Daily Devotional for Saturday May 11, 2013

The Breakdown of Marriage and Family

(Genesis 1:28, 2:24; Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 22:6; Malachi 2:16; 2 Corinthians 12:14; Ephesians 6:4; Psalms 127:3)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, after a recent disagreement, I was told by my spouse that he could go anywhere he wants, whenever he wants, see whoever he wants, stay as long as he wants, and make any decisions he wants without consulting me. Don't spouses owe each other that type of consideration and communication?

ANSWER: That is not a spouse, it is a dictator, and it is certainly NOT the way God designed marriage. A husband and wife are 100% equal, with different roles to play. Those who want to disregard the Bible point to passages about a wife being obedient. What they fail to mention, is that on the other side, the man is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. MARRIAGE IS A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP OF LOVE, PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, NURTURING, BASED ON A SHARED FAITH IN CHRIST!

Without question, the number one problem in our society today is the breakdown of marriage and the family. God's Holy Institution of Marriage between a man and a woman for life is His perfect plan for a man and woman to become one and share this journey through life. A husband and wife having children and raising them in the admonition of the Lord is God's plan for the family. This plan was instituted in the Garden of Eden and has NEVER CHANGED throughout the generations. Regardless of how man has tried to redefine marriage, redefine what a family is, GOD'S DEFINITION HAS NEVER OR EVER WILL CHANGE!

The vast percentage of prayer requests we get each day are from people whose problems can be directly tied to issues in their marriage or family. For those who are single today, please hear my heart. I can never emphasize enough what a critical decision it is to get married and to whom you marry. This is a life-changing event and will not only involve you but your future children as well. Please, don't ever underestimate the importance of marriage and how it will affect the rest of your life and the lives of your future children.

"That is why you cannot ignore God's warning in 2 Corinthians 6:14, ?Do not be unequally yoked with a non-believer." Just saying they are saved is not enough. Do you actually see the fruit of their relationship with Christ in their daily life? Lastly, even if the person you are praying about marrying is a Christian and living their life for the Lord, you still need to take the time to build a spiritual foundation together and openly and honestly talk through all of the various issues of life. Through this process God will confirm to you both that this is part of His plan for your lives.

Also, this is a big reason why God designed sex FOR MARRIAGE ONLY! A natural by-product of sexual relations is a child. God never intended children to be raised by a mother alone. That is why sex outside of marriage is a sin and not part of His plan since it may result in having a child. It is God's plan for children to be raised by a mother and father who are committed to each other for life through marriage. There can never be a better environment for raising a child than by a mother and father who are surrendered to the Lord and to each other.

As devastating and life changing as divorce is on the parties involved, as devastating and life changing as having a child outside of marriage is on the woman, it is impossible to ever comprehend the damage done to the children involved in a divorce or those born outside of marriage. In the past 40 years as more and more marriages have ended in divorce, as more women are having children outside of marriage, the negative effect on society is impossible to ignore. I would be willing, based on the 40,000+ prayer requests we receive every day here at Liveprayer, to boldly say without hesitation that the current breakdown of our society can be directly linked to the breakdown of marriage and the family.

An incredible number of children are growing up today in single parent homes or homes where their natural parent is on their second, third, even fourth spouse. Many children are growing up in blended homes where they have brothers and sisters by numerous mothers and fathers. It is common for many children to grow up today in several different homes, during the week in one home and the weekends in another. Many children become pawns in hostile divorce cases where they are forced to choose one parent over another, in some cases being manipulated to lie about one parent, often being moved overnight from one home to another as different rulings come down from the courts. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are experienced by a growing number of children due to the fact they are living with adults who are not their natural mothers or fathers and the God-given natural love a mother and father have for their child simply doesn't exist.

You can only imagine the damage done to children who grow up in these types of environments. Sadly, we deal daily with children as young as 12, all the way through adults who have never been able to get beyond their tragic childhoods. The results are an alarming number of children who need professional help and are on some sort of daily medication for emotional and behavioral problems. You have children and adults who have never known real love in their life falling, instead, for the love this world promotes through sex.

You have so many children and young adults who have never matured socially and end up with self-esteem problems, never fitting in with others their own age. You have so many children and young adults who have so much pain in their life they look to the world's solution of escaping through drugs, alcohol, and food. The suicide rate of children and young adults is at an all time high. I could go on and on but I wish you could sit here in my office every day and read the stories of these children and young adults who live in great pain each day and have never known how wonderful this life can really be.

THE LARGER PROBLEM is that these children and young adults who have had their lives damaged are growing up and they are having children of their own. Since they have no idea what God's plan for marriage and family is, they will now be bringing another generation of children into this world living in ungodly environments who are damaged like they are, and this cycle will simply continue with more and more people living their lives totally void of God and without any understanding of Christ, His love, or God's Word. These people are also the prime targets for the cults and false religions of the world who aggressively market themselves as the answer to these people who are desperately looking for hope in their life, when the only true hope there is, is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I love you and care about you so much. The purpose of this message today is three fold. First, as a warning to those who are not married how serious and life changing that decision will be, and how it will not only affect the rest of your life, but the life of those children you will bring into this world. The second is to hopefully open the eyes of those adults who may be thinking about getting a divorce, and ask that you pray about humbling yourself before the Lord and asking Him to bring healing and restoration to your marriage, not just for your sake but for the sake of your children. Lastly, as a word of encouragement to you moms and dads who have gone through the pain of being divorced, to you moms who have had children outside of marriage and to the children and young adults who are currently growing up in homes without their natural mother and/or father.

For those who have been through the pain of being divorced, let me assure you that the Lord loves you and wants to help you heal. For those women who have had a child or children outside of marriage, I pray that you will find the Lord's forgiveness in His promise to you in 1 John 1:9. God still has much for you to do with the rest of your life as well as many blessings for you to enjoy. If you are now married, God has given you a second chance to do it His way. Realize that you have made a lifetime commitment to your spouse and that if you will honor your vows to each other and to God, He will richly bless your both for many years to come. For those who are still single, I will pray today that in His perfect timing, He will bring into your life a Godly man or woman to share the rest of your journey with in His Holy Institution of Marriage.

If you have children, please don't underestimate what they have lived through. They need your love and attention and nurturing now more than ever. The number one ministry you will ever have in your life is to your children. Raise them in the admonition of the Lord, pray with them every night before they go to bed, make sure they are in church. Laying a foundation of faith in their life will not only sustain them for the rest of their days on this earth but will help them to find the hope and strength to overcome whatever they have had to experience already in their young lives. God is a God of healing and He can bring healing to your children.

Also, know that God will make you adequate. If for this season you are not in God's plan for the family, know that He will help you and meet your every need. I realize that it is not easy, but the Lord will give you wisdom, favor, encouragement, as you raise your child or children. Find your hope in the Lord each day and look to Him for direction and provision, He will not let you down. Know that I am praying for you and will stand with you as you raise your children for the glory of God!

Let me close with a word of hope and encouragement for you children and young adults that may be growing up with only one parent or in some sort of blended home. First of all, God loves you very much. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOICES YOUR PARENTS HAVE MADE. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

Life can be very difficult at times, and sadly, you have found that out at a very young age but never doubt that Christ loves you so much and has a plan and purpose for your life. If you will take time each day to pray to Jesus, read the Bible, get to church each Sunday, and follow Christ, He will give you the strength to get through whatever you are facing in your life. I pray today that you will turn to Him and find His peace and joy in your life. Jesus is your hope and your answer


In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller