VIDEO SERIES – THE FAMILY
A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH
6421 W. POINSETTIA DRIVE
GLENDALE, ARIZONA 85304
Friday, July 31, 1998
II. Natural Law
A. The Ten Commandments – God commands what is good.
B. The Gospel makes us love the Teaching (Torah) of God.
III. Basics, not from society or psychology:
A. God instituted marriage for the benefit of men, women, and children.
Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
1. Love, affection, companionship for husband and wife.
Mark 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
2. School for children – learn about repentance, forgiveness, romantic relationships, and how to be responsible.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
B. If God’s natural law, based on Creation, is altered, only bad results will take place.
1. Fornication rather than marriage. What does this say to the children and to others?
1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
2. Divorce rather than reconciliation.
Malachi 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Matthew 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
3. Absent parents (divorce), neglectful parents (two jobs plus hobbies). The uncle dad problem.
IV. Blessings of God’s Word, from trusting in Him.
A. Marriage – romance, friendship, partnership.
B. Children – peaceful, obedient, eager to follow parents’ example.
Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
II. Much of our thinking is based upon the Old Adam, our sinful nature, and this is echoed by the secular media, psychologists, and various kinds of therapists.
A. What we like (emotionally) is good; what we do not like is bad.
B. That makes us impulsive and irresponsible.
"For this reason there is so much care and unpleasantness in marriage to the outward man, because everything that is God's Word and work, if it is to be blessed at all, must be distasteful, bitter and burdensome to the outward man."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 56. Second Sunday after Epiphany. John 2:1-11.
"God's Word shall do it, by which all things are made, preserved and transformed; that Word which turns your water into wine, and distasteful marriage into delight. That God has instituted marriage (Genesis 2:32) the heathen and unbelievers do not know, therefore their water remains water and never becomes wine; for they feel not God's pleasure and delight in married life...."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 57. Second Sunday after Epiphany, John 2:1-11, Genesis 2:32.
C. Examples: changing diapers, cleaning up and dressing children, applying both discipline and tenderness.
"Children are the most delightful pledges of a loving marriage. They are the best wool on the sheep."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 137.
D. True leadership: teach God’s Word to wife and children.
1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Men and women should see that verse above as a positive command to lead and not as something negative against women.
Proverbs 23:24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
1. Lead in family prayers, read the Small Catechism. (Head of the household will teach the Small Catechism…Book of Concord.)
2. Read to the children at night. High quality children’s stories. Tolkien, Twain, children’s classics, Wind in the Willows. Often a keen appreciation for relatiohnships. “Please, Ratty, I want to row. Now!” Discuss these things.
3. Make their hobbies your hobbies. Dinosaurs, military, dolls, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics. Best professors. And they get you into neat places.
E. Responsibility toward wife.
"The husband should take the initiative and contribute toward keeping unity and love in the marriage relation. But he does this by using reason and not force and by letting things pass without reproving his wife. This he should do because woman is a frail creature and does not have the courage and stout heart of a man. They are easily disturbed, take something to heart quickly, and are moved to joy and sorrow sooner than men."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 903. 1 Peter 3:7.
3. Care and discipline of children.
4. Being a spiritual leader. (Mother’s Day letter; women loved it) Family prayer, teaching children, reading to wife at night. (Can cover thousands of pages)
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
Proverbs 31 – wives.
"This is a true definition of marriage: Marriage is the God-appointed and legitimate union of man and woman in the hope of having children or at least for the purpose of avoiding forinication and sin and living to the glory of God. The ultimate purpose is to obey God, to find aid and counsel against sin; to call upon God; to seek, love, and educate children for the glory of God; to live with one's wife in the fear of God and to bear the cross; but if there are no children, nevertheless to live with one's wife in contentment; and to avoid all lewdness with others."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols. ed. Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House,
1959, II, p. 884. Genesis 24:1-4
"Love toward their mother is not so great in children as the love of their mother toward them, as the proverb has it: Amor descendit, non ascendit, Love is a plant that grows downward rather than upward."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 138.
"The first destroyers of their own children are those who neglect them and knowingly permit them to grow up without the training and admonition of the Lord. Even if they do not harm them by a bad example, they still destroy them by yielding to them. They love them too much according to the flesh and pamper them, saying: They are children, they do not understand what they are doing. And they are speaking the truth. But neither does a dog or a horse understand what it is doing. However, see how they learn to go, to come, to obey, to do and leave undone what they do not understand...These parents will, therefore, bear the sins of their children because they make these sins their own."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 139. November, 1516 sermon. Fourth Commandment.
"Even the heathen say, that is, daily experience teaches: Summum ius, summa iniuria, Strict justice is the greatest injustice. We may say exactly the same thing of grace: Mere grace is the greatest disgrace (Ungnade). Just so a father can perform no act that is more unfatherly that sparing the rod and allowing the little child to have its own wanton way. For by such foolish love he finally raises a son for the executioner, who will later on be obliged to raise him in a different way - with a rope on the gallows."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 139f. 1534. Psalm 101.
"But He has given and entrusted children to us that we should train and govern them according to His will; otherwise He would have no need of father and mother. Let everyone know, therefore, that it is his duty, on peril of losing the divine favor, to bring up his children above all things in the fear and knowledge of God and, if they are talented, to let them learn and study so that they be of service wherever they are needed...And because this commandment is being disregarded, God is punishing the world so terribly that there is no discipline, order, or peace. We all complain of this state of affairs but fail to see that it is our own fault."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 140f. Large Catechism. Ten Commandments.
"The apostle does not mean to say that children are not to be rebuked or beaten, but that they are to be chastized in love; but parents are not to vent their furious temper on them, unconcerned about the way to correct the error of their children. For when the spirit has been cowed, one is of no use for anything and despairs of everything, is timid is doing and undertaking everything. And, what is worse, this timidity, implanted during the tender years, can almost never thereafter be eradicated. For since they have learned to be frightened at every word of their parents, they are subsequently afraid of even a rustling leaf or a tree."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412.
"Marriages in which both husband and wife are contrary are the common variety, as the proverb has it: "Three things are rare but dear to God: the unity of brethren, the love of neighbors, a man and a wife that agree together," (Ecclus. 25:1). But the reason why this so rare is that people enter upon this kind of life without prayer."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 903. 1 Peter 3:5ff; Ecclesiasticus 25:1.