Part 2
A Firm Family Foundation

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. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Gen 2:18-25 (KJV)

Some people might be wondering is there anything in these messages for me. Your children are grown and gone, you are single or living alone. But no matter where you are in life, you still have a family. And these messages will apply to you regardless of where you are, whether you have children or not or whether you are married or not.

1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:

Psalms 127:1 (KJV)

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.

Psalms 127 is in a part of the Psalms we know as "Song of Degrees"  there are 15 of them altogether. Psalm 127 is called a "Song of Degrees for Solomon"
Solomon of course was the son of King David. One of his greatest accomplishments was that he was chosen to build the temple in the Old Testament.

He was a man who understood building. he understood what was involved in building.

He would certainly understood that building was hard work. Building is not an easy thing. If you have a construction project there is hard work involved. It takes hard work to build a business. It takes long hours, it takes financial sacrifice, it takes training, if you are going to build a good business.

And by the way "Yes You Can Build A Successful Business Without The Help Of The Government!

It is also hard work to have a good marriage and to have a good family. Why would some 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.

1. He is involved in building a home for our future; a place called heaven. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you…”

2. He is involved in building a place for our faith, the church. He said, “On this rock I'll build my church.”

3. 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.

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.

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.

A God Oriented Foundation

  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.

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 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.

1. 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 that would be a good thing, if you had a Christian mom and dad who taught you the Bible, taught you to love Jesus and to love one another.
That would be a good foundation i which to build your own family on.

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, that’s a bad pattern to follow.

If alcohol or drugs were in your family, that is a bad pattern to follow. 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 that’s all you ever saw, then you would think that’s the way to do it, but it is a poor pattern to follow.

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 today’s culture today is the Osbornes, the Simpsons, Family Guy, Desperate Housewives, It has been estimated that 75% of the new programing coming out this fall is in some way homosexually based.

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.

There has to be a source of authority. I'm going show you what God says about the husband and father in the family. I'm going to show you about what the Bible says about a wife and mother and the children.

A Goal Oriented Foundation

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.

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.

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.

You cut some of those strings of dependency. You have to learn to develop some independency in your marriage.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

God 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”.

The word "Join" means 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.

Ask yourself this question. “What is life like for my spouse having to live with me?”

A Grace Oriented Foundation

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.”

What Happened?

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.

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.

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.”

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!”

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!

What is going on in your family today?

Are there needs that should be addressed?

Is there forgiveness that needs to be extended?

Are there confessions that need to be made?

Do you need to pray for your family today?

Are you a wayward son or daughter like the prodical son that just needs to come home today?

If there are "There Is Help In Jesus"

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A Seven Part Series