Joel Osteen — Healthy Families
I want to talk to you today about having a healthy home. The people God put in your life are not there by accident. It's not a coincidence that you met that woman, fell in love, and got married. The Creator of the universe brought your paths together. You didn't just decide to have those children. They didn't just show up because you and your spouse got together. God knew your children before they were ever born. They had your name on them before you even thought about having a child.
Your parents, the people that raised you, you didn't just happen to end up in that home. He's given you your spouse, your children, those parents as a gift. They're on loan to you for a period of time. They're not always going to be there, and God is counting on you to take care of his most prized possessions. They're not ordinary, they are extremely valuable.
Don't take them for granted. Your husband, your wife, they may have some faults, you may not always see eye to eye, but they are a treasure given to you by almighty God. Those children may be a lot of work, they don't always do what's right, but they're a gift from God, and you have to see your spouse, your children, your family as being extremely valuable, as a special treasure that God has entrusted you with, and every day, you need to tell them, "I love you. I'm proud of you. I'm so glad that you're in my life".
They need to hear this on a regular basis. Not just on their birthday, their anniversary, "Honey, it's valentine's day, I love you". No, once a year is not going to cut it. If you don't tell your wife how much you love her, somebody else will. Be generous when it comes to expressing your love. Be free with your compliments. Men, you can never tell your wife too many times how much you think she's beautiful and how glad you are to have her in your life. Tell her again and again. That's one of the best habits we can all develop.
Victoria, she knows she's beautiful, she's been told that her whole life. I could think, "I don't need to tell her again, I've told her 1,000 times". No, I understand this principle, people never get tired of hearing how much you love them, how proud you are of them. I tell her again and again, "Victoria, you are so beautiful". Do you know, not once has she ever said, "Joel, stop saying that. I know I'm beautiful".
No, it's funny, the other day, we were in the room behind the platform getting ready for the early sunday morning service, standing in front of this mirror, and I was adjusting my tie, and she was putting her microphone on. I said, "Wow, Victoria, you look great. You look so beautiful today". She thanked me, and later that morning, getting prepared for the second sunday morning service, and just as we were about to walk out, she nudged me and said, "You didn't tell me I look beautiful". I said, "Oh, I thought you would remember from 2 hours ago".
Every time I walk off this platform, Victoria says, "Joel, today, was a great message". Today and I know she thinks I'm great, she's told me 1,000 times, but my attitude is keep the cards and letters coming. One time when I finished speaking, she said, "Joel, that was magnificent today". I walked out on cloud nine. The next week, she went back to, "That was great today". I was offended. But I wonder, how many relationships would go to a new level, how many marriages could be saved, how much arguing and petty strife would stop if we'd simply start expressing our love on a daily basis?
I've learned yesterday's I love you is not good enough for today. Every day, you need to express it, and one of the best ways is with our words, with compliments. Do you know people don't know what you're thinking? Victoria could've thought all day long, "That sure was a good message," but her thoughts were not blessing me. A blessing is not a blessing until it's spoken. You have to express it, tell them what you're thinking. Words have creative power. Words can lift people, they self-worth. When you tell someone, "Hey, I'm proud of you. You're a gift in my life. Honey, if I had to do it all over, I'd marry you again in a split second," those are not just nice phrases. Those words are like glue. They strengthen the relationship. And that's what makes it easier to go through the difficult times of life.
When people know you believe in them, you're proud of them, when you keep the emotional accounts full, then when you hit a bump in the road, you have the strength to stick together and overcome it. But the reason some people, they split apart so easily, they can't withstand is because they don't have any glue. They don't have kind words. They're not expressing their love, and when you tell your spouse something as simple as, "Honey, I love you," you are speaking the blessing over your marriage. You are adding more glue.
Ladies, one of your is for you to be proud of him. He may seem big, strong, invincible, like he doesn't need anything. But underneath that tough outer shell is a little boy longing for your approval. One of the most powerful things you can tell your husband is, "I am proud of you". When that man hears that you're proud, something comes alive on the inside, and this is something only you can give as his wife. His parents can be proud of him and that's good, they should be. His colleagues can give him awards, that's nice. His friends can tell him how amazing he is, that's fine, but nothing compares to the power you have as his wife to tell him, "I'm proud of you". When you do that, that does more than all of the others combined.
