The Marriage Knot 

knotCoping with Family Caresknot

bride and groom

The family was the first institution that God ordained. Before He created the Church, He created the institution of the home. The home, obviously is very important. But even though the home is sanctioned, the home has problems. Even Christian homes have problems from time to time. The point is not that a Christian family might have a care, but it is how to "care" for the care in that Christian family.

I have seen many homes on the brink of disaster, and I have seen families on the verge of a split. I say on the "verge" and on the "brink" because the people involved, even though in some cases were Christians, had decided to do something about it.

Some went to marriage counselors, and some went to their pastors. In the cases with which I am familiar, when the people decided to do something with Jesus, the brink disappeared from the disaster and the verge from the split seemed to just weld itself together.

I have tried to group them into categories. I think I can list all the cares that all of my readers might have. Before I get into them, you might want to repeat this prayer that asks God's blessings for you and your cares.

Father, I thank you for the home which you have sanctioned
and which was blessed by Jesus in the marriage at
Canna of Galilee I thank you for the
home that I represent.

I pray that my home will become stronger in
cooperation with Jesus. And further I ask that the words I read
here would bless my heart and mind toward
coping with a care that might be present,
or coming down the road,
in the name of Jesus, Amen

Here are some words from an old hymn that I would like to repeat. You will have to read it very slow because of the language. I would say it is rather "deep" - and for many it might not make any sense.

"Oh, happy home, where Thou art loved the dearest,
Thou loving friend and savior of our race,
And where among the guests, there never cometh one
Who can hold such high and honored place."

And referring to Jesus:

"Oh happy home, where each one serves You, lowly,
What ever his appointed work may be,
Til every common task seems great and holy,
When it is done, oh Lord, as unto Thee."

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This song refers to each of us, where you serve. And for the young and old alike, it says, "where you have appointed works to, Til every common task seems great and holy when sit is done unto the Lord.

And then:
"Oh, happy home, where Thou art not forgotten,
When joy is overflowing, full and free,
Oh happy home where ever wounded spirit is brought,
Physician, comforter - to Thee."

We have an obligation in our home to let it be Jesus' home, so when we have cares we will know how to cope with the cares - after all Jesus is there with some direction. The unseen guest with all the wisdom in the world - just for the asking.

1. Sickness

The first care I want to mention is sickness. Children's sickness in particular. Matthew, Mark and John all tell of children coming to Jesus. He touched them and made many children well. I have had people come to me and say, "Pastor, you should hear this story about the sickness in my home. The children's illness is just getting me down." Some say, ":You have never heard anything like this before," and I say, "Let me tell you my story." You have no doubt talked to people, also, who had great children's illness. There is no doubt it can be disrupting to the home.

How do you cope with children's illness. How do you cope with a spouse's illness. Naturally, you call the local clinic or your local physician. But that is not the thing to do first. You should do other, but first call on the Great Physician. Call on the Comforter who is IN your home.

When your child gets sick in your home, remember you are the high priest. You have every right and you have every authority to put your hand on that child and pray in the name of Jesus. You are not going to heal the child. Jesus is going to heal him if He wants the child healed at that time. When it comes to illness, you should be the first to call on Jesus as a high priest in your home.

You don't have to go to the telephone because He is within you. You just dial direct to Him and call upon Jesus to help in the sickness. He is just a call away. And, we are told "we have not because we ask not."

After calling upon Jesus - you can then call your physician. But, Jesus is the first answer to family care of children's sickness. Many families spend money needless when Jesus is right there to help and heal. I have seen it many times. Now, hear me clearly. Read my lips (words) I am not talking against medicine. I support the hospitals the doctors, clinic heavily from to time myself…. "Support" - a play on words. But there have been times when I have gone to the doctor or to the medicine cabinet when I first should have gone to Jesus.

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What I am trying to say is, we do have a "coping mechanism" when it comes to illness. According to the Word, Jesus is the same today, yesterday and will be so tomorrow. He is still the Great Physician. So, you are thinking: Why doesn't He heal each and every one who cries out to Him? I will not say: That is a good question. I will say, that is the area in which "trust" operates…..with faith believing and grace abounds.

If you have never gone through a great deal of illness personally, or if you are one of those people who say they have never known a day of illness in their lives, then according to the words of one man, "That's really sad". That one has skipped the great lecture in that school of humility - called the sick chamber." I like that. Oh, how many times have I "graduated".- not always with "honors."

