Matt Hagee - The Endangered Species of Masculinity, Feminine Grace, and Childlike Faith - Part 2
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If you brought your Bibles, I want you to turn them to Romans. We're going to focus again in the 1st chapter on the 27th and the 28th verse, as we continue to discuss "Endangered species". Now I know that I had planned on being further into this topic by tonight. However, this morning, in order to get the information presented that I know God wanted me to present, we needed to take some time. And in order to do that well, we have decided that tonight we're going to conclude this morning's service, and we're just going to save the rest of our "Endangered Species" list for a volume 2, because I don't plan on stopping preaching any time soon. And there's going to be another day and another series, and you're going to need to hear another sermon.
So don't worry about it: we'll save it for then. If you agree with that, say, amen. Now this morning, we started to talk about "Masculinity, feminine grace, and childlike faith". And we discussed how truth and reason are the foundation and the framework that the family is to be built upon. Now if the family is to function properly, then a man has to be in his proper position in order for the blessings of God to be poured out. And when a man is submitted to the Word of God and he's walking in the will of God, we defined six "C's". Somebody said, pastor, why did you pick six? I said, be thankful it wasn't 600. His wife said 666. It's just an anti-Christ joke. Don't worry: you'll get it later. But we discussed six "C's" of masculinity. Those six "C's" were these: one, a masculine man is a confident man.
Confidence is a God consciousness. It's when you, as a child of God, imitate the behavior of God, which is what we call faith. Often times whenever it comes to faith, people want to make it something that's very difficult to understand. And the truth is that faith is very simple. Faith is when you, as God's child, act like your father in heaven. When I wanted to imitate my father on earth, I studied his mannerisms, and I did what he did, and I walked like he walked, and I said what he said, because I admired him. Well when you live with a conscienceness of God and you live with confidence, you admire what God does, and you begin to behave like he did.
The next thing is. A masculine man is a committed man. He refuses to quit. He's also a courageous man. He's willing to face his fears. He does not have an absence of fear. He acknowledges fear but he faces it. He's a good source of counsel. He understands the difference between knowledge, which is information: and wisdom, which is what to do with the knowledge that you have. He demonstrates concern. He shows that he has a heart and that he cares for those that God has given to him. And a masculine man is not afraid to communicate. He's not afraid to take the time to share with others the information that they need to hear. He's not afraid to show his wife the courtesy of sharing his life with her. He's not afraid to tell his children how much they mean to him. Do you know how many kids get through life and dad never said, "I love you"? Why? Not because he was a man, but because he wasn't man enough to communicate.
And I'll challenge any man at that, because I have got a father who I would charge hell with a water pistol for: and he gives me a kiss and a hug, and I'm 38 years old, every day. So don't tell me you're too tough to be tender. You just don't like to communicate. There are opposites to every one of these things, confidence, commitment, courage, counsel, concern, and communication. And the opposite of confidence sounds like this, "I can't". The opposite of commitment sounds like this, "I won't". The opposite of courage sounds like this, "I'm not". The opposite of counsel is "I don't know". The opposite of concern is "I don't care". And the opposite of communication is "Wait: what"?
Now the reason that I list the opposites is because we're about to begin to discuss feminine grace. And there are two very real forces at work on the earth today, and one is the portrait of a godly woman that is described in the Word of God, and the other is a rebellious portrait that has been painted here on the earth. Here on the earth. There is feminine grace, which is godly: and there is a feminist force, which is ungodly. And so we're going discuss these two and compare and contrast. But before we do, let's read Romans 1:27 and 28. If you're there, say, amen. Likewise, also the men leaving the natural use for a woman, burned in their lust one for the other, men with men, committing what is shameful, and receiving to themselves the penalty and the error which was due. And even as they did not retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting.
In the beginning of this lesson, we began to discuss that truth and reason are what are required in order for sanity and peace to return to our society. Right now, we have a chaotic society. It is utterly confused. And one of the roles that can cause confusion to leave and peace to return is for women to begin to behave like God created them to behave, to walk in feminine grace, not feminist force. The problem is this: it's not a very difficult problem to understand. It's just a very present problem that must be dealt with. The problem is sin. I wish I could get more sophisticated than that, but that's just the simple truth of it. Sin, not global sin, not church sin, not universal sin: personal sin. Because the Bible says in the book of James: to him who knows to do right and does it not, to him it is what? Sin. And whenever we, as a society, fulfill what Romans 1:25 says, knowing the truth of God, exchanged it for a lie. We knew what to do: we just chose not to do it, which according to James is what? Sin.
