This Sunday at Believers Church we will continue our discussion on the ideal family, this week focusing on the “Ideal Teenager.” Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for a question and answer session with our EDGE Youth Ministry Leaders, Chris Hagan and Cindy Muhmel.

Fresh back from the Forward Youth Conference in Atlanta, they will share what they learned and how to Deal with your Teenager!

 

Ideal Father?

As a Father, you are expected to be the spiritual leader of your home.  You are criticized if your children don’t meet everyone else’s expectations.  And you dread a Father’s Day sermon, because it’s usually a “you stinking guys” sermon telling you that you aren’t doing anything right!

This Sunday is Father’s Day and we want to encourage you. So, you can just relax.  Because there really is no such thing as an ideal family, ideal marriage, ideal teenagers, ideal children or an ideal father.

Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m.,  as Pastor Scott shares with us some of his failures and successes as a Father and how he learned to partner with the ultimate Father, Father God who wants the best for you and your family.

 

 

Why is it so hard for men and women to communicate?

Maybe there is a gap between what is being said and what is heard.

Do you have an ideal family?  Or are you like the rest of us who find ourselves asking, “How do I deal with my real family?”  If so, communication is essential!

When dealing with your real family you can be sure about one thing and that is; You will never have an ideal family if you don’t learn to communicate.  Ideal Communication is the key to all relationships!

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for some laughter as we talk about the differences in the way Men and Women Communicate and learn to communicate better as Pastor Scott shares with us some Communication Strategies for An Ideal Family!

 

 

Baby Dedication 06.18.17

June 7th, 2017

If you would like to have your baby dedicated on Father’s Day, please sign up Sunday on your Communication Card, or call the church at 912.681.1440.

ideal family  “Ideal Marriage”  Believers Statesboro 06-04-17

Do you have an ideal family, or are you like the rest of us who find ourselves asking, “How do I deal with my real family?”             There really is no such thing as an ideal family, ideal marriage, ideal teenagers, or ideal children, but there is hope!  There is a real Jesus, for your real family! Today we want to talk about the “Ideal Marriage”.  Anybody have one?

In an Ideal Marriage, Jesus Must Be Number One

Right before I married Janet, I told her, “Janet, I love you but you are always going to be number two in my life, because Jesus is always going to be number one.”  Janet, just looked back at me with confidence and said, “That’s ok, Scott, you will always be number two in my life as well, because Jesus will always be number one.”  Marriage is second in our GPS – God’s Positioning System for the family, because to have a good marriage, God must come first!

Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Submit to One Another For an Ideal Marriage

Ephesians 5:21  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

Submitting to one another: This is not something that we can demand out of one another.

Submission is built on love and trust.

Submit, hupotasso.  The verb to submit translates a Greek term with a military background.

  • To submit is to accept the authority structure in which you are placed.
  • Submission involves subordinating personal interest for the well-being of the larger unit.[i]

Amos 3:3  Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

There is a four-letter word that hurts our marriages and hinders mutual submission and it’s spelled,

S-E-L-F.  We have the most trouble with S-E-L-F.  Selfishness causes most marital conflicts.

We can conquer “self” only by the power of covenant love, and dying to our old selfish nature.

Are you unselfish?  Are you selfless in your marriage?  Do you think about yourself less?

Have you taken that walk of death?  Have you died to yourself?

Jesus is the ultimate expression of love.  He is the ultimate expression of unselfishness.  That’s why Jesus must be the center of our marriages.  I must be surrendered to Christ Jesus first.

Submit to one another in the fear of God.  Not in the fear of each other.

Do it out of fear and respect for His divine order.  Ephesians 5:22-23 builds on this concept of mutual submission within the marriage.  (In other words, “How do we submit to each other?”)

How Wives Do Their Part

Ephesians 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

Not that he is the Lord, but submit to him in the same way that you have learned to submit to the Lord.

This is made easy when the husband loves the wife like Christ loves the church (vs. 25).

  • Is it hard to submit to a Jesus who loves you unconditionally, laid down His life for you unto death, has adopted you into His family, prepared a place for you in heaven, and allows you to experience abundant life here on this earth?  Not at all!
  • Now the husband will not be able to do everything that Jesus did, but he must demonstrate that same attitude of love and self-sacrifice towards his wife. 

God’s Divine Order

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

  • Two people can be equally qualified for a job, but one must lead.
  • That doesn’t mean that one is better or more loved than the other.
    • Oftentimes ladies may wish that they were the one chosen to lead.
    • Many times, men wish that they didn’t have that awesome responsibility.
  • But for God’s order and peace to rule in a family, each must fulfill the roles that they are called to. (Mutual Submission)

The Bible does not put males over females, but it does call for husbands to accept responsible leadership in the same spirit of self-giving and devotion Christ has shown for His church.