Studies show us having a wife that's proud is at the top of the list of what every male longs for. Women, don't withhold your blessing. Just as you like to hear, "You're beautiful, I love you," "I'm proud of you". "Well, Joel, I'd do this if he was more this and less of that". No, don't focus on all his faults, focus on his good qualities. The more you praise him, the better he will do. Your husband is like a cork floating in the water. The more honor you pour in, the more you tell him that you're proud of him, it's just like you're pouring water into that bucket. That cork, higher and higher.
Now, he may be down right now, but instead of nagging, complaining, try a different approach. Pour some honor in. Find something he's doing right and say, "Hey, I'm proud of you for being at that job for 20 years. I'm proud of you for coaching our children through school. I'm proud of you for coming to church with our family each sunday". He may be doing 100 things you don't like, find 3 things you do like and start pouring some honor in.
Ladies, think about this. Maybe your husband is not reaching his highest potential because the honor level is low. You as his wife control the honor faucet. You have the most power to do something about it. Don't complain, pour in honor. "Honey, I'm proud of you. You may not have broken the addiction altogether, but I'm proud of you for at least trying. You didn't get the promotion, but that doesn't change one thing in my mind. I'm still as proud as I can be of you".
And here's the key, ladies. Your husbands cannot live off of old honor. You were proud of him when he graduated from college, that's good, but that was 5 years ago. You were proud when he stepped up to take care of your parents, that's great, but that was in the past. What has he done lately that you can tell him you're proud of? If you'll pour in some new honor, not only will he rise higher, but the whole family will rise higher. When you get up tomorrow morning, give your husband a big hug and say, "I'm proud of you.
You good-looking thing when you pick him up off the ground, he'll go out with a spring in his step. But you'll be amazed at how these simple words will lift his spirit. They'll cause him to accomplish more, he'll not only treat other people better, but he'll treat you better. He'll go out of his way to do kind things for you and the children all because you met one of his greatest needs, that longing for you to be proud of him. In the same way, men, your wife needs your approval. She needs your blessing. This is vital to her becoming who God created her to be, and God is going to hold the men responsible as the spiritual authority in the home for blessing our wives. That means to build her up, to make sure she feels loved, valued, and respected.
Now, I know men, they never give their wife the blessing. These women only hear about what they're doing wrong, how the dinner was late, the kids are too loud, how they're not that attractive. Men, you're not going to be blessed if you're pushing your wife down. She's connected to you. If you say disrespectful, demeaning things, you're not only pushing her down, you're pushing yourself down. Many women suffer from low self-esteem, from depression because they never receive the blessing from their husband. Men, don't let that be your wife.
Solomon is considered one of the wisest men that's ever lived. You know what he did every morning when he first got up? He blessed his wife. He looked her in the eyes and said, "There are many beautiful women in the world, but you excel them all". He started his day what would happen, men, if every day before we went to work, before we started the project, we told our wife, "You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. There's nobody like you in all the world"? "Well," you say, "Joel, if I did that, I would be lying". No, your wife should be the most beautiful woman in the world to you.
Don't compare her with your neighbor's wife, don't compare her with the girl on the cover of the magazine or the actress on television, they've had a lot of help. Perfect lighting, professional makeup, surgery, more surgery, and then more surgery. Your wife is the gift God gave you. Physical beauty can be fleeting, but true lasting beauty is found on the inside, and that woman God's given you is a gift, she's a treasure, she's one of a kind. Nobody has her fingerprints. When you realize this, you can get up like Solomon and say, "Hey baby, you're looking fine today".
That's even in the scripture. But I'll admit I am not the most romantic person. I don't sit around and write poetry to Victoria all day long and plan these candlelight dinners. I tell people I'm not Romeo, I'm Joeleo. But I have learned this principle I realize I will not rise any higher. I can have the talent, the education, the opportunity, but our family will get stuck if I withhold my blessing.