Now sin is a separator. It always has been. When sin was introduced in the Garden of Eden, sin separated Adam and Eve from the presence of God. Sin is where the seminary of self begins. Sin sounds like this, I will, I want, it's mine. And every one of us, every human being born, was born with a sin nature. The thing that I think is interesting about Adam and Eve's sin, the action that they committed, is that it wasn't the action that got them driven out of the garden. If it was the act of eating the fruit that would have been the cause of them getting driven out, as soon as they bit it, they would have been gone. But it was the moment that God confronted them that they refused to confess their sin. God said to Adam, he said: where are you?
Now you need to know, when God's asking for your location, he already knows where you're at. Each and every Sunday when people gather in this church, God asks you, "Where are you"? You hear the truth, and God whispers through your ears in the Holy Spirit, "Where are you"? He's not asking for you to give him a GPS pinpoint. He's asking you to check yourself against his word. And whenever Adam answered the question, "Where are you," he said: I was naked, and I was afraid, and I hid. And he said: who told you, you were naked? And Adam doesn't even get into the situations. He just says: this woman that you gave me, he forgot his six "C's".
And the thing that's interesting about Adam's claim is, yes, he blames Eve, but even greater still, he blames God. He says, she did it but it's your fault because you brought her here. Everything was cool until she showed up. And then he turns to Eve, and he said: and what did you do? And Eve is actually more honest in her confession than Adam was. Eve said: the serpent deceived me. That's where sin starts is through the serpent's deception. That serpent deceived me and I ate the fruit. And so sin begins to separate. It separates God and Adam and Eve. But it also separated man and it separated woman. This is where the first battle of the sexes begins. Adam and Eve had a great thing until Adam accused his wife. Bad move, Bubba. And here's what God said to Eve whenever he cursed her based on her behavior. He said that she would obtain great pain in childbearing. And while I've never had children: I believe that all women would attest that that's a fact. Yep, amen. Very weak but it's okay. That's a fact.
And here's another fact. He said to Eve, he said: and you small desire to rule over your husband. Your desire shall be for your husband but he will rule over you. Now people often want to argue about this. And some people say, well, no, you don't really understand. What God did was God gave Eve the urge to have many children. And since there was pain in childbearing, the urge to have many children and the pain of childbearing would constantly remind her of the punishment of her sin. There's my response to that theological nonsense. And I can prove it. Now men, you're in the house of God so be honest. How many of you have ever had problems with an over excessive amount of your wife's desire to the point where you're like, girl, just leave me alone. I mean seriously: I'm just a man. Stop it. It's part of the curse. Come on. Really?
Now, how many of you would suggest that this desire for control is not sexual, but it's emotional? Ooh, I'm not going to raise my hand, but maybe he's onto something. Maybe if you switch seats you could raise your hand. God said to Eve, you're always going to want to be in charge but it's not going to happen. He'll be over you. And that's sin in its separation. The point is this: a woman behaving in her sinful nature will always attempt to control her husband. A woman, who is filled by the grace of God, will always compliment her husband. One will compete: the other will compliment. Ephesians 5, we read it this morning: the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. And the truth is while that relationship is designed by God to exist, that does not mean that the wife is just subordinated to the husband. That means she supports the husband.
What good would you be if your neck was broke? You might have a perfectly functioning brain. But if your neck is broke, you're paralyzed. And there are a lot of families that are paralyzed because the connection between the head and the neck is dysfunctional. So whenever a woman is operating according to God's plan, she is subordinated to her husband and she's supporting him, and God is pouring out blessings on that family just like God pours out blessings on the family when the man is submitted to God. You see submission is how you accomplish the mission. Say that with me, submission is how you accomplish the mission. Proverbs 31:12 tells us very clearly that a godly woman filled with feminine grace, this is her motive, this is her purpose. It says: she does him (her husband) good and not evil all the days of her life.
