What Is Happening to Our Families?

By from a message by Billy Graham   •   October 3, 2008   •   Topics:

It was God’s idea to have the family in the first place. Before there were cities and governments, before written language, nations, temples, churches, there were families. The family is the most important institution in the world.

In the home, characters and attitudes are formed. Integrity is born, values by which we live are made clear, and goals are set–they last a lifetime.

Is your home built on a solid foundation? Or is it filled with tension? Is it about ready to break up?

Nehemiah, in the fourth chapter, says “There is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall” (Nehemiah 4:10). We see rubbish everywhere–rubbish on the Internet, on television and in films and magazines, making fun of the home, making fun of one of the holiest of all institutions, marriage.

There is no way that we can escape the judgment of God unless we come back to God-fearing homes.

1. IT STARTS WITH YOU
You can be the start of a change in your family–let it begin in you, in your heart. Let us come back to the Word of God and build our homes on the Bible and upon the God who performed the first marriage.

We’ve never had more books available advertising us how to solve our family and marital problems than we have today. And yet somehow we’re more miserable, we’re more broken than we’ve ever been. Why? Because we have not taken the Word of God into account.

2. MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE A PRIORITY
The husband-wife relationship is the key to family success. Children must see love between the father and the mother. Many people marry without any idea of how much is at stake, and they are laying the foundation for failure from the beginning, even in courtship.

Be careful about your dating, and with whom you fall in love. Be sure that person is God-fearing and loves Christ. The Scripture says, “Do not be unequally yoked together” (2 Corinthians 6:14). There must be a spiritual oneness.

You must have a lifetime commitment to marriage. It’s forever! Don’t entertain the idea of separation and divorce. Christ can hold you together. God’s ideal is for the husband and the wife always to be faithful to each other. God has not changed.

Do you think that God will change His whole nature to accommodate Himself to your lifestyle? No! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Many of you are asking, “Well, what can I do to help my marriage?” The first step is to turn your life over to Jesus Christ. Be willing to repent of your sins. Realize that God loves you. In spite of your sins, in spite of your failures, He loves you, and He is willing to forgive you.

Read articles about marriage:
Secure in Christ: Developing a Healthy Marriage
Marriage and Our Culture: A Bible study by Kay Arthur
Giving Your Life Away Through Love: A conversation with Dr. Gary Chapman

3. GROW AS A FAMILY
Have you sought God’s will? Have you gotten down on your knees and committed your children to the Lord? Do you gather them for family devotions?

If you have failed at being a parent, if you have failed at being a husband or a wife or an obedient child, surrender your life to Christ. Let Him come into you heart and help you to be the right kind of husband, wife, or child. The answer is surrendering.

Determine that you are going to bring your life under the lordship of Christ.

Read articles about family:
Mending a Broken Home: A message by Billy Graham
A Christian Heritage: Thoughts from Ruth Bell Graham

4. TURN YOUR CHILDREN OVER TO GOD
Our children need help. They need our love.

Let the love of Christ dominate your family, dominate your relationships within the family, and you can have a wonderful home. It is never too late to change. You can start now. Accept Christ by faith. You don’t have to understand it all–come by simple, childlike faith.

As a little child trusts his earthly father, you can trust the Heavenly Father. Put your hand in His hand and say, “I want Christ.”

Christ died on the cross for you. He rose from the dead, and He is alive today. And the Bible says He is coming back again. If you believe and accept that, He is willing to come by the Holy Spirit and live in your heart right now.

Say “yes” to Christ, and let the Lord Jesus Christ dominate your life and bring you to the point where you can love your wife, love your husband, in a new way. Christ will come into your heart right now, if you will let Him.

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