Steps Toward a More ‘Perfect’ Home!
1st Corinthians 7
Sept 8, 2013 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
7:24-27) – A
A. Some Questions to answer this month:
1. What IS a Christian’s home?
2. What makes a Christian’s Home different than others?
3. What makes it “better”?
4. Why work so hard to have one?
5. Is it really worth having? Why not just settle for what you already have?
B. There is no better kind of home – and I am quite convinced!
1. Living together? Is not a home! No commitment, and no permanence!
2. Single parent home? Only half of a home!
3. Godless and Christless home? Just one step away from hell!
4. If there IS anything good in your home, any kindness, any selfless loving acts in your home, it is ONLY because of the effect of Jesus Christ on this world!
You don’t just “have” a
1. Built upon the Rock – not sand – not on everyone else’s ideas
2. Only God’s kind of home can weather the storms, and remains standing!
3. It is not impossible to build one! Hard, but not impossible!
4. But, most of all, It is worth having!
A. There are SO many problems with our homes
2. Bitter envying
5. Hardness of heart – all problems come from here (Dt 24:1; Mt 19:7,8) – our worst problems are within us (Pr 11:29)
7. Extreme expectations
8. Abuses – physical, emotional
9. No personal sacrifices for the other person
10. No time for God
11. Rebellious and troublesome children
12. Not to mention all the externals like:
a. Lack of money
b. Demonic powers – films, music, reading materials, internet activities, games you play
c. Health problems
13. The list goes on and on!
B. These problems are completely overwhelming to everyone
1. No one can fix all these problems
2. No one can just “live” with them
3. No wonder so many have given up on the concept of marriage for life
C. Marriage has never been the fix, nor was having children, or money, or holidays
D. But, Fixing the husband/wife relationship in a home can save thousands of lives down the line!
1. First in your own children
2. Then in their influence
3. And then in their own children
4. And in just a few generations, one godly home can affect thousands and thousands
5. Listen to a Powerful Example of Leaving a Godly Legacy
a. A great example of this is Jonathan Edwards, the Puritan Preacher from the 1700s. Jonathan and his wife Sarah left a great godly legacy for his 11 children.
At the turn of the 20th century,
American educator and pastor A.E. Winship decided to trace out the descendants
of Jonathan Edwards almost 150 years after his death.
His findings are astounding, especially when compared to a man known as
Max Jukes. Jukes’ legacy came to
the forefront when the family trees of 42 different men in the
c. Jonathan Edwards’ godly legacy includes:
3) 3 governors,
4) 3 mayors,
5) 13 college presidents,
6) 30 judges,
7) 65 professors,
8) 80 public office holders,
9) 100 lawyers and
10) 100 missionaries.
d. Max Jukes’ descendants included:
1) 7 murderers,
2) 60 thieves,
3) 50 women of debauchery,
4) 130 other convicts.
5) 310 paupers (with over 2,300 years lived in poorhouses)
6) 400 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living.
e. It was estimated that Max Juke’s descendants cost the state more than $1,250,000.
f. This is a powerful example showing how a parent’s godly life can have a profound effect on their children.
E. It begins in YOUR heart and in YOUR behaviour – not in anyone else (Psalm 101:2)!!!
F. Let’s continue to look at How God says to Have a Home
G. Starts from the top – with just two people: a man and a woman in 1st Corinthians 7
A. Respect the Flesh (1Cor 7:1,2)
1. Have strict limits to what you will allow yourself to do around the opposite sex
a. It’s important to draw some lines
b. Joseph in Genesis 37 had limits on what he would allow himself to do
c. Potiphar’s wife had no limits
d. Joseph’s limits saved HIM from a lot of trouble, and God blessed him for it!
2. What does RESPECT look like?
a. Distance - No touching the opposite sex
1) That means, don’t hold hands, hug, want to dance with. It all leads to something the Bible calls ‘fornication’!
2) Every TV show, every movie has a major emphasis on guy/girl things
3) You can’t watch a good war movie without at least 3 bedroom scenes
4) People have been so conditioned to think you can’t have a life if you are not with a boyfriend or girlfriend!
5) Not stoic and wearing burkas, but having a clean and godly view of the flesh – holy kiss!
b. Treat women as sisters (1Tim 5:1,2)
1) Treat girls like they were SISTERS, with ALL purity!
2) Have a little bit of “Oooo, yuk!” Until you are ready to get married
3) Let them go first.
4) Protect them from jerks and
5) THEN, when you get married, you will be ready to honour that woman like the treasure she really is (1Peter 3:7)
c. Save some things for marriage (Heb 13:4)
1) Like the bed
2) Like all the mystery and fun of discovery that only comes when two people fall in love and then commit to knowing and growing together
3) Save having children for marriage
4) These are some things that are ONLY for marriage – where the two of you are in a protected relationship!
d. Treat men with the utmost respect – don’t worship men, but honour them – that is IF you want a real man!