How long does she do it? All the days of her life. Now when you read Proverbs 31, there is no limitation on what activity a woman can engage in, in society. When you read the description of Proverbs 31, you read about an industrious woman. You read about an entrepreneur. You read about a homemaker. You read about a mother. You read about a woman who has good reputation in the society. You read about someone who is spoken well of in the streets. She doesn't fear the cold. She doesn't fear the rain. She does everything that she can to help her family. But the motive for all of it is not to build her resumé. The motive for all of it is to do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Now a modern feminist would scream, why would you do that? That's nasty. That's insane. That's crazy. Don't let him shackle you with that Neanderthal stuff. Here's what God says: wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. God says, do it because God asked you to do it.
There are a lot of things that we do that God asks us to do. But the truth is we fully don't understand it in our own context. Why does God say, "Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord"? Now, there are a lot of people who would say, well, if you really understand the nature of man, and the nature of the spirit, and the nature of the flesh... Let me tell you, I don't want to understand it: I just want to receive it. I don't have to understand the announcement of my mouth and the belief in my heart. I just want my name in the lamb's book of life. If he said, "In order to get saved, walk on your hands," I'd find a way to put shoes on my hands. Because I don't have to understand it: I just want to benefit of it. So how many of you would say you want the benefit of God's blessings in your family?
So then you can either choose to do it his way or you can do it the world's way. And God says: wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord. When you do what God asks you to do, God rewards you. God created, as we read this morning, male and female, and he gave them a blessing and a purpose. For a moment, let's compare feminine grace versus feminist control, because it's with these behaviors that you are training your children. Mother, if you exhibit feminine grace, then you are encouraging your son to find a wife, and you are encouraging your daughter to become a wife. If you are exhibiting feminist control, then you are training your children it's better to live alone than live with someone like you.
Now that might be hard to hear but it is a very real present reality in our life. You say, how can you say that? Seventy-two percent of people under the age of 25 would rather live together than get married. Why? Because the examples they had in marriage didn't give them much hope for marriage. Here's what feminine grace does: one, feminine grace compliments where feminine control criticizes. Feminine grace will point out things that they appreciate about their spouse and about their children long before they ever begin to offer a critique. And there's a difference between a critique and a criticism. When you walk in grace, you tell them how good they did in their effort. You tell them how proud you are of what they did. I have four children. And my children ask my wife and I all the time, "Would you be proud of me if", and you fill in the blank.
Would you be proud of me if I hit a home run? Would you be proud of me if I got a hundred? Would you be proud of me if, if, if, if, if, if. And the thing that we are very adamant about letting our children know is that there is no "If" in how proud of them we are. I don't care if you strike out ten times: I'm proud of you. I don't care. As long as you did your best, I'm proud of you. And that's what grace does. Grace looks at weakness and compliments the effort. Criticism says, you know what you should do! And how many household fights have been started with that declaration of war? When it comes time to critique, critique in a manner that grace speaks first. Say something along these lines, may I offer a suggestion? You say, well that sounds so weak. No, that's meekness: not weakness. Wife, your husband needs your help. But sometimes it's the way you offer help that creates resistance.
If you compliment him, the door will be open for communication. If you criticize him, he'll hit the mute button on you. You'll be talking. But just like the mute on TV, it'll be like this. Did you hear me? Oh yeah: got it. Feminine grace not only compliments before it criticizes: it appreciates before it compares. Feminine grace appreciates effort. Feminist control compares. Appreciation comes from the example that we see in Sarah. 1 Peter 3:6, this is a verse that baffles me. It says: Sarah submitted and obeyed to Abraham even calling him Lord. Wow. Could you imagine your husband coming home from work one day, and he says, I've visited with one that they call Yaweh. And she says, who's that? And he says, well, it's a God that nobody knows about. She says, well, who else has heard of him? He said, just me. She said, well, what did he say? He says, well, we're supposed to leave. Where are we going? I don't know. What are we looking for? Never seen it. How will we know when we get there? He'll show us.
