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A Fantastic Family Foundation


A Fantastic Family Foundation
Psalm 127:1, Genesis 2
We are going to look at Genesis 2 and talk about a fantastic family foundation, a real foundation upon which to have a strong family.
Before we look specifically at these verses, I want you to turn to Psalm 127, verse 1. I think this verse will prepare the way for what I want to say this morning. This chapter is a chapter about family and the importance of family and the importance of children in the family.
It begins by saying, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen wait but in vain."
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. So it is important to see the centrality of the way that psalm is placed.
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.
But when you come to this psalm there is a difference as well. 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 labor in vain that build it."
As you know from your Bible history, Solomon was the great king of 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. Some of you businessmen know it's hard work. It takes long hours. It takes financial sacrifice. It takes extensive training if you are going to build a good business. 
I wonder why we think if it takes all that time and effort to build a business 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 building three very important units. Number one, he is involved in building a home for our future, a place called heaven. He is involved in building a place for our faith, the church. "On this rock I'll build my church." But He is also interested in building a home for your family. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor 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 attend a seminar that would be a cure-all to having a great family. Or you could just come here and hear the preacher and get one set of principles and use them, it would solve all the problems of your family, or better yet, avoid them to begin with.
But that’s not the way it works 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. They went down into those rock quarries and carved out these massive stones and these stones became the foundation for Solomon's temple.
Geologists and seismologists in Israel have had concern for quite some time about the possibility of an earthquake on the temple mount. They were concerned because most of the temple mount is rubble, an ancient foundation.
Solomon knew the importance of a good, godly foundation in a marriage. That's why I want us to look again at Genesis 2. I want to show you from the first family how you can have a fantastic family foundation. I want to give you some basic building blocks upon which to build a solid family foundation.
If you want a fantastic family you need,
I.       A God Oriented Foundation.
Look at verse 18.
That is saying that in order to have a good family you have to have a God-oriented foundation. You have to have an adequate authority for your family.
Every family has some source of authority 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 in which you have been brought up, the culture which surrounds you today. I would venture to guess (I don't have any evidence for this, necessarily) that probably most people, when they establish a family, basically they draw from the values and the standards of their previous family. Wouldn't you think that is probably true? That's what they were brought up in.
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.
But it is a sad thing that there are children who leave those kinds of godly families and reject those godly values of their previous families and go in another direction.
For some people, if they just model what they have previously seen in their family that can be a bad thing. For instance if that family has been build on materialism. If material things have been the most important things in that family, that can be a bad thing. Or, if you saw alcohol in your family, that can be a bad thing.
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 that atmosphere and if there is anything that has caused turmoil and conflict in families today, it's the use of alcohol.
Maybe some families have had fussing and quarreling and yelling in the home.
If that's all you ever saw, then you would think that's the way to do it. 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.
It may be the culture from which you came.
Or for some of you your source of authority might be the culture around you. You may let yourself be brainwashed. You may allow the media or the standards of the so-called celebrities of our day to form your own standards and to determine how you will behave in your own family.
The media elite in America today have a concerted effort to destroy family life as you and I know it and as it ought to be. They would have you believe that's the way a family is supposed to be is the way they define it. 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.
But the Bible provides for us a fantastic family foundation. Let 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. The Bible tells us about the responsibilities and conduct of a husband and father in the family.
Ladies, where do you learn how to be a godly wife and mother? You listen and apply 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.
II. A Goal-Oriented Foundation.
Look at verse 24. This is after God brought Eve to Adam and they were married. "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. 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"? It is a very important principle. Leave your parents. Leave your previous family.
What does that mean? Of course, there is a sense in which you never really do leave the previous family. For all of the rest of your life you will be affected by your family. You will be affected by what kind of family you came from. How you solve problems, how you related to one another!
So in one sense of the word, you don't leave the family.
And in fact, 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! Allgrandpas 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'll stay home.
There is a valuable investment here. There is a special connection between grandparents and grandchildren. It is a beautiful thing to see families where there is love and sweetness.
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.
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."
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 all 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.
By the way, I believe the number one requirement for a fantastic 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.
Jesus said, God has glued you together. We are to cleave. We learn to talk with one another. We learn to live with one another.
I'm going to give you a question to ask of yourself either right now or some time later on. Write it down. "How is it living with me?" Ask yourself that question. I’ve already told Lisa that I intend to be hard to live with when I get old! She said, “What do you meant when you get old?”
How is it living with you? Do you think you’re just a barrel of fun to be around? Maybe you need to address some things in your life so it will be easier for your spouse to leave and cleave. 
Lay the foundation for a fantastic family. Make it a God-oriented foundation. Why? It will provide authority. Make it a goal-oriented foundation. Why? It will provide unity.
Here's the third block for a fantastic family.
III.A Grace Oriented Foundation.
Look at what verse 25
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, verse 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 fantastic family is that we are all sinners. You married a sinner. She married a sinner. If you really want to know what your girl thinks of you, marry her and she'll tell you.
Here’s the deal: Even in committed Christian families where mom and dad are saved, and little Johnny and Sister Susie are all saved, you are all 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 3:21
What happened? They got saved. How? By grace! You say, “How do you know?” Because that’s what grace does: it covers. 
See: 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. 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.
"He ought to be kicked out of the house." Uh, huh! That's what he deserves. Grace means he doesn't get what he deserves.
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 trash.
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."
Is that what he did? No. Because that is not the point of the story. You see, we didn’t need Jesus to tell us that sometimes good boys go bad. We know that all to well. 
But we desperately needed somehow to show us grace and forgiveness. 
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. But we need what we need.
If you want to have a fantastic family, you need to have a God-oriented family. That gives a family authority. Have a goal-oriented family. That gives a family unity. Have a grace-oriented family. That gives a family beauty.
Every head bowed.