Women are never made second to men in general, but the wife is specifically called to accept her husband’s leadership.  These verses put such demands upon the Christian husband that it is impossible to see how a charge of male chauvinism could justly be made against the Bible, or how a license to exploit women or wives could ever be claimed from such texts.[ii]

How Husbands Do Their Part

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives (a direct command), just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

  • What a standard for a husband to meet. Love your wife the same way that Christ loves the church.

Not only are you to love her, but as the spiritual leader of the home, you have a responsibility for her spiritual welfare.

  • Just as Christ is washing and cleaning the church with the Word, the husband should be praying for his wife, sharing the Word of God with her, speaking the Word of God over her life, and imparting blessings into her life.

Ephesians 5:28  this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

If verses 22-27 are too hard for husbands to understand, Paul gives husbands an explanation that every man can understand.  Husbands love your wives as you love yourself, your own body!

Ephesians 5:29  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—   Nourish her.  Cherish her.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22

“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”

Winston Churchill

In Verses 30-32 Paul begins to relate the husband and wife relationship to the oneness of Christ and the Church, which he says is ‘a great mystery’ within itself (32).

Leave and Be United for An Ideal Marriage

Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Quoting Genesis 2:24)

The great mystery in marriage is that two people come together as one.

For this oneness to occur there must be a leaving first!  Many marriages are in trouble today because there has never been a real breaking away from both sets of parents.

  • As we will see in Eph. 6, children are to be subject to their parents.
    • Prior to marriage both the man and woman are under the order and rule of their parents.  Marriage is a transition away from this.
    • You leave them, join with your mate, and begin to submit to one another.
    • You will always honor, love, and respect your parents, but you are now following God’s divine order for your marriage and subsequent family.

Parents must release their children into God’s divine plan for them.

  • To try to rule the lives of your married children will only hinder God’s work within them.
  • It is acceptable and encouraged to give Godly advice, share wisdom from experience, help when needed, pray for, and bless your married children. It is not acceptable to expect them to obey and answer to you as the spiritual authority in their lives.

Ideal Oneness Reflects the Image of God

Genesis 1: 27  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.  The characteristics of God are seen in both male and female.  Together we reflect the image of God to the world.

Author Larry Crabb says, “The goal of oneness can be almost frightening when we realize that God does not intend that my wife and I find our personal needs met in marriage.  God wants our relationship to validate the claims of Christianity to a watching world.  He wants marriage to act as an example of Christ’s redeeming love, overcoming the divisive effects of sin.

The world is dying to see true, authentic, marriages.  They want to see it in your marriage and mine.

If we are one flesh, one body, we should strive to nurture that body to good health!

  • Hurting your mate only hurts you.  Depriving your mate deprives yourself.  Mistreating your mate is mistreating yourself.  Winning over your mate is winning over yourself and losing.

The Power of Oneness In An Ideal Marriage

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

The Love Triangle

You will never have an ideal marriage or anything that resembles one, if Jesus isn’t the center of your life and the center of your marriage.

  • If my marriage is to reflect the image of God to the world, it only makes sense that my personal goal should be to be transformed into the image of God.
  • I want to be like Jesus!

“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate,  but through being the right mate.” Barnett Brickner (A God Chaser)

NEXT LIFE STEP:  This week I will determine to keep Jesus as the center of my life and continue to be transformed into the image of Jesus.  Jesus first!

Love and Respect

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Husbands love your wives, if she deserves it or not.  Demonstrate God’s unconditional love.

“A person needs to be loved the most when he or she deserves to be loved the least” Unknown

Wives, just as the husband is commanded in scripture to love his wife, so is the wife commanded to respect her husband.

  • Does this mean respect your husband if he deserves it?  Does it mean to only respect your husband if he loves you 100 percent like Christ loves the Church?  Or should you give him proportional respect.  Tit for tat.  “I’ll respect him only as much as he loves me?”

Men need to feel that they are respected.

  • They will go to great lengths to earn the respect of fellow co-workers, acquaintances, and friends.  As the old saying goes, “Respect is not given it is something that you earn”. Right? Not so in a Godly marriage.
  • Wives are called to respect there husbands unconditionally, just like husband are called to love their wives unconditionally.
  • A husband should never have to earn the respect of his wife.  She should give it freely.

“The key to an ideal marriage is not expecting perfection.” Unknown

Couples, if you give love you will receive love.  If you give respect you will receive respect in return.

If you sacrifice and lay down your life for your mate the same will be done for you.  Life breeds life!

NEXT LIFE STEP:  This week I will take the Ideal Family Test and begin to work on areas that need improvement. 