Men, don't ever put your wife down. Get out of the habit of saying sarcastic remarks. Don't always have to have the last word, let it go. Keep peace in the home. Somebody's receiving and is gonna buy it for her husband. If you can't say anything good, don't say it. Words can cut like a knife. You can say something hurtful that only takes 10 seconds, but 10 years later, the person still feels the wounds. Be careful what you say, especially to those that are closest to you. Are you taking care of your gift?
I used to play basketball with a young man, and every time after the game, he'd say, "Well, I got to go home talking about his wife. He didn't realize putting his wife down didn't make him look good. If she's the old lady, I used to tell them, "I'm going to go home and see my wife, queen Victoria". If she's the queen, that makes me the king, and I like that. Solomon wrote a book in the bible, it's called the song of Solomon. In the 8 chapters of his book, he praised his wife over 40 times. He was constantly talking about her strength, her beauty, her intelligence. All through the day, there's no woman like her. You say, "Joel, you don't know my problem. My wife, she's hard to get along with. She's got a bad attitude". No, you start praising her. You start telling her how beautiful she is.
When you talk about the good, you'll draw out the good. When you talk about the negative, you'll draw out the negative. You need to remember the reasons you fell in love. When you were dating that person, you only focused on their good qualities. She's beautiful, she's fun, she's got a great sense of style". Or "He's so smart, he's so talented, I love his sense of humor". That person had the same negative qualities back then as they have right now, you just didn't focus on it.
Ladies, think about this, when you were dating that man, you knew he watched the ballgame every sunday afternoon, dressed up like the team mascot, had 12 of his friends over and didn't acknowledge you existed for 3 1/2 hours. You knew when you were dating him he wore the same pair you knew when you were dating his breath was a weapon of mass destruction. You knew his 40-inch waistline was bigger than his IQ, but you were so in love, you overlooked those qualities, didn't bother you a bit.
Men, when you were dating her, you knew that cooking wasn't she made you dinner once and you were out sick for 3 days. You knew she had an assigned parking spot at the mall. You knew she would buy the shoes and not pay the rent. You knew she had a direct phone line with her mother, but you were so in love, didn't bother you. Too often, we fall out of love and start noticing. Little annoyances become magnified.
What's the solution? We've got to fall back in love. Start remembering the reasons why you couldn't live without that person. Magnify their good qualities, overlook the things that are bothering you. Bring some freshness into the relationship. Laugh more often. Take more walks. Do something out of the routine. That person God has given you is a gift. They have approximately 80% of what you need. No person has 100%, and if you're not careful, you'll focus on the 20% that they don't have, what you don't like, and you'll end up frustrated.
Some people even leave the 80 to go find the 20 in somebody else, but they'll soon realize that person is missing 20% as well. It's better to stick with who you've got, see their good qualities, in the scripture, it says that because Solomon praised his wife, their children rose up and blessed her as well. In other words, when the husband takes the lead and blesses the wife, husbands, fathers, we're setting the example in the home. How we treat our wife is going to have a great impact on how our children respect and honor their mother.
Men, go out of your way to show respect to your wife. Treat her like you want somebody to treat your daughter. Ladies, treat your husbands like you want somebody to treat your own son. I've heard it said if you see a man opening the car door for his wife, that means he either has a new car or a new wife. But men, we need to get back to the days of respect and honor. It takes a man to open the door for his wife. It takes a man to say, "I love you. You're beautiful, I'm proud of you". You're not a man just because you're a male. Treating your wife with respect makes you a man. Taking care of your family makes you a man. Watching after your children, that's what really makes you a man, and it's interesting, in reproduction, the father is the one that gives the child identity.
The female has two X chromosomes, the male has an X and a Y chromosome. If the male gives the female another X, the baby will be a girl. If he gives her a Y, it will be a boy. To determine the sex of the child. The identity also comes from the father. I believe not only physically, but God has given us power as fathers to help our children know who they are. We have incredible influence in our children's lives, and fathers, we have a responsibility to affirm our children. Every day, "I'm proud of you. You're going to do something great. You've got an amazing future". Our children need our approval. We're helping them to form their identity. But if we're too busy, we're never there, that child is not going to be as he should be.