Well, what are we going to do with the rest of our lives? Good question. And she followed that man. And not only did she follow him: every time he messed up, she stayed submitted to him. She appreciated him. She didn't cut his head off. And believe me: most of us would be dead if we did to Sarah what Abraham did to her. Show up in a foreign town, who's that? That's my sister. Believe me: you would have read that story in the obituary column underneath "Matthew Hagee, recently departed". She appreciated him even to the point where he was a hundred years old, and God had told him, "You're going to have a son," she still looked at him and said, Abraham, I believe in you. And because she appreciated her husband, he changed the destiny of the world.
You say, how do you know that? Do you think Abraham would have had a son with Sarah in their old age if all she'd done is nag at him for 99 years? God comes down and says, it's time to have a son. He says, not with her. Feminine grace appreciates. Feminist control compares. I can do better than you. Feminist control says, you're not the man I married. Let me tell you something. Here in the United States, marriage is a choice. We don't have arranged marriages. We don't sell our daughters into relationships like they do in other parts of the world. So when you made a choice to marry a mechanic, don't get upset when you don't bring a neurosurgeon home from the honeymoon. Comparing him to what he's not is not how you get him to become what you want him to be. But appreciating him for who he is and what God has in store for his life is how you get him to believe that there are greater things. Feminine grace is consistent.
Proverbs 31:12, it says: she does him good and not evil, listen to this, all the days of her life. She's consistent. What a wonderful thing to know that in life, as a man, you have a consistent partner. Feminist control is not consistent: it fluctuates. It's hot, it's cold, and it's all based on behavior. Give me what I want and I'll adore you. Keep from me what I ask for, and we're going to have a cold war at home that makes the Soviet Union look like a lukewarm bath. Do what I need, and I'll shower you with affection. Say, "No" and I'll pout and start slamming doors. That's not feminine grace. Feminine grace nurtures. Nurturing is when you serve with love. Nurturing is not when you do what you have to do and act like it's a burden.
I learned very early on in my marriage that clothes do not magically float off the floor and back into your drawer. That was something that came to me as a brief revelation after about ten days from being home on the honeymoon. I said, Kendal, where are my shirts? And she said, you mean those things that have been piling up? I said, yes, ma'am. And I very quickly learned that there was a basket for colors, there was a basket for whites, there was a basket for dry cleaning. And all I had to do was just put that stuff in those baskets and it would get right back where I left it. Now, in that process, she began to nurture me. But she never complained about needing to clean the shirts. She just asked that I helped her process them in a way that would compliment one another. If she were to walk down the hall and go, I can't believe I've got to do his laundry, the first thing I'd do is I'd say, I'll do my own laundry, because the last thing that I'm ever going to be is a burden on somebody.
And you say, well, that's just pride. Call it what you will. I'll make my own sandwich. But the point is feminine grace serves out of love. And that currency of love is an exchange that builds the relationship in the family. Everybody has laundry to do. Everybody has dishes to do. Whenever those things show up, be thankful for them. Why? Because dirty clothes means your kids are healthy enough to play outside. And dishes in the sink mean that you have the ability to put food on the table, and they have the ability to eat it and use it for strength. There are a lot of people in this world wish they could clean one dish. So be thankful whenever God gives you the chance to serve in love. Feminist control complains about the burdens of meeting needs, while grace nurtures.
The fifth thing that grace does is it follows out of love. It considers the motive more than it does the outcome. Every man, every woman are flawed beings. They're not always going to get it right. But if their motive was pure, consider that more than you do the outcome. Because I assure you, having a pure motive with a wrong outcome is much better than having a good outcome and an impure motive. Because the Bible says that God judges the heart. He doesn't judge the result: he judges the heart. Feminist control judges. Feminist control looks at it and says, what have you done lately? I know you had a good year last year, but what are you doing now? They never consider the conditions of the situation. They just constantly look at the outcome. And if it's not good enough, then nothing has been good enough.
The sixth thing that grace does is grace grows in value. It distinguishes itself above all other things. This is what Proverbs 31:30 says. It says: the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. For her worth is high above rubies. When you walk as a portrait of feminine grace, you gain value as the years go by. And I can tell you that that's true. I've seen it with my own eyes. My grandmother, my father's mother, lived on this earth until she was 98. She almost made 99. She not only had a chance to influence her sons. But in walking through the grace of God, she influenced her grandchildren, her great grandchildren. And we will live long enough to tell stories to her great great grandchildren.
