All in the Family (Part 1) | Love Your Mate and Teach Your Children

Understanding How To Have A Better Marriage And Family

James Greer
Feb 6, 2022    29m
In order to have a better marriage and family, it's important to allow the Lord to build a strong foundation. Join us in today's message as we learn what characteristics help to build that foundation. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:02] Welcome to our new series, All in the Family. And I'm so excited. I got my brace off. Hey, no more 15-minute messages though. Yeah, guess what? Y'all didn't say yay for that. Y'all like that. Hey, look, you know, there was a movie called All in the Family? And y'all, there was a guy named Archie and his wife was Ethel. And his son-in-law, he called him meathead. And he'd say, meathead, turn the radio off. And the whole show was about making fun of each other and sarcasm. And you'd watch the show and you'd laugh. And it was kind of funny. But there's something that's not funny. There are some people that grew up in families that were sarcastic and ugly and mean. And then later on, maybe they get married, and then they bring that into the family. And what happens is when there's nothing fighting and nobody's being ugly and nobody's being sarcastic, that person actually picks a fight because the fighting and ugliness has become normal to them. And when it's not fighting, it's abnormal. The same thing happened to the children of Israel. The children of Israel, when God delivered them, when Moses led them out of bondage, did you know as soon as they were free, they started saying, I want to go back in bondage? Now, see, what happened to them, they were in bondage, in slavery so long that that had become normal to them. And when they were free, that was abnormal. So I want you to know there's some people that don't know what a normal family is.

James Greer: [00:01:57] That's why it's so important to learn what a normal family is. You may not have been in a normal family. And you say, well, I'm not married. Can this apply to me? Absolutely. Because how you behave and how you respond does not matter if you're married or not. Amen? So let's get into it. You ready? Amen? So first of all, the first thing you can do if you're married is learn to love your mate. The best thing you do in your family is love your mate. Because when you don't love your mate, there's insecurity in your family. And the Psalmist said in Psalms 127:1, it said, unless the Lord builds your house, your labor's in vain. When it says your labor in vain, it means there's some emptiness, there's some unfulfillment. But did you know in that same person, unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain? Did you know in this one verse that it's talking about marriage, it's talking about jobs, it's talking about, and then it goes on and it talks about even your children? It is vain to rise up early morning, to go to work, and to stay up late, eat the bread of sorrow, for you give His beloved sleep. But guess what? Behold, children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is their reward. All in these few verses, the Bible says, I want you to know, the best thing you can do if you're married is what? Love you make.

James Greer: [00:03:20] When you love your mate, that brings security in the home. And then the Bible says, also, when you're not doing that, guess what? It's talking about it's vain to rise up and go to work. But yeah, I want you to know something. If you've got children, it's a blessing, a heritage of the Lord. Amen? See, unless you allow the Lord to build your house, sooner or later, you're going to have emptiness in your marriage, and your kids will feel insecure. Husbands, love your wife just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. See, children should be learning the truth about love from home because they're not getting it in media. They're not getting at school. In fact, in school, one of the things they learn is not how to get pregnant. Wouldn't it be nice when they're young, if they learn not to have sex? [inaudible] But anyway. So they're not learning from their friends. Have you seen on TV how they portray what love is? They portray love as sex. Some of them portray love as fighting and being ugly and then coming together, then they fight again. So what I'm telling you is they need to be learning what love is from the home. And you need to have your kids in your youth at church because they're reinforcing the truth of what love is. And I saw one of the videos of Richie preaching to the youth the other night. Man, and if you were adults, you'd be saying, I want my kids in there. He's reinforced the truth of the Bible. Amen? I watched Steven's. Man, if you had a kid, you wouldn't believe, man, they have live worship in there in a children's department. Amen? And then Steven gets up and preaches at a practical application where they can learn. Man, I'm telling you, we got the best children's and youth department I think anywhere I've ever been in my whole life. You want them in there. Amen? See, your children learn by the way we provide, protect, and teach and respond and forgive for them. If you really want to know, you want to know where you're at spiritually, you can ask your mate and kids. Some of you said amen and some of you said, oh me.

