F Is For Family : House Band
February 02, 2020, 9:45am
Thank you so much for being here at Fellowship Church. Today, I’m beginning a brand-new series I’m really excited about called F is For Family. I would say the real F word is family. It’s the deal. It’s the foundation of our culture. Now, we have a lot of people here from different environments, different locations. White collar, blue collar, pink collar. I want to see how old you are, if you don’t mind. And I’m going to give you a little test, a television test, and this will tell me how old you are so I can better communicate this message to you. Okay? How many of you grew up watching … Be honest now, Leave It to Beaver? Okay, that’s pretty good. How many grew up like I did watching The Brady Bunch? Oh yeah. Full House? We have a great balance of family here at this church. We have a great balance of television family watching at this church. And hopefully and prayerfully in this series over the next several weeks, we’ll understand how to balance, how to build our family.
I’ll never forget, I was in Southeast Florida with a friend of mine and we were looking at this house. It was early one morning, and I noticed the people who were staying at the house … I’m not sure if they were renting it or not, they were sipping their morning coffee. The ocean was just right in front of them and I said, “Is that a great house or what?” He goes, “It is, Ed, but it’s not going to be here for very long.” I go, “What do you mean? It looks great to me.” He said, “Look where it’s built. The next storm to come through will wipe this place out. It’s built …” He said, “… on sand. The foundation is jacked up. It’s horrible.” And as we know, a house is only as good as its foundation. The word “house” and “household” is used synonymously with family, isn’t it? We say, “My house. My household. My family.” One day, Joshua, back in the Old Testament about 3,000 years ago, Joshua the guy who took the reins from Moses and led God’s people into the promised land.
Joshua held this press conference literally in Joshua 24:15 (NKJV), Would you say it with me? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-25, “If you build your house on the rock …” That’s why we handed you a rock when you walked in. Does everyone have a rock? Please don’t throw it my way. “If you build your house on a rock …” Jesus said, “If you obey, if you do what I’m telling you to do …” He said, “… you are going to have a blessed life, a successful life.” Then He said, “If you build your house on sand, even though you’re sipping your morning coffee, even though you’re looking at the beautiful waves, when the storm comes in, it’ll wipe you out.”
I’ve got to ask you, what is the foundation of your family?
And some of you right now, maybe you’re single and you’re going, “Well, I’m not married. This is totally irrelevant. I’m just going to look around, and … I don’t know, maybe I’ll find someone who’s attractive here.” I guarantee you will. I met my wife in church, and you’ve seen her. “Or maybe I’ll just … I don’t know. Play some games on my iPhone. Ed will think I’m reading Scripture. I’ll just do that.” Don’t do that because we’re all members of a family. All of us. And singles, 89% of you will get married at least once in your life, so you better know this.
In a way, this message is for singles as much as it is for those of us who are older. I think about myself whenever I do a teaching on family, I’ve written a lot of books on the family. Lisa and I have lectured around the world about the family. I know that no family is perfect. Our family is not perfect. I love to talk about it though, because it truly is the foundation of our culture.
I do want to talk about the foundation of the house because we have to start in this spot. We have to know why we should do what God wants us to do, and why we have an individual choice in the matter.
As I think about my own life, as I said a second ago, I am an adult child. My father is almost 85 years old; he thinks he’s 25. If you say retirement, that’s the worst cuss word you can possibly throw at him. I’m an adult child. I’m also a married man, I’ve been married for 37 years. Marriage can be great. It can be great. God wants it to be great if you’re willing to work. Marriage. I’m a married man. People are like, “Wow, 37 years, congratulations. And you still like each other?” Yes, we love each other, but love is grounded in commitment. But that’s another story. I’m also a father to four amazing kids, adult kids. Our oldest is in her early 30s, and then the twin towers are 25. I’m a grandfather. I know that’s a shocker, but I am. You’re like, “Oh man, that’s a long way out for me.” No, it’s not. Time flies when you’re having fun. F is for family. We found out last week that the twin towers are with child again, we’re going to have a couple of boys. We need some boys. We need some men in our household, everyone’s pretty much a female except for EJ and I. Even the dogs. Even our beautiful cat, Meow Meow. So, it’s good, I’m happy. Women are smarter than guys. You know that guys. Women are smarter than us, they are.