When God chooses not to heal the illnesses then let God bless you and your family through that illness and that "sick chamber" as that man called it. One can grow from the experiences. It becomes a time of learning about His grace.

This has happened in our life - on a personal level - within a week of this writing. An operation - successful in it, but recoup extremely slow. We called upon Jesus. I (jokingly say the line was busy) and we did not experience the healing. There were a number of days that were serious and we wondered what the outcome would be. However, we started taking notes in that class called "the sick chamber" and the lessons learned and the close relationship that was developed between our Lord and us was graded as an A+.

As one persona actually told me last week "God did not cause my illness, but He certainly used it. I was drawn closer to Him and I developed a closer relationship with my Lord." Well, that was our experience last week. And, you know, isn't that what this walk with Lord is all about?

The second family care has to do with...

2. Priorities and Values

What are lasting things? We are not islands and we need one another and this comes out in the way we think, act and are in relation to - things and people.

I think I must insert at this point the priority of a church family. I could well type on the priority of "things" I call them the extra objects that we do not NEED, but want and enjoy. I jump in quickly to say - nothing wrong with the boat, RV, sport car, cabin, airplane, a hobby upgrade, what ever that may be. However, (and you know what I am going to say - but will say it anyway) when our thinking is totally focused on those "things" and since we only have 24 hours in a day - unbalance is quickly experienced.

As I mentioned above, we are not islands. Now, I know some like to be more "private" some like to be "alone" and "to themselves" etc. But we do need one another. People do need people and that is where the church comes in.

I am a firm believer in the church part in coping with family cares in regard to priorities. By observation being connected to smaller church will meet that "family" competent. In a larger church setting, one has to take the initiative to get involved in a small group. That would be the place for one to connect with one another. A place where "when one cries all cries."

When it comes to coping with family cares - Mr. Priority raises his head.

Then there is...

3. Provision

bride and groom

The element of providing. Yep, many would like to provide more than they do.

In 1 Timothy 5:8 the word "provide" is used for a family. In looking up this word, I discovered it means to observe and to plan. It means to provide before hand. The Japanese proverb says, "You dig a well before you are thirsty." I like that.

We need to plan and the Bible gives us the guidelines. 1 Timothy also says, "If any provide not for his own and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worst than an infidel." Pretty heavy words, but the idea is that if one does not use every lawful means to provide for his family, the Bible says he is worse than an infidel - meaning an unbeliever or a faithless one.

OK. We know we should provide. How to provide. Well, it means getting a job, and right, sometimes jobs are hard to come by. Wow, what does one do? One answer is to run this by those in your church group. The Bible speaks of the value in a number of counselors.

It is impossible in a page to go into depth regarding the whys, wherefores and suggestions regarding finance. What I say in the next few paragraphs most all ready know. But, believe it or not many have not had it sink into their head. So here goes.

Phrases like "sales resistance", "prompt payment" "impulsive buying" etc are actually necessary in coping with this aspect of family cares. Getting out of debt is wonderful but how to do it is another thing.

How lame is saying "discontinue anything that is not necessary". Well, that is obvious, huh? Buy on a cash basic when one can and not use a credit card. Well, that was one of the hardest things I had to do. What? Cut up the credit cards. When I saw them clipped and dropped into the waste paper basket, I thought of all the extra things I could buy. There were things that I did not need, but that I wanted to make my life more comfortable. Now we do use a credit card, but we make sure that it is paid in full at the end of each month.

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I would says to you, that if you want to get out of debt; if you want to owe no man anything but love, then cut up your credit cards and start going on a cash basis or as mentioned above pay in full. I think this does honor to the Kingdom God as Romans 3:8 says, Then there is Proverbs 22:7 reads, "The borrower is servant to the lender."

With the economy as it is (in any age of reading these lines) sensible shopping is a must. You know everything already belongs to Jesus, so why not do a visual and transfer all of your ownership to God. When you write a check, in your mind's eye, sign Jesus' name.

Then there is that word - TITHE. Did I say "tithe" Oh. Malachi 3:10 said it first!

"Bring the whole tithe into the
storehouse, that there
may b e food in
my house. Test me in this",
says the Lord Almighty,
"and see if I will not throw open the
floodgates of heaven and
pour out so much blessings
that you will not have room enough
for it."

It talks about the windows of heaven and it talks about blessings; about having so much you will not know what to do with it. Coping with the family care of provision and finances can be very simple, but man find it extremely hard.