James Greer: [00:05:37] We need to have a quick reminder of what love really is though. See, love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous, not conceited or proud. See, that's what real love. Love is not ill-mannered. It's nice. Hey, hey, guys, we can still have manners. It's not selfish, it's not irritable. Love does not keep records of wrongs. See, love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. See, we've got to remember what it is. Love never gives up. And it's faith, hope, patience. It never fails. See, what I'm telling you is we need to be teaching love at home. Amen? Second of all, second of all, you ready? Second of all, so first of all, we need to be teaching love at home. Amen? We need to love our mates. Second of all, we need to speak correctly to each other. Kids need to hear us, and you need to hear us speaking correctly to each other. Now, you say, well, I'm not married. Hey, you can still speak correctly to each other, can't you? Amen? How about on the job? How about where you work? You know? Back to all in the family. He called his son-in-law meathead. He said, meathead, turn the radio off. He was all sarcastic and ugly. You know, it's funny on TV, but it's not funny to live that way. Do you want to live in a home where everybody's sarcastic all the time? No. Your kids don't either. The Proverb said, death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat it, the fruit of it. I mean, our words, we speak life and death into our family, into our kids, into our mate. Another translation says this. It says words kill. Words give life. They're either poison or fruit. You choose. Do you understand how important it is that we speak life into our kids, into our mates, and the people we work with? See, Proverbs says this. Pleasant words like a honeycomb. Listen to this. Sweet to the soul, that's your emotions, health to the bones, that's physical. Our words are so powerful. They can minister your emotions, and they could build up your health.

James Greer: [00:08:00] They can build up or tear down. I wish I had done better when my kids were at home. I really do. Both of my kids, both of my mate, I wish I'd done better. But you can. I think as parents, you need to speak life into your kids. Think of ways to speak life into them. You know? Man, you're special, you're fearfully, you're wonderfully made. You know? Because anybody can tear them down. Anybody can speak death into them. But think about it. How about that are married, how about those people you work with? Practice speaking life into people, not death. Amen? Oh, and then the next one. You ready? Answer correctly. You know, there's a verse that I often read before I preach, and it's not in the notes. But it's Psalms 141:3. It says, set a guard, oh Lord, over my mouth and keep a watch over the door of my lips. Yeah. I need that sometimes. Sometimes y'all do too, huh? When you have a bunch of kids in the house and they're all running around screaming and they're talking back, oh, I need that verse. When I preach, sometimes I need that verse. But the Bible says, a soft answer turns away wrath. Oh, I need that verse. But harsh words stir up anger. You know, sometimes when people are ugly to me and harsh to me, I want to be ugly and harsh back. Amen? It's a natural response. Another area that I wasn't real good at. But this is the truth. It doesn't matter where I was good at or not. Let God be true but every man be a liar. Amen? You practice being the truth, and you'll get the results that God has for you. That's what you need to do. Ask God to help you with this. Ask Him to help you with your mate and ask Him to help you with kids. Ask Him to help you stop being sarcastic and harsh, help you learn you to be kind, help you to set of guard over your mouth and a door of your lips. Amen?

James Greer: [00:10:16] Fourth, we need to show love by the way we listen to our kids. Listen to our mates, listen to our friends, listen to the people we work with. So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. That verse is so important. I'm going to read the amplified version, then I'm going to tell you something about this verse. Understand this, my beloved brethren. And he's talking to Christians now. Let every man be quick to hear, ready to listen, slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For a man's anger does not promote the righteousness of God and the wishes and the requests. I can still remember when I really learned the true meaning of this verse, how it shocked me. I often would get upset with my kids, and I would correct in anger. I'd say, you better do what I said, dah, dah, dah, dah. And then I learned this verse. And it said, when I'm correcting in anger, it doesn't accomplish God's purpose. Do you understand when you're trying to correct in anger with your kids, when you're talking to your mate in anger, it doesn't accomplish God's purpose. You might think it makes you feel good, might make you think you're in charge. But it just shows you're not. We need to learn to not take offense, but we need to be quick to forgive. Our mates, our youth, our children, they actually want us to listen to them.