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. In your own words, explain mutual submission in marriage. How do you make that happen?
  2. In marriage, couples are united as one. Why is the leaving part essential for that to happen?
  3. How do marriages reflect the image of God? How is your marriage reflecting the true image of God?
  4. Explain the Love Triangle that Pastor Scott talked about. How will that bring a couple closer?
  5. What is the best marriage advice that you can give to newlyweds that will help them in their marriage?

 

[i] Prisoner of Joy (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

[ii] Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), 1795, notes on 5:22, 23, 24-33.

 

If the divorce rate among Christian Couples is about the same or a little less than the national divorce rate, it stands to reason that we might want to change the way we are doing things.

We want to not only make decisions that lead to life personally, but we want to make decisions that lead to life for our marriages and families as well (John 10:10).
“Ideal Marriage”, anybody have one? Or are you joining us in saying, “I deal with my real marriage!”
Join us this Sundaay at 9 or 11 a.m. as we continue our “ideal family” series.

 

God wants the best for the family!  Godly families are the foundational piece that can change communities, cities, states, nations and the world.

God knows the potential for a great marriage and great kids.  As a matter of fact, this family series may be the most important series this year as far as having a potential to change our world.

Do you have an ideal family?  Or are you like the rest of us who find ourselves asking, “How do I deal with my real family?”

Join us this week at Believers at 9 or 11 a.m. as we learn more about how to deal with ourselves and our families, as we focus in on “Ideal Children”.

ideal family  “Ideal Family”             Believers Statesboro 05-21-17

Do you have an ideal family, or are you like the rest of us who find ourselves asking, “How do I deal with my real family?”

So, if you are nervous about this topic today, you can just relax.

There really is no such thing as an ideal family, ideal marriage, ideal teenagers, or ideal children.

For the next six weeks we will learn together how to deal with ourselves and our families God’s way.

There is hope!  There is a real Jesus, for your real family!

God wants the best for the family.  It’s the foundational piece that can change communities, cities, states, nations and the world.  God knows the potential for a great marriage and great kids.  As a matter of fact, this family series may be the most important series this year as far as having a potential to change our world.

Back to our question, “How do I deal with my real family?”  We begin by lining our families up according to Gods divine order for our families, “God’s Positioning System” (GPS).  As long as we live according to His GPS, we can expect that our real family is moving in the right direction toward ideal.

GPS – GOD’S POSITIONING SYSTEM

1)         God

Ephesians 5:1 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children”  

Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG) – Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us.  Love like that.

2)         Marriage

Ephesians 5:22-23 (MSG) – Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to His church, not by domineering but by cherishing.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. 

3)         Children

Ephesians 6:1-3 (MSG) – Children, do what your parents tell you.  This is only right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, 3 “so you will live well and have a long life.”

Obey your parents.  This is only right. / Honor your father and mother and you will live well (be blessed).  You will have a long, good life. OR Disobey and dishonor and pay the price, possibly not living well or blessed!  The choice is yours.

But what do we do?  We put kids first, marriage second and God third.  We invert God’s flow chart.

This inversion has become a perversion of what God wants in every single-family unit.

Do we every lose direction in our families.  One day you look around and say, “How did we wind up here?”  Is your family is quickly moving forward, but you have no idea where you are going?

GPS for the family, God, marriage, and children, brings God’s direction and destination back to the family.

  • I don’t care if you are in a blended family.
  • I don’t care if you are in a single-parent situation.
  • I don’t care if you are in a typical nuclear family with 2.3 kids.
  • I don’t care if you are single. 90% of you, stats show, will get married.
  • Children and students listen up because these principles and these precepts will give you a great focus and a great trajectory when one day you have your own family.

NEXT LIFE STEP:  Honestly list the order of your family.  Commit to GPS.

Six Ways to Deal with Your Real Family

  1. Make Sure Everyone Knows, They Matter.

Your husband, wife, children, and parents need to know that they matter, and they are valued.

How they perceive that you see them will change what they feel and think about themselves.  They will either feel important or worthless.

When children are raised in an atmosphere where they are valued and they matter, it will change how they live their lives.

  • They will make wiser decisions.
  • They will be able to overcome the temptation that will come their way in life.
  • They will live their lives with purpose.  MY LIFE MATTERS!

Psalm 37:23 (NLT)  The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.  He delights in every detail of their lives.

If they feel worthless, they may mistakenly feel like Isaiah did in Isaiah 49:4

Isaiah 49:4 …I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all

Job said, in Job 7:6, “My life drags by – day after hopeless day.” (TLB)

Job 7:16 (GNT) “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone.  My life makes no sense.”

The Greatest Tragedy in Life is not Death.  The Greatest Tragedy is Living Your Life Without Purpose!

  1. Express to Them That They are Loved.

Your family needs to know that they matter and they are loved.

John 3:16-17 (TLB) – For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Your family needs to know they are loved.  Loved when they are good and loved when they are bad.

They need to know that they don’t have to deserve your love; that your love is not performance based.