It’s a fact. But we’ve been given that leadership position in the home, did you hear me? Guys, we have been given the leadership position in the family dynamic. We’ve been given the leadership position to be responsible for child rearing. It’s the guy. Nowhere in the Bible does it say it’s a woman’s situation. Obviously, women do, as far as work and multitasking a squillion things better and more than we do. Yet we are responsible for it.
Every covenant in the Bible passes through the man, through the father. There are some of you going, “What do you mean? Are you saying men are superior?” Just the opposite. We’re equal in form, unique in function. Guys, we’ve got to step up and be the kind of leaders that Joshua was. Joshua was like, “Okay, this is a private decision, but I’m going public with it. As for me and my house, me and my spouse, we’re going to serve the Lord.” That’s what he said. It’s a personal decision that went public and a powerful decision. He was taking the leadership God had given him. Are you taking that? Guys, we have to. But here’s what guys do. Here’s what we do, we’re like, “Man, that’s pretty heavy. I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to do what I want to do, and my wife can take care of that. The mom.” And women are so smart and so talented, they’ll just pick up that lack of leadership and they’ll lead, and they’ll take the role. That’s the role the father should take.
A lot of moms, I’m talking to you right now, you’re doing not only what you do, but you’re doing what your husband should do, and the father should do, and the grandfather should do. I’ll put a warning label on this series, it’s going to be a high conviction series. “As for me and my house, we will” do what? “serve the Lord.” That verse is the … I call it the He, Me, and We verse. He, God. God. Me, father, the leader, the feeder of the house. We, the family.
Joshua was like, “I don’t care what you say, I don’t care what the culture’s into. Against the backdrop of Baal worship, against the backdrop of worshiping fertility gods and sexual pleasure and the sun and the moon and the stars. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” He, me, we. He, me, we, the foundation of the family.
It’s all about the HOUSE. What’s a house? It’s a Holy Objective Utilized to Serve Everyone. It’s a … Say it with me, a Holy Objective Utilized to Serve Everyone. The house is to be a holy habitat for humanity, you could say. House is to be Holy. And the house is only as holy, dad, as you are. In the Old Testament, God was in the house, the tabernacle, the temple. In the New Testimony, He got out of the house, and then Jesus said something radical. He looked at you and me and He said, “You are the house.” So my body, my life is a house, a home for Jesus. Oh Jesus, take the den and the family room. You can take the garage too. But I want that closet for me. I want that little area for me. Your purity level, fathers, transcends the purity level of your entire household.
We discovered the number one attribute of God is that of holiness. Doesn’t mean weirdness. It means we’re set apart. It means the family unit should glorify God. And one of the attributes because to glorify God is to reflect the sum total of his splendor and holiness, is happening and should reflect in everything we do, say, touch and feel, every single person in the family. In the family. So the family should have this foundation that’s holy and we should reflect who God is.
Well, speaking of the family, speaking of parenting, what does it mean to parent? To parent is the process of teaching and training your children to leave. That’s what it is. It’s a process, right? An arduous one, a challenging one, a fun one, a creative one of teaching Deuteronomy 6:7 (NKJV). Teach constantly. We’re role models and soul models. Teaching and then training. Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV), training. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go,”
We train with the grain because that text in the Hebrew means someone who was into archery would go find a limb or a tree that has a natural bend. They would take that tree and they would go with the grain. It would make a great bow. And then they could just fire those arrows with great trajectory. Wise dads and wise moms train with the grain. I’m teaching and I’m training them to … ? Applause. Leave. But let me say this, once a parent, always a parent. You never stop parenting.
In today’s culture, because so many kids are living at home, we like to say, “Oh yeah, I’m teaching and training my kids to … they’re still at home. No job yet. I’m tired of pour over coffee. Doing laundry again.” We’ve got to leave. Leave and cleave. Genesis 2:24 (NKJV), “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh.” We’re waiting too long to get married. I’ve got a word for singles. Just get married. Young and dumb. Young and dumb. I’ll talk about that later. I’m just trying to whet your appetite for this exciting series.