Now the temporal things of value in this life will never go past the values that she poured into us. Why? Because she was a woman of grace. She never sought to control: she complimented. Feminist control dominates. Why do they dominate? They dominate because they're afraid. Why are they afraid? Because even though they've lost the consciousness of God, they know that they are standing on fragile footing when it comes to domination over a man. It doesn't matter how hard you try to escape God's plan: you cannot do it. You may rebel against it but it's still there. Whenever you have a godly man fulfilling his six "C's", and you have a godly woman fulfilling the things that create a gracious person, you create a stable environment that ensures the building of childlike faith. That's our final topic for the evening, childlike faith.
This morning, I mentioned that childlike faith is at an all-time low. Five thousand two hundred and eighty kids between the seventh and the twelfth grade, every day attempt suicide in the United States. It's the second leading cause of death between kids, who are 10 all the way up to 18. Why? Because they simply do not believe that life will get better. They do not believe that there is anything outside of what exists. This morning in our youth service, I applaud our youth pastor Andrew Cabasa for speaking on the topic "13 reasons to hope". Why did he choose that topic? Because you parents need to know that there's a show out on Netflix. It's called "13 reasons why". Now parents, how many of you've heard about that show? Kids, how many of you've heard about that show? Go ahead. You ain't in trouble. Your preacher's talking to you. "13 reasons why".
Now remember we live in a world of deception and the devil is a deceiver. "13 reasons why" is a fictional documentary. I still haven't figured that one out. It's based on a book. And the book is a story about a teenage girl in high school, who commits suicide. And she commits suicide, leaving 13 recordings for individuals, who could have prevented that suicide. Some of them were her friends that neglected her outcries. Some of them were the individuals who abused her. Some of them were adults who neglected her. But these 13 reasons are recordings that, according to the individual's that produced the show, the intention was that the viewers would identify with bullying: that they would identify with how to treat people better, and they would be more sensitive to the world around them.
The outcome was the reverse. Rather than identifying with the people who mistreated the victim, they identified with the victim. And now kids are killing themselves after watching this show. And they're doing it in your house. It's on Netflix. A mother of a 16-year-old daughter said, if I would have only known about the show, I would have monitored her Netflix. Monitor their Netflix. Flick their Netflix. Your child is not entitled to WIFI. But the reason that we spoke to your children about that topic is because it's something that they're facing each and every day. Why? Childlike faith is at an all-time low. There's a verse in Genesis 42:22 that is a statement that Reuben, the brother of Joseph, made. And in Genesis 42:22, Reuben and the sons of Jacob, his brothers, those who threw Joseph into the pit, they're standing in front of an Egyptian ruler. And they don't know that it's Joseph.
What they're do know is that this Egyptian ruler is angry with them and he is about to take their brother Benjamin into prison. And they begin to try and wonder why all of this is happening to them. They were going to do the right thing. But now all of this calamity has come. And Reuben turns, in Genesis 42:22, and he reminds his brothers. He said: didn't I warn you? Didn't I tell you, don't sin against the child? He says, because of what we did to Joseph, our misdeeds have finally caught up with us. And while that verse is a text that applies to their story, it haunts me, because it reminds me that what you do to kids when they're young will come back to haunt you when they're old.
Joseph was too little whenever they threw him in the pit. But now he's standing in a place of power. He can do what he wants. And we should tremble when we discuss what we've done with a generation of children in this nation. We've outsourced them. We've sent them off to public education to be indoctrinated. We haven't trained them: we've contained them. We haven't taught them: we've bought them. We haven't raised them to trust. They don't trust in marriage. They don't trust in church. They don't trust in themselves. Fifty-two percent of kids in this nation do not live with their birth father. Thirty-seven percent do not live with a man in the home. And we wonder where they're going to find a godly example. We've showered them with privilege, but we have not instilled responsibility.