James Greer: [00:12:18] Remember, when you do it in anger, it's not accomplishing God's purpose. Fifth, focus on the good qualities of your mate and your kids and your friends and your coworkers. I quote this verse at almost every funeral, but you don't have to use it at a funeral. You can do it in your marriage. You can do it in relationships. It says, finally, my brethren, whatever things are true, noble, just, things that are pure, things that are lovely, he says, you know, what it says, think on positive things, you know, not just the bad things. Is there any good reports, is there any virtue, is there anything praiseworthy? Meditate on these things. I say, don't just meditate on them, speak them out loud. Make a difference with them. You know? And it goes on. Listen. The things which you've learned and received and heard and saw in me, listen, these do and the God of peace will be with you. Don't you want the peace of God? Amen? It's talking about how you can have the peace of God. How you have the peace of God greatly determines what you think on and how you speak. See, every morning, you know what we need? We need a reset button because our brain by nature will go negative. But if we get up in the morning and say, hey, I'm going to have a reset button, I'm going to be thinking on good things today and I'm going to speak on good things and I want the peace of God to be with me. Did you know that God wants to give us the peace of God? Do you know God wants us to be thankful every day? If you want to know God's will, it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God.

James Greer: [00:13:57] I hear people all time, man, if I just knew the will of God, there it is. Are you thankful in everything? The will of God. Reset button. I'm going to get up in the morning because by nature, I won't be thankful. I'll be selfish. By nature, I won't think on good things. I'll think about all the bad things. So by nature, I don't speak good things. So I need to reset. When I get up in the morning, I'm going to think on some good things, I'm going to speak on good things, and I'm going to give thanks for the things that I have. When is the last time you really start giving thanks for what you have? Give thanks for your health, give thanks for your home, give thanks, I mean, just thank God for what you have. Are you a thankful person? I mean, your kids, your mate, your friends, if they said, hey, is he a thankful person, is she a thankful person? Or do you go around griping and complaining all the time?

James Greer: [00:14:59] This is the will of God, that you'd be faithful. Oh, man, this next one's tough. Fifth, admit when you're wrong and apologize? Yuck. That'll humble you. Whether it's the mate, the youth, the kids, all included. When you're wrong, admit it and apologize. Don't raise your hand. Have you ever really messed up and have to go to your mate and say, Honey, I'm sorry, I was wrong. Will you forgive me? Oh man, man, it makes you never want to do it again. Not that same thing anyway. Have you ever had to ask your kids to forgive you? I have. I lost my temper and screamed and hollered and then have to go say, man, I'm sorry, forgive me. It's hard to do. Have you done it with a friend before? You talk about humble you. You know what's worse? You ready? Not doing it. But see, your kids, your mate, but mainly you, you need to learn that it's okay to say I was wrong. Forgive me. Are you wrong when you scream and you holler and you cuss somebody out? Don't act like y'all don't do that. Journey Church, I mess up, you mess up. Y'all do that too. But do you apologize for it? In Matthew 5:23, it says, therefore, when you bring a gift to the altar, your church, and you remember that your brother has something against you, oh, you leave the gift there before the altar and go your way first. Be reconciled with your brother, and then come to church.

