A transcript from the the lesson Saving Marriages presented at the Southern Africa International Lectureship, Johannesburg, 2013.
– You do not have to be a genius to realise that marriages are in trouble
– The divorce rate will be climbing very rapidly in the near future
– 2006 stats – Divorce rate in the US was 27%
– The Divorce rate is no different among christians than it is in the secular world
– Divorce rate among atheists and agnostics are lower than among christians – 21%
– What is scary is that its not just the divorce but the collateral damage that comes with it.
– We are sitting with a massive scourge and the church will have to respond, quickly, capably, well thought through, calculated and decisively
– Every single one of the marital therapy’s that are successful are succesful because they use biblical principles
Why is it critical to save marriages?
– In God’s mind a leaders marriage and his family structure and stability is critical to God.
– God wants a leaders household to be a model home for families
God rebukes and judges leaders whose ministry did not effectively begin on the home front.
1. Exodus 4 vs 24-26
The Lord sought to kill Moses.
– It is a serious matter for a leader in Gods Kingdom not to have oversight and make sure that his children are covenanted into a relationship with God
– God sought to kill Moses
– It is dangerous ground when you walk that close to God
2. 1 Samuel 3 vs11-13
– Eli lost his priesthood – Because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
– Inaction to deal with and restrain your children when they are wrong will land you in deep trouble
– God speaks of male leadership in his house, he speaks of spiritual guidance, spiritual connectedness to our children and this is a very serious matter
God chooses leaders on the basis of their faithfulness.
1. Genesis 18vs 18-19
– For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.
– God looks for a leader through which he is going to bless the nations
– That he is going to carry God’s message, not necessarily on a piece of paper, but in his heart and in his behaviour and in the life of his children
God makes faithfulness at home an important criteria for New Testament leadership.
1 Tim 3vs 4-5,
One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
– The critical part of saving marriages is to ensure a capable and character driven leadership that is going to adresss and deal with and lead the church into the next generation.
– Saving marriages is not only important for having good marriages but also critical for God sustaining his church
For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you; If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
– A man must have relationship with his children, he can not lead God’s people unless he has got a relationship and leads his own household spiritually
– It is a tough thing, and we know it is but it has a high premium in God’s sight
– Failure to impart God’s word to your children is one of the dangers and affects the church badly
1st Samuel 8vs1-5 And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
– The one thing that will help us save ,marriages is to focus on what God wants us to focus
– Your first church is your family
– If you are a sunday school teacher, if you are a ministers wife, your first church is your children
– We know from Malachi 2 that God hates divorce and he qualifies it and says the reason I hate divorce so much is because I want Godly offspring
– God wants the continuation of Godliness to run through the veins of his children
– You cannot delegate that task to anybody else, it is yours and yours alone!
– Hence you need to work together
– David was a man after God’s own heart and we know that he did not lead his off spring in the same way
– 1 Samuel 15, 1 kings 1 vs 5-6 – And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why have you done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bore him after Absalom.
– The inability of a leader within his household to engage his son, and to say to him what are you doing? Is a dangerous thing
– Because ultimately the same kind of disfunction will be perpetuated in the household of God
– By implication you would have approved of his behaviour because you have said nothing.
– The leaders home is the microcosm of the leaders home
– You can not emulate and fake it till you make it, you have to lead from the heart.
– Only then can you adequately be a servant of Christ
– Longevity in the church does not guarantee spiritual maturity
– We must look at these factors critically because we are talking about a Holy body where the requirement is that set out by God, not by you or me.
– This is not a club, this is not your friends this is not a play pin, this is not your sand box – This is the church.
– When we are talking about church we are talkng about a holy entity
– Being a child of God is far more serious than we may think sometimes
– Proverbs 2 vs 1-5 Proverbs 2:1: My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you;So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; Then shall you understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
– The more you get to know God the more you realise he is not to be toyed with.
– Especially for leaders of congregations to a lesser or greater degree, there is a massive premium of being fearful and knowing who you are dealing with.
– It is an inadequate knowledge of God and an underestimation of who God is that causes us to push the boundaries of a holy God!
– When people continuing sinning its because of a faulty understanding of God is
– If you are behaving in an ungodly fashion in God’s kingdom, you have got a horrible understanding of who God’s church is
– If you talk badly about the church you are talking badly about Christ’s wife.
– In the same way that Christ says he will be back, this time he is coming back to reek vengance
– He is coming back to make sure, And he is talking to the church in Thessalonians, he will reek revenge on those who do not know him, and those who do not submit to him
Bro Derreck Beukes has a a full 200 page thesis on Marital Thesis, the first on African soil that a theoretical consideration of marital therapy has been given a proper theological framework