We don't teach them to take out the trash before they're 18. And then when they get out of college, we tell them to go to work. Wait. What? We've told them what to do, but we haven't given them an example and shown them what to do. We've contained but we have not trained. I get to hear people say all the time, the second my kid got out of my house, they went crazy. Why? You contained them but you didn't train them. I could go buy a brilliant dog. And I could keep that dog locked in a kennel. And I could tell everybody that dog is trained. But the only way I'm going to know how well trained he is, is when I open the kennel and I turn him loose, and I say, come back. It's only through his ability to demonstrate obedience does he show training. And you, as a parent, will never be able to protect your child from every trial. But if you train them prior to the trial, you'll give them confidence before the trial begins.
And that's the difference. Train them: don't contain them. Teach them. Show them. Deuteronomy 6: and you fathers, whenever you sit down in your house and whenever you lie down in your bed, and whenever you walk by the way, you tell your son this is what God did when he brought us out of Egypt. From the very beginning, God made it an absolute essential that a dad train his sons, not contain them, not put them in solitary confinement until they're 18. That's what religion does. But relationship says, you're the salt of the earth, you're the light of the world, and this is how you behave in a world of darkness. My father, my mother, they were not the only voices in my life, but they were the loudest voices.
You say, well that kid went to private school. No, I went to public school until I was in the eighth grade. And I sat in those classes, and I listened to the science teacher whenever he said, now, here's what we're going to study today. This is kingdom, this is Philam, this is genus, this is species. How many of y'all remember that science class? And he showed us a pyramid, and he said, here's how it all works. And he began to lay out all of the things that created existence in this life. And then up at the top of it, he put me. He said, there's a man. You are the top of the animal kingdom. Now that was a scientific voice in my life. But when that scientific voice went off in that classroom, my father's voice went off in my heart. And he said, you are created just a little lower than the angels. I suddenly knew that what that man was saying wasn't true.
But there was something more true than that. Animals were created on day three. I was created on day six. Animals came out of the ground. I came out of the breath of God. Don't tell me I'm just a little bit better than a baboon. You say, where did you come up with that? Training. Dad talked to me about it. Dad told me about it. Dad prepared me for it. When I heard it and I saw it, I said, I know what this is. I didn't come home and argue with him, dad, you're wrong. I've been up there to hobby, and the eighth grade teacher says that I'm a monkey. And he just said, take that Tarzan. There's five things that every child needs. One, they need direction. You would no more start driving home, and cut the steering while off your car, and throw it out the window. Let's see how this ends up.
And yet, when you, as a parent, let your child decide, and make the decisions for their life without you giving them godly direction, that's exactly what you do. They're going down the road of life full speed. And you just pitch the wheel out the window. Wishing you the best. Wrong. Give them direction. Sometimes direction is subtle. Sometimes direction is confrontational. Sometimes direction is like this, get over here. But give them direction. Every child not only needs direction, but they need stability. They need to know there is an environment that they can count on. They need to know that in this world of utter confusion and chaos, there is a place where they can go and find peace and refuge. And that stability needs to come from home, home. Not their friend's house, not their social media circle, not their teams, not their coaches, home.
They need to know, when they come home, that's where they belong. The third thing that every child needs is correction. They need a clear understanding of the rules. Correction does not mean that your child needs to be afraid of your temper. Correction means that your child needs to know what the consequences are when they violate the rules. All of my life, I had people come up and ask me this question, and they thought it was real clever when they did. They'd say, oh, Matthew, what will your dad do if... What will your dad do if you break your curfew? What will your dad do if you went to this kind of party? What would your dad do if... And they thought it was just something that they were going to get the biggest giggle out of. And it was never a mystery to me, because my dad had five kids. And all the "If's" were out of the book by the time I got to that point. I didn't say, oh, he might.
I said, well this is what he did whenever that one tried it. And I just went, uh-uh, not worth it. Dad says get home on time: you get home on time. If you want to see the sun rise for the next nine months, you get home on time. You didn't get emotional about it. The rules were clear. This is what I expect. This is what I require. If you do not keep up with what is expected and required, you will be corrected, not given 467 chances. Do it one more time... We've got a society of one-more-time parents. Stop giving that kid one more chance, and let them know that it's over. Believe me: his wings will sprout and his halo will glow. And he'll look at you, and say, yes, father. Correction. A child also needs protection. They need physical protection, spiritual protection, emotional protection, intellectual protection. It used to be that the only thing you needed to do to protect your family was lock the front door.
