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02/06/08 

"The Father's Business"

Marriage Economics 

Luke 2 : 49  Jesus, when He was 12 years old, told His earthly parents, "You should have known I would be about my Father's business". But they didn't understand. They assumed He was in the company of their group that left Jerusalem. Goofing off with all the other kids! After three days they found Him. Of course, Bible scholars understand this to mean after 2 nights. Apparently, they were the ones not paying attention. Even so. He was in trouble.  I'm sure it wasn't the first, or the last time.    When God made Eve, the Bible says, "For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Obviously, when a young man is ready to start a relationship with a woman he must be ready to start his own family. At the same time he must also be ready to start his own business. Once he leaves home, every thing he does is nobody's business but his own. In the old days a young man had to apprentice 5 to 7 years to learn a trade. Then he was ready to take a wife and start his own business. This was a good system. Young people need to learn a few things. Develop their mental and physical capacity while they're young and full of it. Then, hopefully, they will have acquired enough sense to find a mate who is spiritually, intellectually, and physically compatible. Instead, of the typical relationships that are started and based on lust. "Love without faith is superficial."     Now this presents a real serious question. Is the young man's business subject to the first and greatest commandment? Is he building on the solid rock. Is his business heaven's business?   
Now there are some important things to understand in the business of running a family. Number 1. God is the owner of the company. Everything belongs to Him. When members of the family start to think they are owners. Things start to get off track. This and this and this are mine. I'll pay for this. You pay for that.  Naturally this requires faith. To realize that we are just stewards.         Number 2. The father is the president of the company. The head of the household. Of course this is totally out of style today. The father is the viceroy. He holds the place of God in the eyes of his wife and children. He is accountable to the Heavenly Father. If the wife does not respect the authority and judgment of the father. Then the children won't either. Not to mention what effect it might have on their faith in God. Obviously this requires a lot of faith on the part of the mother.         Number 3. The wife/mother is the manager. Without a doubt this is the toughest job. It's obvious though that Women were made for the role. You will notice that in a normal situation a man would much rather leave the planning and scheduling to the woman. It's amazing how they can manage everything. The children, the meals, the finances, the neighbors, the guests, yes and even the husband. This requires a certain amount of faith on the part of the father. Naturally there are a lot of things that are hard for the man to leave to the manager. Remember the not so old saying though. "Control freaks ultimately loose control."         Number 4. The children are the employee share holders. This is definitely out of style. Children are not owners, or managers. And they are especially not bosses. Even though they are learning about all these things.  Hopefully they are working their way up the ladder without missing any important steps along the way. Until they are prepared and qualified to start their own operation.    I'm sure this all sounds ridiculous to most people. It's a simple observation though. If these things aren't in order. Things can really break down.         Let's look at this again to make sure we understand.     The first necessity, to make a successful functional family is that the father has faith. In all of his business. Whether it's his family, career, or recreation. Everything he does is in line with the first and greatest commandment. "To always put God first, and to always think of others". Most people have a whole list of things that are more important to them than keeping God's Commandments. This is called idolatry. If God isn't first, it's usually money, things, pleasure, luxury, keeping ahead of the Joneses, etc. This is called selfishness. God says that "True religion is to be true to Him and to help the unfortunate." The opposite of this is the law of the jungle. Survival of the fittest. Self gratification. Kill or be killed!       The  second important necessity is that he finds a good manager. One who has faith. Remember the words to that old Johnny Horton song? "A man needs a woman to love him all the time. Remember [son] a true love is so hard to find".  Remember this. "Work without faith is vanity". Every false religion is based on works. The idea that you can save yourself by your own effort. Without faith. The only solution is to work twice as hard, eat half as much, be twice as smart, never get sick, and do anything for money. There's no rest for the wicked. You just have to keep working. There's no time for church, no time for family, no time for worship, no money for tithe, and eventually no time for real love. However. If you work hard enough and long enough you'll have time and money for a never ending list of things you don't need. Vacations, new rigs, newer and bigger house, condo on the beach, rehab for your kids, etc. etc. If you find a woman who understands all this. Your ministry will prosper. Otherwise, you'll just have to wait until you pass up Bill Gates.       The third essential. Is that the parents understand the basics of training children. At a very early age children get the idea that the world revolves around them. They naturally begin to think they are the center of the universe. By age 3 they need to begin to realize that: They are not princes or princesses. They are not in charge. They don't own everything. They are not the king or queen of everything. They are not special! That being a servant is the highest calling. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble". A lot of kids have had the best of everything money could buy. The best education, from day care through college. A lot even church every week. But they end up proud, conceited, lazy, indulgent. and narcissistic. Then their parents wonder what happened.
       Now all of this brings up a serious reality. What do you do about it? How many of us grew up in a perfect family and are enjoying our own perfect family now? People wonder why the world is in such a mess and how could God allow it, or even if there is a God. He says, "We perish for lack of knowledge." All the trouble in the world is due to one thing. We haven't followed God's directions, and we haven't taught others. He made the world and gave us his word. How can we blame Him. We are the ones who have messed up. Now listen to this. The most wonderful thing in the world. He not only gave us His Word, the perfect solution. He came as one of us and made a way for even the worst of us to find forgiveness and eternal life. All we have to do is to take the time to get to know Him, through His Word and Nature and especially through others who know Him, and keep climbing that ladder. Then He makes up the difference! Jesus, the Messiah is that ladder. There's no other way. Not one of us will ever be good enough on our own. You can't pull yourself up by your own boot straps. This is the difference between true Christianity and any other religion.