1) Honour manhood – know what it really is
2) Encourage men to Lead, make decisions, reject passivity, take responsibility, and expect the greater reward!
3) Quit making fun of Biblical manhood – it is the only thing that can hold your family together!
4) Praise manhood – not bullying, or brutality, but strength, and pride, and accomplishment!
5) Or else, this world is only going to be filled more with wimpy noodles of men who crumble at every trial!
3. Fear fornication and its consequences
a. Define fornication
1) Fornication (1Cor 7:1,2) means any sexual act where you take what belongs to your mate, and you give it to someone else!
2) That includes:
a) Pornography – porneia in the Greek – emotional adultery
b) Sex before marriage – Prostitution, harlotry, whoredom – save your sex for your future spouse!
c) Sex outside of your marriage – like Adultery (mental AND blatent physical adultery)
d) Homosexuality (Rom 1:29)
e) Incest (1Cor 5:1)
f) Fornication is a serious sin because it deprives the other person of what you promised to make available to them by covenant till death (1Cor 7:1-4)
b. Don’t think all this stuff doesn’t matter – fornication is not helping anyone have better, happier, longer marriages!
c. Look at the consequences of fornication
3) God’s judgment
4. So, Respect Your Body, and the Bodies of Others
a. This used to be taught and drilled into us
b. Now, no one respects other people’s bodies – laugh at them
c. And no one respects their own body – hate it
B. Reserve Yourself for One Marriage Partner (1Cor 7:2)
1. Marriage means Commitment – real commitment
a. That’s why marriage is a VOW – not a fad, or something you can throw away if it doesn’t seem to work!
b. Marriage is the commitment of your life to another person, for life!
c. “Till death do us part” is a serious commitment!
d. “A long-lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in - and live by - the solemn promise they made.” - Darlene Schacht
2. Marriage is AWESOME!
a. “Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” - Fawn Weaver
b. “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
c. “Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. Its the way you love your partner every day.” - Barbara De Angelis
d. “There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.” - Ronald Reagan
e. “There is no greater risk than matrimony. But there is nothing happier than a happy marriage.” - Former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli
3. It is WORTH the wait!
4. Sex and the marriage bed is UNDEFILED – not filthy and wicked
5. But ALL sex outside of marriage is wrong – is fornication, and God will judge it!
6. To avoid fornication, get married!
a. Have your own wife
b. Have your own husband
c. Not someone else’s
d. But Your Own!
7. Does that mean that marriage has no problems? On the contrary!
a. There are now TWO sinners in the home – each with their own likes and dislikes, each with their own selfishness, and each with their own stubbornness
b. But they CAN survive and even thrive in their marriage
c. If they invited a THIRD Person into their home and relationship
1) A sense of the presence of God in the home is missing, and it shows in our nation.
2) Before we can begin to address and fix all the myriads of problems in our homes, in our marriages, in your teenagers, in our children… we have to get God back where He belongs – in the very centre of our homes!
3) That’s where God wants to dwell (Ex 29:45,46; Lev 26:12; Eph 3:17; Rev 21:3)
4) But He only goes where He is invited (Rev 3:20)!
C. Honour Each Other (1Cor 7:3)
1. This is where we fail. These next three points expose our weakness
2. Your priority is your mate – that person you married
a. The person you PROMISED that you would always keep first in your life
3. That other half of your life is THE most important person in your life next to the Lord Jesus Christ!
4. ‘Due benevolence; is some big words! They mean a lot!
a. Yes, God is talking about what we OWE our marriage partner! What is due them!
b. Benevolence is kindness, when you do things that make the OTHER person happy
5. In other words, honour the other’s needs and wants ahead of your own
a. What are your wife’s needs?
b. What is your husband’s needs?
c. Do you even know?
d. You probably make fun of each other’s needs and mock them because they have not met yours – it is a vicious cycle! It MUST be broken
6. To honour is to…
a. Give high rank or position in the home
b. Make the other person feel famous
c. Praise the other person, just because of who they are!
d. Prefer the other over your friends and hobbies. Above your pride and hurts!
e. Honour each other – in private, and especially in public!
1) This is not just my husband, this is my friend (Song 5:16)
2) God honours US! Can we not honour and bless each other?
