a grace-oriented family is the family of the prodigal son. He had one of the greatest fathers a boy could ever have. That boy said, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. He proved that he was a sinner and he proved that he was selfish. With a broken heart, that old dad gave the boy his inheritance and the boy took off to the far country. You know what happened in the far country? The Bible said he joined himself. Same word I used earlier. He glued himself.
Some of you are glued to the far country. You are glued to this old world. You are glued to the standards and the morals of this old world. You have glued yourself to this ungodly, decadent world. It will happen to you just like it did to this poor old boy. It took him all the way down to the hog pen. One day he came to himself and said, I don't deserve to be a son anymore, but I would be better off being a servant of my daddy than to live down here.
That old boy came up out of that hog pen and headed home. There at the home place was old dad. The Bible says that he saw his son afar off. The boy got closer. The father went out to him and said, You sorry piece of plunder. You embarrassed me before my whole family. You embarrassed me at church. Don't you show your face around here. Go on back where you came from. Did I miss it there?
That old boy came back. He didn't deserve anything. He deserved judgment. He deserved hell. He starts making his apologies. Father, I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. He couldn't even finish his speech because the Bible says the father put his arms around him and kissed him and put a robe on him. He said, Come on home, son. Welcome back!
· That's what it means to have a grace-oriented family. There are times when all of us need forgiveness. There are times when we don't need what we deserve. There are times when transgressions are so great that forgiveness is difficult. The test is contrition and repentance. When there is genuine repentance and remorse over sin, there should be room in our families for genuine forgiveness and restoration!
Conc: If you want to build a family with a firm biblical foundation, you need to have a God-oriented family. That gives a family authority. You need to have a goal-oriented family. That gives a family unity. You need to have a grace-oriented family. That gives a family beauty.
· What is going on in your family?
· Are there needs that should be addressed today?
· Is there forgiveness that needs to be extended today?
· Are there confessions that need to be made today?
· Do you need to come and pray for your family?
· Do you need to come to Jesus Christ for salvation?
· Are you a wayward son, like the Prodigal, and you need to come home today?
· If there are needs in your family or in your life, there is help in Jesus. Come to Him today and receive the help you need!