James Greer: [00:16:57] You know what it doesn't say? It doesn't say, go tell everybody. If you have a problem, you go to that person and that person alone. Thank you, Jesus. You don't tell anybody else. What do you do if you have a problem with somebody? You go to that person. You and that person get reconciled. Agree with your adversary quickly. Why? While you're on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you over to the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer and then throw you in the prison. In other words, what it says is, if you have a problem, you go to that person. If you don't, you get worse. So if you have a problem with somebody, listen, church, if you come to me and say you can't believe what Steven's doing, I can believe it. But let's call Steven in here. Oh. I'm going to tell you right now, if you come to me and you talk about anybody in church, I'm going to call them in there. Because that's what you're supposed to do. And if you're a member of Journey Church and anybody starts talking about anybody else, you tell them, hey, we don't gossip here. So we get the other person, we bring them in. They'll just stop it pretty quick.

James Greer: [00:18:02] Therefore, put away lying. Let each other speak truth to your neighbor. For we are members of one another. In other words, be angry. We're angry. Don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath. How do you do that? You make up when you're angry. Don't give place to the devil. Do you understand? Listen, don't have unreconciled. Be set before night. I can remember when me and Debbie first got married, I'd get so mad, I didn't want to settle it. I wanted her to come to me. I mean, come tell me you're sorry. I may have been the one screaming. However, come do it. I'm not sleeping on the couch anymore. I already learned you're not coming to get me. That's over. I only had to do that one time. All night long, I kept waiting for her to come, waiting for her to come, waiting for her to come, waiting for her to come. Next morning, I said, why didn't you come get me? She said, I'm not the one that got on the couch. True story. So I learned I don't have sleep, I can sleep mad in the bed. But the best thing to do is this. The best thing to do is this.

James Greer: [00:19:14] You settle it before you ever go to sleep. Never go to bed at night without being reconciled to whoever you got an argument with. You know why? You're giving place to the devil. Do you know what the devil wants to do? What does it say in John 10:10? The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So then the devil starts putting things in your mind that weren't even there. What started out little gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And he tries to destroy that relationship. He tries between you, your friends, your marriage, your youth, your kids. Forgive quickly. You know what else? Don't get place to the devil. Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding. Get a life. If you can understand your wife, you're going to be a millionaire. Giving honor to your wife. You can do that. You can understand that they're the weaker vessel, even though on TV, they don't show that anymore. The women are always the stronger ones on TV now. But anyway. And as being heirs together, the grace of life that your prayers might not be hindered. Now this is dangerous. Men, if you are married and you do not settle your differences, if you're not reconciled before you go to bed and then you go to God in prayer, maybe your kids are really having a tough time. Maybe you're worried about your child. And you want to go to God, say God, please put a hedge of protection around my child. Put a hedge of thorns were wrong influence don't come in their life. Your prayers could be hindered because you won't be reconciled with your mate. Listen, if nothing else, you want to be reconciled for the protection of your family. Amen? I got to rock on.

James Greer: [00:21:12] I told you no more 15-minute messages. Number seven, very important. Be united in your discipline if you're married. Be united in your discipline. No one can serve two masters, for he'll hate one, he'll love the other or else, he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. But that's not all it says. But you can't do it. Another verse puts it this way. Matthew 12:24, it says, and the Pharisees heard this said, this fellow does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. But then, he says, explains this, but Jesus knew their thoughts, and He said to them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to what? Desolation. Every city, every house divided against itself will not stand. So you don't need to be divided in yourself. You don't need to be divided in your discipline. So this is what we would do. We would be united out front, and we'd settle our differences in private. Now, sometimes as soon as we shut the door in the bathroom, I mean the bedroom, we had a lot of differences. Sometimes I didn't agree with what Debbie did. Sometimes she didn't agree with me. And we couldn't wait to get out of the room. True, true story. But we finally figured out we had to be united in our discipline because if not, the kids would know they'd go to the other one because they knew they could get their way. Let me tell you what, kids are born with sin. You do know that, don't you? Do you know they're manipulators, right? No, my little kid doesn't. Yes, they do. They do. And the older they get, the worse they are. Be united. Don't let them manipulate you. Love them, but be united. Amen?

