Fortifying the Family by James Merritt

Fortifying the Family
James Merritt
Deuteronomy 6:1-15


1. Listen to the following facts and see if you can guess what they all have in common:

- 1,000 unwed teenage girls become mothers.

- 1,106 teenage girls get abortions.

- 4,219 teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases.

- 500 adolescents begin using drugs.

- 1,000 adolescents begin drinking alcohol.

- 135,000 kids bring guns or other weapons to school.

- 3, 610 teens are assaulted; 80 are raped.

- 2,200 teens drop out of high school.

- 6 teens commit suicide.

What do all of these facts have in common? They happen in America every day.[1] These things are no longer just happening to ''their'' children. More and more they are happening to ''our'' children. The ancient sage and philosopher, Socrates, once said:

''Could I climb the highest place in Athens, I would lift my voice and proclaim: Fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrap every stone to gather wealth, and take so little care of your children, to whom one day you must relinquish it all?' ''[2]

2. Those words echo the spirit of what God said to the Jewish people before they were to enter the promise land. By the tens of thousands, families had gathered to hear the Lord God's final instructions before heading to Canaan.

3. There would be many foes to fight, many fears to face, and God wanted his people to get strong, be strong, and stay strong. So what did he tell them? What is his counsel? What grand strategy does he propose?

4. Amazingly, he does not tell them to increase their defense spending, nor does he tell them to strengthen the military. He doesn't advise them to stockpile their weapons. He simply tells them-- FORTIFY THE FAMILY! How? The process is laid out step by step in Deuteronomy 6. From the very outset of this chapter we see that God is concerned with the family.

''Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has co ...

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