Fathers, be involved in your children's life. Bring them to church. Be at their ball games. Meet their teachers. Know who their friends are. Listen to what they're listening to. Pay attention to what they're watching. But a child that has boundaries, deep down that child knows that he's loved. That's what gives him value, and fathers, when that young man comes over to take your daughter on a date, be the first one at the door. Put the shotgun down, but be there in the house watching after this girl.
Friend of mine told me when he was a teenager that he had a drug problem. He is so clean cut, I couldn't believe he was on drugs. He said, "Yeah, I was drug to church every weekend. I was drug to sunday school. I was drug to youth class". He said, "You know, Joel, in my veins. They still affect everything that I do". He was saying, "My parents poured into me. They watched over me".
I've heard the story about a lady that had lived a very promiscuous life. One man after another, couldn't stay in a stable relationship. Friend of mine is a minister and he asked her, "What went wrong? Where did you lose your way"? She told how when she was 17 years old, she walked into her family room wearing her brand-new prom dress, feeling so special.
Her father was sitting in a chair reading the newspaper. She said, "Dad, what do you think"? Began to spin around and around, dancing, feeling so special, so beautiful, so proud. But her father never looked up from reading the newspaper. Her dance slowed down a little more, a little more, until she realized her dad wasn't interested. Walked out of the room, and because she didn't feel valued and approved by her father, she went through man after man, trying to get that approval that only her father could give.
Fathers, we have something extremely powerful. Your children need your blessing. Make them a priority. It's not an option, it's a responsibility. You have something to give as a father that nobody else can give.
Friend of mine was watching the football game on television. His little boy came in, said, "Dad, I've got to ask you something". My friend never took his eyes off the television, he said, "Yeah, son, what do you need"? The little boy said, "No, dad, listen to me with your eyes". What a great principle, give your children make sure they know that they're a priority in your life.
When our daughter Alexandria was a little girl, maybe 3 years old, she used to come in to my office at home when I was preparing my messages for the weekend. This was right after my father went to be with the Lord and I didn't know if I could do this, I felt very pressured, and even though we tried to keep her in other parts of the house, she would come in and say, "Daddy, can we wrastle"? She didn't want to wrestle, she wanted to wrastle, and most of the time, I'd take a 5-minute break and we'd go play. But this particular day, it was a friday evening and I was running behind, and here comes little Alexandria, little bitty toddler, long blonde hair, blue eyes, cute as can be. "Daddy, can we go play"? I said, "Honey, I would love to, but I can't right now. Maybe a little later". She said, "Okay".
She came back 5 minutes later, "Daddy, are you ready now"? I said, "No honey, I'll come get you. You don't have to come get me". "Okay". Five minutes later, "Daddy, can we go now"? It's getting so frustrating. I said, "Listen, baby, I'm going to come get you, don't come back anymore. Daddy is trying to concentrate". She looked at me kind of confused, said, "Okay," and walked out. Five minutes later, she came, barely opened the door, "Daddy, are you still trying to constipate"? I said, "No, actually I'm pretty regular".
Men, take time for your children. Don't become the greatest pastor, the greatest athlete, the greatest coach, the greatest business person at the expense of your children. Is your own family. The prophet Joel said to wake up the mighty men. I know today, I am speaking to mighty men. I'm speaking to men of valor, men of honor, men that rise up like Solomon and bless their wife. Men that make their children a priority. Men that speak the blessing over their family. Not only that, I'm speaking to women of faith, women of honor, that rise up and tell their husband, "I'm proud of you". Women that keep pouring the honor in. Listen, ladies, I can say like Solomon, "There are many beautiful women in the world, but you excel them all. You radiate strength, beauty, intelligence, dignity. You are one of a kind".
Now, my challenge you're taking care of the gifts God has given you. They're not always going to be here. Be generous with your words, "I love you. I'm proud of you. I'm glad that you're in my life". Express love on a daily basis. Men, get up every morning, tell your wife make sure she feels special. Women, remember you control the honor faucet. You keep pouring honor into your husband and he's going to keep rising higher, and if you'll do these simple things, I believe and declare you will have a strong, healthy, faith-filled family, and every force that's trying to stop you, your marriage, your children is being broken right now. God is releasing strength, healing, deliverance, favor, new beginnings, and you and your family will rise up and become everything God's created you to be. I speak the blessing in the name of Jesus.