FAMILY MATTERS # 1
GCC MESSAGE: August 2016
What is a Family?
“The union of one man and one woman in matrimony ( in a marriage) which
is normally blessed with one or several natural or adopted children.”
What is a marriage?
Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God and normally consummated in a marriage bed.
The family is God’s ideas and not man made therefore it should honor God and its health depends on God’s hand.
I. THE MARRIAGE COVENANT.
The Idea of Covenant. The term "covenant" is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. ( Dictionary)
A covenant vs A Contract?
A contract: an agreement between two parties. It often stipulates the rules of engagement these are called terms and conditions through which the parties can continue or end the contract.
As long as a relationship meets the needs of both individuals involved and is considered advantageous by both sides, the marriage is worth sustaining. If one or both partners decide that they will be better off by breaking up the marriage and entering into a new, better marital union, nothing can legitimately keep them from pursuing their self-interest, self-realization, and self-fulfillment.
In a contract parties put conditions for which the contract can end. It is conditional and it is based on convenience.
God initiated it.
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 
ADAM accepted the Gift of marriage
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.” 
A marriage covenant is an agreement between two people which is established before God as a witness, this agreement will be permanent because it is safeguarded by God himself.
A covenant has conditions also but these are to enhance the enjoyment and the health of the relationship.
Deut 28:1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.”
II. THE NATURE OF THE MARRIAGE COVENANT
1. It is a permanent RelationshipIt is a serious commitment that someone should not just enter in lightly.
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” The family can only be sustained by God, when the connection is broken everything breaks apart.
The benefits are conditional on how you walk in the covenant.
2. It is sacred and exclusive.
Marriage is not merely a human agreement between two consenting individuals (a “civil union”); it is a relationship before and under God (Genesis 2:22). That is why homosexuality is a sin and an insult to the God of creation, that is why adultery is sinful and it brings a lot of pain in a marriage.
No 3rd party should enter into your relationship, either through infidelity or through controlling your life.
3. It is mutual and intimate.
Two people mutually agree.
No one should ever force you into a relationship, even God does not. Your relatives, your pastors do not have a right to force a spouse on you. It is two consenting adults, who mutually agree to walk together.
The oneness of marriage is a joy of the two consenting adults. You may not have money but intimacy will always be the joy of your marriage.
III. A WORD TO THE UN-MARRIED
You need to give your future marriage a chance to thrive.
1. Background ( where and how you grew up)
2. Your Faith in God ( if you are a believer choosing a person who does not believe in your God will be a grave mistake and will bring pain)
3. Your personality
4. Your character
5. Your chemistry ( Are you able to work together? Are you friends?)
You find this out by observation, by asking the people who know the person well and you knowing the person. Do not marry strangers and in a community do not isolate yourself.
Remember this is not just a pair of shoes, this is life, this is your calling and it is permanent. Be sober do not waste your life on a wrong relationship.
IV. BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP.
1. Disengaging And Engaging
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  ESV
24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.  NLT
The couple has to leave parents in order to become one.LEAVE in order to CLEAVE
Disengage in order to Engage.
Physical departure in important, do not marry and stay in your father’s house or compound.Do not leave and then continue to ask your mother about what to cook, what to wear etc. Learn all you can while you are there and minimize interaction in order to focus on your lives as a couple.
This also involves in-laws, let not in-laws run your home, you both run your home. Love them but limit them from running your home.
LEAVING MUST BE MENTAL AND EMOTIONALOne young man came crying, he had thought the wife was going to fill the gap of his deceased mother. We do not marry mothers we marry wives and companions.
Women do not compare your husband to your father, this is a different person.When issues happen in your marriage please do not bring your mother or father, first run to the church, to your spiritual counselors. Involve the in-laws later.
ENGAGING ( CLEAVING)Requires physical presence.
Do whatever you can to be a man and woman who live in the same house with your spouse and kids.Children grow better where there is both a male and female adult in their lives.
Economic issues have interfered so much in the marriage bond. Working from far causes many issues. Many people live in other countries for 1, 2 or three years, that is a very hard situation to your family. Unfortunately a big percentage of infidelity comes from this situation and usually broken marriages.I strongly discourage married men leaving their families to go for many years away from their families, please don't do it. I have seen enough causalities and usually the kids suffer.
2. Accommodation and Mutual Submission
Eph 5:21 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 
Each individual makes room for the other.
You both give up some of your individual freedoms or rights and welcome the others’.
Marriage is like a dance. You have to learn to dance to the rhythm.
You learn to embrace, to let go, move slow or fast, you learn to change roles.
When you do it willingly and well it is a joy but when you resist you have a disappointing dance.
n a dance or play each has a role. Before the play or dance you are alone and only imagine how it will be, when you get into the game then you get to play your role. It is not comfortable at first but you practice, adjust and later on get used.
You managed your money now you have to report all your expenditure.
You came home anytime you wanted but now you have let your spouse know where you are going and what you are doing. You have to learn to use the wardrobe together to share the soap and toothpaste. YOU NEED TO LET GO AND YOU NEED TO EMBRACE THE OTHER’S VIEW. IT CEASES TO BE YOUR WAY AND IT BECOMES OUR WAY.
3. We Adjust Throughout Life.
CHANGE IS A LIFE-LONG PROCESS, you cannot live your marriage to chance.
Constantly learn to adjust your life and roles to the circumstances that are going on.
Pregnancies come Children come.
Job issues: when the man loses a job and you the wife has one, that is the time to for you to provide.
When sicknesses come, you the husband may need to cook, feed the kids and wash clothes.
V. GOD’S COVENANT WITH MAN.
31 “The time is coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”declares the Lord. 
"...at that time [before the cross] you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:12-13
“ If your house has a it doesn’t matter how much spackle you use, In the same way, a family can’t succeed if you aren’t maintaining its foundation.” ( Dr. Tony Evans)
A Christian family begins and ends with each member’s personal commitment to God.The key to A HEATHLY FAMILY is a healthy relationship with God. When the members of the family submit to God, it is always easier to submit to each other. WHERE IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD TODAY?
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 The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Dt 28:1). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Mt 19:3–6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
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