When our children mess up, they need to know that they can still come to us …because we love them.

The first person you should go to when you are in trouble should be your heavenly Father.

Let your family know they can come to Him even when the children are in trouble or struggling.

  1. 3. Tell Them to Choose Their Friends

Friends will shape your life.  This applies to adult family members as well as the children of the family.

Philippians 2:4 (GNT)  And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.

When your children are young, you need to choose your children’s friends for them.

It’s ok to say, “No, you can’t play with them.”  You need to be the parent and make those choices for them.

  • Children that you want your children to be like.
  • Children with parents that reinforce the values you are teaching your children.

Adult children should choose their own friends.

We want kids who are moving in the direction of Christ.  Start with PromiseLand, Believing Kids, and then EDGE.  Take advantage of Family Worship times, Family VBS, Kid Camps, Family Life Groups.

(They tell you they don’t like it, take them anyway.  If they don’t have any fun there, they aren’t having fun anywhere!)  Put them in the right boat.

Your kids need to know that who they hang around with will shape their lives!  You know that, don’t you?

  1. You Must Work for a Fulfilled Life.

Work brings satisfaction and value to life.  This is how your family will feel good about themselves.

2 Timothy 2:6 (TLB) Work hard like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop. 

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (TLB) – Even while we were still there with you, we gave you this rule: “He who does not work shall not eat.”  11Yet we hear that some of you are living in laziness, refusing to work, and wasting your time in gossiping.  12In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we appeal to such people–we command them – to quiet down, get to work, and earn their own living.

Every child needs to know how to work, and as parents, we have to teach them the importance of work by our example and work ethic.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

You can do just enough to get by, but if you realize that you are working to bring glory to God, and all you do should bring glory to God, it will change the way you do things.  It will change your attitude while you work.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

  1. You Must Remember Your Steps Take You Somewhere.

Relationally, Financially, Physically, Spiritually?

  • School: If you play rather than study, those play steps won’t get you an “A”.

Your family needs to know there are consequences to the decisions they make.

  1. Christ Jesus Must Be the Center of Your Family

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The journey can be difficult with many winding paths and ups and downs.  It’s easy to lose your way. We need Gods Positioning System for our Family to keep us on course.

NEXT LIFE STEP: THE IDEAL FAMILY TEST

Today, we are going to take a little test.  We’re going to find out how real or ideal your family is.

“But, Scott, I’m single, man.  I’ll just skip this test.” No. Don’t do that.  You fill the test out like your family of origin treated you.  Because when you fill it out through your parents’ eyes, you’re going to see what kind of mate you will probably become.

In fact, I could probably say this is almost as much for singles as it is for those of us who are married.

If you are a single parent, blended family, whatever, let’s take this test.  Please, don’t show other people your scores or your answers.  This is kind of some personal stuff, so kind of cover it like that, okay?

NEXT LIFE STEP:        THE IDEAL FAMILY TEST

How to score yourself:   1 = Never.   2 = Sometimes.   3 = Always.

#1: Do you go on a date with your spouse at least twice a month?

#2: Do you eat dinner as a family around the dinner table at least 3 times per week?

#3: Do your children sleep in their own beds (not your bed) every night?

#4: Do you and your spouse have TLC (Touch, Look, and Conversation) on a daily basis?

#5: Do you get away for a weekend alone as a couple (without your kids) at least twice a year?

#6: Do you have sexual intimacy with your spouse at least two times a week?

#7: Do you and your spouse present a unified front when your children question your authority?

#8: Do you have a set bedtime for your kids/teens that’s consistently enforced?

#9: Do you regularly evaluate your calendar to prevent overscheduling extra-curricular activities?

#10: Is weekly church attendance (age-appropriate worship and family worship) a priority for you and your children?

The Ideal Family Test Score Results 

Score 10-17

You are lost and need directions, but, it’s not the end of the world.  You can get back on track and potentially discover the greatness that God has for your marriage and family.

Score 18-24

You are headed in the wrong direction, but you are not lost yet.  Your family is out of order.

Score 25-30

You should be preaching; not me.  Good for you, but don’t rest on your laurels.  Don’t say, “I’ve got that down!  I’ve cracked the marriage code.”  Keep it fresh!  Be the best that God wants you to be.

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Which of the six ways to deal with your family are you doing well and which ones do you need to work on?
  1. Discuss the Ideal Family Test. What do you think this test is revealing to you about your family life?

 

Do you have an ideal family?  Or are you like the rest of us who find ourselves asking, “How do I deal with my real family?”  If you are nervous about this topic today, you can just relax.  Because there really is no such thing as an ideal family, ideal marriage, ideal teenagers, and ideal children.

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we will learn together how to deal with ourselves and our families God’s way.

There is hope!  There is a real Jesus, for your real family!