Saturday, 03 August 2013 13:27

Influencing the State of Our Unions

Written by  Reverend Mike Rippy, Evangel Church
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I have been married 36 years this month, and I have noticed that the ideas and concept concerning marriage is vastly different than it was on our wedding day in 1977.  I was reading the annual “State of our Unions” report which verified what I have been sensing.

 

 

In this year’s essay, David Popenoe argues that long-term trends point to the gradual weakening of marriage as the primary social institution of family life. More Americans today are living together, marrying at older ages or not at all, and rearing children in cohabiting or solo parent households. Popenoe attributes the weakening of marriage to a broad cultural shift away from religion and social traditionalism and toward faith in personal independence and tolerance for diverse life styles – otherwise known as “secular individualism.” This cultural shift is a central feature of modern societies and therefore unlikely to be reversed.

 

 

The Prospect for Cultural Change

To reverse this trend of marriage and family decline would take a cultural transformation of some kind, and it is interesting to consider and evaluate what this might look like, and what could bring it about. One potential source of change would be a significant expansion in influence and authority of today’s orthodox, anti-individualist religions.

 

The State of Our Unions is a joint publication of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.

 

As Christians we are called to bring about cultural transformation.  I believe it starts with the rebuilding or remodeling of our own homes as examples and influencers to our culture.

 

Terri and I did a major remodel to a home when we lived in Florida and our children were quite young. Thankfully, our marriage survived! Two truths while remodeling that home apply to the remodeling you might need to do in your family:

 

1.  It takes longer than expected!

 

2.  It will cost more than you originally thought!

 

Jesus shows us how important foundations are when we remodel.

 

 

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock.  Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”  When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. Matthew 7 (MsgB)

 

 

There are a few principles in remodeling that I will draw your attention to today.

 

 

•  COOPERATE WITH THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR

You must have the right foundation – Jesus!

 

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

 

 

•  CONCENTRATE ON THE BLUEPRINTS (Matthew 7)

The blueprints are clearly God’s Word.  Building on the sand simply means someone hears God’s Word and ignores it.  Building on the Rock means someone hears God’s Word and obeys it.

 

 

•  FUMIGATE THOROUGHLY

Some of us need to look at what we are bringing into our homes and then ask ourselves, does it reflect what the world believes, or is it based on a Christian worldview?

 

 

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him.  The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.  1 John 2:15-17 (MsgB)

 

 

Christ honoring homes CAN BE the influence, the salt and light that our culture needs.  The good news is YOUR HOME and YOUR MARRIAGE is where the change can begin.

 

 

Mike Rippy has been in full time ministry with the Assemblies of God for 28 years and Lead Pastor for 21 years at Evangel Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He has been married to his wife, Terri, for 36 years and has 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

 

 

Last modified on Saturday, 03 August 2013 13:36
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