7. Do you do that?
a. Men love praise – and need it (Prov 27:21)
b. Women need praise (Prov 31:30)
D. Give Up Control (1 Cor 7:4,5)
1. See the word ‘power’?
2. Who has the real power in your home and in your relationship?
a. Usually, in this modern world, they won’t admit it, but it is the women!
b. Men are so forceful and so brutal sometimes, but the real power is in the women
1) They control the home
2) They control the bed
3) They overrule the husband
4) They set the spirit in the home (and it is usually sour)
c. That is how the devil has taken the homes and made them a living hell!
d. It ought to be GOD who is Lord of your home! And HE says yield to each other 100%!
1) 100% of the control of your body, you turn over to your mate – not 50% or 75% but all of it!
2) Your husband doesn’t control your spirit, but he does have power over your body
3) The same is true with the wife!
4) It is not one sided. It is SCARY!
5) This is referred to as mutual submission
6) The two of you are ONE flesh (Gen 2:23,24)
7) Each person yielding to the control of the other
8) That’s hard! Because rarely does the other person really care about anything but their own needs
9) That’s why I try very hard to stop people from getting married until they are ready to give that power over to the person they think they are in love with!
3. To Defraud means to Rob, Cheat the Other Person (7:5)
a. Marriage is two becoming ONE, right?
b. But God gives only one reason for that ONE to not be one – to not be close, and together, and soft towards each other, working together as a TEAM
1) And it is not because of a fight (Eph 4:25-26)
2) And it is not because of a fault that you discover
3) But only for fasting and prayer!
c. Notice how important GOD has to be in your home, where, when you see that there is a problem, instead of going into a fight, you go to prayer! Serious prayer
d. AND you let the other person KNOW that you are seeking God’s help, not just blaming them, and attacking them back
e. To PUNISH your mate by withholding love and kindness and intimacy would be to defraud them – cheat them, ROB them of what you promised them!
f. To Hold onto your grudge and seek revenge in your home is wrong!
4. To yield control
a. There needs to be absolute trust in God over trusting the other person. That’s why GOD has to be in your home – at the very CENTRE of it
1) Yes, there must be effort by the other person to earn TRUST
2) But even when it is not earned, it can be given!
3) IF… you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in your life!
4) IF… Jesus is LORD of your life and your emotions and your faith, and your home
b. There has to be the constant supply of GRACE from God (James 4:6) – grace is the ability to overlook pain and hurt and problems – only GOD can give you THAT ability! Better get it from Him every morning!!!
c. There has to be love for the other person – seeing no fault (Song 4:7)
5. IF YOU DO NOT YIELD CONTROL TO YOUR MATE, YOU WILL ULTIMATELY YIELD CONTROL TO THE DEVIL (1Cor 7:5)
E. Stay This Way (1Cor 7:27) – with God’s help! And even GROW there!
1. There are exceptions – there are always exceptions
2. But stay the way you are
3. Especially if you are married
4. If you are not married, live for God – accomplish His will
5. It is not wrong to get married, but don’t let marriage be your goal – let God and His will be your life’s goal!
6. God will supply your help AS you serve Him
A. There are SO many problems with our homes
B. These problems are completely overwhelming to everyone
C. But, Fixing the husband/wife relationship in a home can save thousands of lives down the line!
D. Starts from the top – with just two people: a man and a woman in 1st Corinthians 7
1. We all need to Respect the Flesh
a. Respect Your Body, and the Bodies of Others
b. Have strict limits to what you will allow yourself to do around the opposite sex
c. Keep your Distance - No touching the opposite sex
d. Treat women as sisters (1Tim 5:1,2)
e. Save some things for marriage (Heb 13:4)
f. Treat men with the utmost respect – don’t worship men, but honour them – that is IF you want a real man!
g. Fear fornication and its consequences
2. Reserve Yourself for One Marriage Partner
a. Marriage is the commitment of your life to another person, for life!
b. Marriage is AWESOME!
c. It is WORTH the wait!
3. Honour Each Other
a. Your priority is your mate – that person you married is THE most important person in your life next to the Lord Jesus Christ!
b. Constantly give ‘Due benevolence’ - kindness, do things that make the OTHER person happy
c. In other words, honour the other’s needs and wants ahead of your own
4. Give Up Control
a. Who has the real power in your home and in your relationship?
1) It ought to be God
2) ‘He’ says it must be your better half!
b. Don’t ever Rob, or Cheat the Other Person of what they need!
1) To Hold onto your grudge and seek revenge in your home is wrong!
2) To PUNISH your mate by withholding love and kindness and intimacy would be to defraud them – cheat them, ROB them of what you promised them!
5. Yield control
a. By absolutely trusting God over trusting the other person
b. By getting a constant supply of GRACE from God
c. By choosing to stay in love with the other person – seeing no fault
6. IF YOU DO NOT YIELD CONTROL TO YOUR MATE, YOU WILL ULTIMATELY YIELD CONTROL TO THE DEVIL (1Cor 7:5)
E. Stay This Way – it pays off!