The family should be holy. It is to be reflective of the nature and character of God. Also, how about the objective? What’s the objective of the family? What’s my objective? Why am I … ? Well, I’m not to be just their friend or their buddy. It’s not like a level relationship, if you feel me. I’m not to be their agent. I’m not to vicariously live my life through them. I’m to be the leader and the feeder.
When I grew up, I loved football. Today is Super Bowl Sunday so I thought I would share this with you. The neighborhood kids would come over to our house. We had a cool little yard. I was, again, third grade and we would put on our little shoulder pads and helmets. And I’ve always loved fashion and I’ve always loved art. So I thought to myself, “You know what? I’m going to make a football field. I’m going to line the football field in our yard.” So, “Mom,” I said, “Can I have some flour?” So she gave me flour. I began to decorate the end zones and I didn’t have enough for the yard lines and the hash marks. So I stole, I mean, I took some sand out of Ben’s sandbox and made this beautiful football field, end zones, and everything, the yard lines and hash marks. I even had five, 10, 20. That was about how long the field was. That was it. All the kids came over. We played football and in the middle of one of the games, thunder. And it began to rain. I was like, “This is like Lambeau Field. We can play in the rain. Get all dirty.” As we played, to my shock and horror, the field disappeared. The rains washed everything away. It was horrible. So now we were like, “Is that a touchdown?” “I don’t know.” “Are you out of bounds?” “I’m not sure.”
Moms and dads, we have to call a consistent game. Our kids are longing for lines. Line off the playing field. What was the touchdown last week has got to be a touchdown today. Mom, what was the penalty six months ago? Needs to be a penalty today. Sometimes you have to review the call. Usually when dad comes home, you go to the bedroom and here’s what guys sound like when we talk. ” [inaudible 00:17:46].” And here’s what women sound like. ” [talking SFX].” So then you emerge out of that. “The play stands. Touchdown mom.”
What’s your objective? We’re to glorify God is to be holy. What’s your objective? What’s your role? What’s your purpose? And we’re also utilized in the family. We’re utilized. We should be leveraged to do some great stuff. That’s where we learn about life. If I’m utilized, I understand the purpose for which I was intended.
Just two weeks ago, EJ, our son, and EJ met his wife here at church, Jess. She’s a gorgeous girl, phenomenal family. And single guys, just take a look at Jess and you’re like, “Wow.” Best place to meet a girl is not in a bar, guys. I mean, I’m not saying you can’t meet the right one there. I’m not … you know. But I’m saying that the church should be a social place. Well, here’s what EJ told me. He’s only been married like six months. He’s like, “Mom, dad.” Because we invited him over. “Jess and I can’t come over. It’s our date night.” I kind of laughed a little bit. “Really?” I thought about it in my mind. “Date night? Date night? Where did he learn that?”
For years and years and years and years and years we’ve talked about a date night mate night here at Fellowship. We’ve talked about the importance of a spouse getting together and going out alone, not double dating because double dating went out with the prom. Alone dating at least once a week your spouse. And we’ve talked about that and I’ve compared it to church. This is the bride. We’re the bride, right? The church. The family of God. And Jesus is the bridegroom. We’re the bride. He’s the bridegroom. We get together publicly for intimacy. That holds true in the family and in marriage. We do life. And I believe I can build a case for this. We’re commanded to have intimacy at least once a week for a date night mate night. So, I’m so happy. EJ is doing that. That is the family. He learned that. He saw that. He saw it modeled. He saw it taught, not perfectly.
How about conflict resolution? Where do we learn about conflict resolution? Where do we see it played out? The family. Where do we learn about sharing? In family. Where did we learn about team? Well, select soccer. No, in the family. Where do we learn about helping and holding and being sensitive to one another’s needs? In the family.
To discover what the family is about, we’ve got to run to the house because when we run to the house, we’ll understand how to run our house. It’s about God. He, me, we. It’s a Holy Objective Utilized to Serve Everyone.
I’m just not a natural servant. I surprise myself with my selfishness regularly. That’s why I’ve made these stupid songs up. I sing around our house when I’m doing something or other. I’ll go, “Look who’s serving again. Look who’s serving, my friend.” That’s about all I sing because if I keep singing, it can kill a rally. I just kind of joked around, but not too much. I’m not saying to do that, but I’m just not a natural servant.
