Families

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If you’re single, be careful about who you’re dating

  • Christ should be your fulfillment, and you are in many ways more able to serve God (1 Corinthians 7:6-7)
    • The whole idea of a “soul mate” is actually from Hindu beliefs, and is not biblical
    • Marriage is one of the most difficult things a person can do, so anything involving it should be considered deeply
      • Imagine that person never changing, and ask yourself if you can live with that for the rest of your life here
  • If you do date around, all of the normal rules of good relationships apply
  • Don’t date or get in relationships with non-believers (2 Corinthians 6:14)
    • There’s an entire world of existence you will never have in common with them over
    • Pay less attention to what they say and more about their lifestyle (Matthew 7:15-20)
  • Don’t date anyone that places anything above God, since they are worshiping an idol
    • Addicts will value addiction over their partner, and you will waste the limited time you have on this earth
      • This can range from alcohol to pornography to prescription drugs to television
      • That person need help, and your devotion to them doesn’t guarantee they’ll get it
      • Direct them to a recovery group and see how they respond, leave them if they don’t genuinely change permanently
    • (For men) materialistic women are willing to create debt for what they want
      • They will lead men to financial ruin, especially after they’ve gotten married
      • Teach them about good financial principlesleave them if they don’t want to learn
    • (For men) watch for women who maintain extremely close ties with their families
      • She hasn’t broken her ties from her parents (Genesis 2:24)
      • The only permissible family life will involve her extended family
      • Deliver an ultimatum that they will eventually have to pick you or the family, leave them if they don’t choose you
  • Selfish people willing to manipulate to get what they want will only use you, leave them as soon as you find out
    • Self-absorbed people care way too much about themselves
      • Self-absorbed men might be overly concerned about image or won’t stop talking about themselves
      • A self-absorbed woman constantly shows her superiority and is willing to enforce it
      • Some of these people may even become church leaders, but watch out for their motivations
      • Even if they are attractive, there’s no room for anyone else but themselves in a relationship
    • Sexually promiscuous people use their sexuality to gain attention, love and power
      • Sexually promiscuous women often dress provocatively and flirt around
      • Sexually promiscuous men will frequently date many different women at once
      • They haven’t yielded their sexuality to God, and often have no problem with premarital sex
      • They may even be on the worship team in a church
      • Unfaithful before marriage will become unfaithful after marriage
    • (For women) lying men will have actions, lifestyle and a past that doesn’t exactly seem to line up
      • If he has any secrets he has made a habit of hiding them
      • He can’t be trusted with anything, and it will become more of a problem later with more responsibilities
    • (For women) deadbeat men can’t be motivated to do anything for anyone but themselves
      • This is especially bad if he’s unwilling to care for children from a previous marriage
      • He won’t care for the responsibilities of a new partner if he doesn’t take care of his current responsibilities
      • Nobody but God can motivate them to take more action
    • (For women) lazy men are constantly unwilling to work
      • Everyone should work, and it’s a basic rule of life (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
      • He will be dead weight if he’s unwilling to treat a relationship like a partnership
    • (For women) men who refuse to grow up and take care of a home should be avoided
      • These men don’t know how to cook, clean or iron their own shirt
      • It’s a mistake to be married to them, and they need to be encouraged to find a mentor before they are good to pursue
  • Some people make life difficult for no reason at all, and they’re not worth your time
    • Controlling people need to micro-manage others’ lives
      • Controlling men talk down to others, demean women and impede God’s working on others
        • A man that is unwilling to treat his wife as an equal will oppress his wife later (1 Peter 3:7)
      • Controlling women have massive trust issues
        • A woman’s unwillingness to submit will cause constant conflict once married (Ephesians 5:21)
      • Some of them will sound spiritual and quote Scripture, but they are insecure and prideful
      • Leave these people alone, they need to be broken by God
    • (For men) argumentative/contentious women have unresolved bitterness that guide every part of their life
      • The loneliness of being single is better (Proverbs 21:9)
      • They will need to get their life together before they are ready to pursue a relationship
    • (For women) physically abusive men can’t control their anger when it boils over
      • Even if it’s tempting, there are no excuses to rationalize the behavior
      • Marriage will become a minefield of avoiding his outbursts

Having a family is a tremendous act of discipline and effort

  • Keep your spouse as your first priority and continue loving her deeply like when you first met them
    • Don’t dilute or distract the relationship with pornography or other romantic possibilities
    • Divorce is only permissible in the case of infidelity, but is still something God hates (Matthew 5:31-32)
    • If you’re married to an unbeliever and they’ll still stay married to you, don’t divorce them (1 Corinthians 7:10-16)
  • Your children are your most important ministry until they become adults
    • You need to show them through example
      • Every rule about parenting applies here
      • Your love of the Lord
      • How you know and obey God’s Word yourself, not just to keep them disciplined
    • Teach your children about God
      • Tell them frequently about what God has done, in your life and in the Bible
      • Teach them about the importance and value of God’s Word
      • Train them to love and serve the Lord fully
    • Someday when they are ready, you should lead them to accept Jesus as their savior personally
    • This is a long-term goal across decades
      • Don’t try to rush it or “force-feed” what you want them to know
      • If you’re successful, someday you’ll see them off and they may be killed for their faith in the Lord

God created the family with a very specific format

  • The relationship between a man and a woman should represent the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5)
    • The man is the head of the household (Ephesians 5:22-24)
      • God created men for leading and women for supporting that leadership
      • God prophesied that women would have a contrary desire to the husband (Genesis 3:16)
        • This is extremely controversial in many churches
    • The woman should be the most important person in the husband’s life (Ephesians 5:23-33)
      • It’s extremely hard for a man to love a wife who is constantly unsubmissive, which is why the wife needs to submit first
  • Children should obey their parents and fathers in turn shouldn’t provoke their children (Ephesians 6:1-4)
    • Spoiled children are a shame to any family (Proverbs 29:15)
    • Children need discipline to learn how to obey their parents (Proverbs 29:17)
    • If an adult child comes back, they should be forgiven fully (Luke 15:11-32)
      • This doesn’t mean, however, that the adult child shouldn’t be exempt from suffering the consequences of their bad decisions
  • Extended family is not talked about in the Bible with any universal clarity
    • Spiritual family, however, is strongly implied to be universally more important
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