By Greg Steele
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Jasper
I don’t know a lot about construction or really building anything from scratch, but I do know it’s not an easy thing. If you are building a house, there is a lot of hard work involved. It takes long hours. It takes financial sacrifice.
Well, there’s just as much hard work in having a good marriage. It is hard work to have a good family. If it takes all that time and effort to build a house, we should not think for a minute that somehow marriage and family are just going to automatically work.
If you’re building a house, it helps to have a good general contractor. If you are going to build a family or marriage, it is important to have a good general contractor.
You can’t build a marriage and you can’t build a family unless Jesus Christ is the general contractor. It says in Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain.”
There is no special pill when it comes to the matter of marriage and family. Reading a book or attending the right seminar will not be the guarantee to having a great family. Marriage and family will take you a lifetime to build.
In our passage of Scripture, we see that the first family was formed by God. It was founded by His power and approved by His authority. There is an authority by which you make decisions, determine the value system and build your family on.
The goal in a marriage and a family is unity. The goal is to leave and bond. What does that mean? To leave your father and mother means 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. You cut the strings of dependency. You have to learn to develop independency in your marriage, “a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife.”
That word “bond” in other translations is “cleave.” 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.
A big myth about marriage and family is that we are automatically compatible to one another. It takes a lifetime of marriage to develop compatibility.
One of the things we have to understand to have a good family/marriage is that we are all sinners. You married a sinner. You are a sinner. The whole family may be saved, but you are all sinners. Christian dads battle temptation. Christian moms struggle and blow it sometimes. Christian boys and girls act like pagans sometimes. We are all sinners.
Not only are we all sinners, we are all selfish and damaged goods. But, we are all redeemable. We can all be saved by God’s grace. God can do a work of grace in all of our lives.
You don’t have to live with the guilt of being a sinner. You can be everything God intends you to be by His grace. A family where grace is understood makes all the difference in the world.