James Greer: [00:23:12] All Right. We're covering a lot fast. Eight, accept the fact that your mate, your children, and your friends have weaknesses just like you do. The Bible says, we've all sinned and come short of the glory of God. All of us have. See, the first place your children learn forgiveness is from their parents. First place they learn love is the from their parents. Their first view of God is from the parents. Did you know that every one of us have to come to Jesus Christ just like a child? Do you know there's a time, the disciples, they came to Jesus saying, who then is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? And you know what He said? Jesus called a little child to Him, and He said, sit in the midst of them. And they did. And he said, surely I say to you, unless you be converted and come to me as a child, you will by no means enter into the Kingdom of God. I'm going to get ready to close. I want to tell you something. Have you come to Jesus as a child, as your Savior? If you haven't, there's no better day than today to come know Jesus Christ as your Savior. Because see, I don't think you can have the character qualities that I've been teaching without Jesus as your Savior. Because by nature, you won't do that. It's only through salvation. So if you're not sure you'd go to Heaven, today's the day, say, hey, I sinned, I've come short of the glory of God, and I want Jesus as my Savior.

James Greer: [00:24:58] Are you loving or you're loving your mate and your friends? Are you putting your love before your hobbies? And if you're married, are you putting your mate before your kids, before your job, before your hobbies? They come first. Have you been speaking and answering others correctly? Say, I'm not married. How about on the job? How about your mate? How about your kids? Have you been listening? Have you been focusing and speaking out the right words? Have you been speaking life or death into those you love the most? See, you can love kids and you can love your mate and still speak death instead of life into them. Because it doesn't come natural. It comes supernatural. It has to be intentional. You have to say, hey, God, I need the power and your presence to speak life. I love them, but I know that I haven't been speaking the right words the right way. And I need your help this morning. Have you been willing to apologize when you're wrong, whether it's your mate or your kids or your friends. Is there somebody that this week that you've had an argument, a disagreement and you need to ask them to forgive you just between you and them? You don't need to go to everybody else. You need to go straight to that person and say, hey, I'm sorry.

James Greer: [00:26:36] Would you forgive me? The most mature person should always be the one that goes. Maybe, maybe they started it, but you still feel uncomfortable now. And right now, you need to make a commitment that you're going to get things right with that person, whoever it is. Might not be in your home. Might be at work. If you're married, maybe you need to talk about this, maybe you need to get united in your discipline, at least out front. You need to submit and accept that everybody has weaknesses. You do, too. Maybe today you'd like to ask God to just help you in the area that you need. I wrote this verse after [inaudible], 1 John 5:14, it says now this is the confidence that I have in Him, in God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. All those things are according to His will. I gave you the scripture to go with it. And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we ask. And then I wrote, Father, I know it's your will that we become better people, better mates, better kids, better youth, just in general, a better person.

James Greer: [00:27:55] You said whatever we asked, if we know it's your will, according to your will, you hear us. And I know this is your will. You said we could have it. So in Jesus' name, I'm asking that you begin to help us this very morning. Amen. Would you stand? Father, I thank you for your Word. It teaches us not just how to be better parents and better kids. Really, it's all be about better Christians, better character, better life. God, it's obedience that brings blessings. Speak to us today in what area we need to change. Help us to humble ourselves. Help us to pray this verse, even like you said. Maybe we need to come to the altar and just say, Father, I know it's your will. Now do this. God help me to start this morning. Help me to have a better marriage. Help me have better relationships at work. God, whether it's anger, forgive me, maybe it's somebody I've been talking to the wrong way. Maybe you need to join the church today. Maybe you need to follow through in baptism. But what I wouldn't do is go home when God spoke to you about one of these areas without coming to the altar and ask God to help you. Ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:29:18] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online experience this morning. Y'all, what an amazing first week of All in the Family series. Y'all, this is going to be an absolutely amazing series for you and your whole entire family. But if you need someone to pray with you right now, I want you to text the key word, move to the number (318) 413-6422. That's the number (318) 413-6422, and someone will get with you right away. Y'all, again, just want to say thank you for joining our online experience this morning. I hope to see you next week.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360