Now, you need to go find every device in your household and make sure you monitor what your kids are watching. You say, well, I don't want to intrude on their privacy. If they ain't paying the bill, it's your property: it's not their privacy. If you're going to protect your kids, you're going to have to prioritize them. And if you're going to prioritize them, you better pay attention to them. Don't give them up to other people and don't give them up to the things of this world. You be the most influential voice in their life. And the last thing that every child needs is love, an overwhelming overdose of unconditional love. Because sooner or later, your kids are going to mess up. I don't care how perfect they are. They came from you. They're going to mess up.
And 1 Corinthians 13:4 gives us a full description of what love is. Here's what it says. It says: love is patient and love is kind. Love does not envy and love does not parade itself. Love is not puffed up and proud. It doesn't listen to your son tell stories about what he did at school and try and out do him with what you did back in your day. Love does not behave rudely. It doesn't set an example for junior that treats mom bad. And it doesn't seek its own. There is no "Me" time in love: it's just time you get to spend with those that you love. Love is not provoked. Love thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in someone else's shortcomings and iniquities. But love rejoices in truth. Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love endures all things. And love never fails.
Say that with me, "love never fails". And when you preach messages like this, as a pastor, your concern is that people are going to be overwhelmed. They're going to be overwhelmed with the idea that things are so wrong: they can't ever get right. But that's not the God that we serve. The God that we serve, he can make all things new again. Why? Because he loves you. And you just heard from his word that loves never fails. If tonight, what you're willing to do, you're willing to do in love, God will take that as an offering, and he'll correct everything else around it.
So I want you to do this: stand to your feet, if you would. And if you're in this place, and you're a man that says, pastor, I need to get back in touch with what God calls a man. I need to be courageous, and I need to be committed, and I need to be confident, and I need to be caring, and I need to do the things that you've described, because I love my family and I love my wife, and I love my kids, and I want to give them the stability that they need to overcome the world.
If you have that kind of love in your heart, and you're willing to confess that tonight, I want you to lift your hand right where you are. Ladies, you're in this place, and you say, pastor, I've allowed the world to influence me more than God's word to influence me. And tonight I want to let go of what the world says I should be, and I want to become what God wants me to be. I don't want to compete with my husband: I want to compliment him. I don't want to be in control: I want to walk in grace, because I want God's blessings in my family. If he's the head, I want to support him and not be paralyzed because of the dysfunction between us. If you have that kind of love in your heart for your husband, for your children, for your family, I want you to raise your hand right where you are. I want everyone in this room to repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, tonight we love you. And we thank you, because the truth of your word has set us free, free from what the world says, and given us permission to receive blessings from God that we cannot contain and we do not deserve. Lord forgive me for not doing what your word has asked. And by your Holy Spirit, help me tonight to walk in love, love for my spouse, love for my family, love for your word: that truth would return to my household: that reason would be our foundation: and that the blessings of God would rest upon my house for generations to come. In Jesus' name, I overcome the enemy. And all that he has tried, in the name of Jesus, by the blood of the lamb, and the word of my testimony. Jesus has set me free. Amen.
Now give the Lord a handclap of praise. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Jesus made a statement. He said: blessed are those who hear and do these sayings of mine. I would suggest that in these messages, you've heard something that God has compelled you to go and do. The faster you go do it, the quicker you'll recognize how quickly God's word can make a difference. The longer you argue with it, the more unreasonable your situation will become, because his word is true, and the truth will set you free. Raise your hands for the blessing.
Father, bless us, and keep us, and make your face to shine upon us. Be gracious unto us and give us peace, peace that surpasses all understanding to know that in this world of confusion, you have authored order. As long as we walk in love, submitted to your word, willing to accomplish all that God asks of us, being willing and obedient, the blessings of God will overtake us in every area of our lives. Because you have promised that the righteous have never been forsaken, nor have their seed been begging for bread. In Jesus' name, do we pray and we receive this blessing. And all of God's children said... Praise the Lord.