Just Wednesday, I had a conversation with a couple of single guys about this very issue, your typical single guys. They overthink. They’re overthinking, overthinking. They were like, “Man, I’m dating this girl and I just want to ask you this, Ed. I know you’re a pastor and you’ve written about this. She’s great, but what if someone better comes along?” Ladies, this is what guys think before they’re married. I’m telling you, we’re that stupid.
I’m like, “You’re not that handsome, okay? There are a bunch of people better-looking than you and wealthier than you, number one.” I said, ‘Number two, there’s always going to be someone better-looking.” I mean, if you were married to Hailey Baldwin, there are women better-looking than Hailey Baldwin, and that’s what messes most guys up. We’re that shallow, ladies. I’m sorry. And then they started saying, “Well, okay, I understand that.” And they were both coming at me. “But I don’t know. When I have a day off, I just don’t want to always do what she wants me to do. And it’s like, I don’t know, in this relationship, she wins most of the time.” Ladies, this is how deep guys are, I’m telling you. I’m helping you out. And I said, “That’s the way it is. That’s your issue?”
That’s why we need to get married when we’re dumb and young. Obviously marry Christians. Obviously marry someone you have that wow-wow feeling for. I understand that. But you can’t play that stupid game, “What if somebody better comes along?” There’s always somebody better. You got to commit. That’s funny, isn’t it? So true.
Holy Objective Utilized to Serve Everyone. Everyone is in this family and we have an opportunity to mark everyone that sees the family working right, not perfectly, working right. When we’re born again, the Bible says we’re adopted into the family of God. Some are like, “Adoption? Wow, okay. But it’s not about the blood.” Whoa. Oh, yes it is. We’re blood relatives. The blood of Jesus has washed all of us and we’re adopted … Isn’t that great? … into the family of God. If you want to know how to run your house, run to the house, and simply just make this declaration like Joshua did.
Excuse me. That is some cough. Thank you, man. I like that jacket. And it’s still with me. Has anyone had that cough that just won’t go away? Yeah, I don’t know what it is. Some demonic. This is awesome. You guys are … The first service is so sad. I’ll wear makeup up here and I can’t put makeup on at all, but I do it. I don’t want someone putting makeup on me. I just do it myself. And the first service I was at our Frisco campus, and we don’t have all the lights on yet, so I’m in our bathroom putting makeup on. I’ll walk out. There is a stripe, and I didn’t know why people were laughing. I was thinking, “Man, I’m really funny. I’m on today.” And then I looked at my face. I’ll post it on social media. It’s very, very bad. So Joshua …
Let me go back to the rock. Joshua, when he concluded this message, said this. He said … Let me read it in Joshua 24:25-27. “On that day, same day press conference, right, Joshua made a covenant … that’s a commitment on steroids … for the people, there at Shechem, the Holy city, during that day, he reaffirmed for them the decrees and laws and Joshua recorded these things in the book of the law of God. Let me stop here. It’s important to write down and to rehearse and to rewind and tell your kids the blessings of God in the past. Remind them of the blessings of God regularly. We prayed for this and this happened. We prayed that this couple would come to know Jesus and they became believers. Do you remember when you were sick? You don’t really remember it. We prayed for you and now you’re healed. It’s important to say, “We were generous to the house and look what God has done.” We do that. We try to do that constantly. Storytelling, storytelling, storytelling. Let’s keep going. Then he took a large stone … This is the biggest stone we could buy … and set it up there under the oak near the Holy place of the Lord. ‘See!’ he said to all the people. ‘This stone will be a witness against us. It’s heard all the words the Lord has said to us. Every word, the stone has heard, all these words we’ve said today. It will be a witness against you if you’re untrue to your God.’
We can make a personal, public and powerful pronouncement as we say, “Lord Jesus, I want to build my house on this rock. This can be and will be a reminder to you and me of this declaration because for me in my house, we are going to serve the Lord.” Now, let’s say that together, and only say it if you mean it, here and in all of our environments. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”