4. Partiality

There are families in trouble today over what I would call partiality. You know favoring one member over another. Ouch. Hatred is the results. In the Bible, an example is the situation between Esau as he hated Jacob. Even today there are families who nurture one parent loving one child more than another. You might have that problem lurking in your home? For those: the prayer that always works is, "Lord, I want help because I know I am showing partiality and I know it is wrong." Why wrong? Wrong because God does not show partiality. God could easily do this, but He does not. He makes the rain fall on the unjust as well as the just, such is His impartiality. However, when it comes to Heaven and Hell there is a line drawn and there is a response from the Lord. For the believer, "Come into the joy of My Kingdom".

knot

Someone actually asked me which of my 5 children I loved the most. Wow - talk about being nailed. They were waiting for an answer. I had to response. My response was well, I love Jody the most because she is the youngest. I love Bryan's the most because He is the youngest boy. I love Kenny the most because he is the oldest boy and I love Darrin the most because he is the middle boy. Robyn? Well, I love her the most because she is the oldest daughter. I love each one the most!!

If you find yourself in this dilemma - which I have observed in a lot of "Christian families" - let God bless you as you seek His mind and way. You will find yourself living in Happy House Unlimited!

5. A List in the Mix

To see a short list of cares that have wrecked many a home can have positive effects. How so? It is possible not to know the source of the irritation. But, if it can be tagged then one can move toward a solution.

Like one family just did not "get it" that there were ungrateful children. (Deuteronomy 21 and 2 Samuel 15 give such accounts.

A woman came to my office one day and told me her many problems. Then on another occasion her husband came in and brought me his problems. I found they didn't even know each other, yet they were married. I asked them to return, but this time come together……let me "referee". They did. Leaving I heard one say, "I didn't know you felt that way. That is not the way I though it was." Cope with these family cares and troubles by seeking the mind of Jesus and communicating. Talk, talk and talk. And bring Jesus in the talk.

bride and groom

Could I mention envy - and then there is hatred and jealousy.

6. Who Is in the House With the Cares?

Oh, Jesus, where are you? What room? What care can you assist me in? Well really visualize Him in your Bed and Breakfast 24/7.

In Luke 11 there is an interesting story of a man who had some friends come from out of town. He needed a loaf of bread. In fact, he needed three loves. Today, when people come to visit you, naturally you want to feed them, so being out of food you go to your next door neighbor and knock on his door. You ask him to get up and give you some bread for your unexpected guests.

However in this Bible case the guy says, "Can't you see the door is closed and my children are in bed with me. I can't do anything for you now, neighbor." In Biblical days many people lived in a one-room home and when they went to bed at night they had to unroll the beds. So when you closed the door and unrolled the bed, it make it very difficult to open the door without removing the bed. If further complicated the matter if you were in bed and if the children were sleeping with you. This was the case in this instance. The man said "Don't bother now. I can't get up and give you three loves of bread."

The Luke 11 story continues, "If I say unto you, though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet, because of importunity, he will rise and give him as many loaves of bread as he needs." He won't get up just because you are his next door neighbor when you knocked at midnight and asked for the bread, but he will get up because of your assurance or boldness or forwardness. After all, it takes a lot of nerve to knock on your neighbor's door at midnight and ask for three loaves of bread. He gets up because you have consistently and persistently with assurance and forthrightness and boldness knocked at his door. You have come with assurance that he will get up.

How much more will God give every one of you in answer to our importune prayer. What He has already promised to give. Now, God says "I am going to give you certain things to help you with your family cares. I am not goings to give to you just because you are a child of mine. I am going to give them to you because of your assurance prayer, because of your boldness prayer, because of your forwardness prayer. That is why Luke say to "knock and keep on knocking to seek and keep on seeking." This is hospitality the Jesus factor.

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Invite Jesus into your home. Let Him come into your home with all the gifts He has for you and wants to give to you. Don't say, "Come in Jesus, but leave outside the door some of the things like water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit or the things that He requires to do, like tithing, witnessing or up grading your relationship with Him."

Hospitality. If He is in and the reality of such sinks in you will find His way to cope with all the family cares that come your way. I believe this because I know it works through personal experience and through the observation of other believers.

So, by faith invite Jesus in - first as Savior. Then say, "Jesus, you have given me my family. Bless me as I do my God-ordained task within the family. I need direction. I need the peace admit the cares and open my eyes to be an over comer. The Bible tells me to "cast all our CARES upon the Lord". This I do. Amen.

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