Yesterday’s message …
- Concluded a series on marriage by talking about parenting;
- Did NOT depend on Deuteronomy 6:4-8 to do so!! (Inside joke for preachers and/or long time church go-ers there);
- Shared the resource of www.thebibleproject.com;
- Landed at this bottom line: We tell stories so that we raise story tellers.
Well, we have been talking about FCL, TCM here at GS recently, and for the past three weeks the focus has really been on the LOVE part and the MARRIAGE part. For the many of you who are married and for the ALL OF US who have been impacted by marriage. But as many if not most of you know, the little middle school rhyme has a third piece to it: “Then comes _ (usually some random friend) in a baby carriage.” Well what about that baby carriage? What does that do to this thing called marriage? Or, in many cases, when the baby comes before the marrying does? What does baby in carriage do to the relationship?
Because in my neighborhood I see young couples walking around with the carriages and I get a sense of nostalgia (I REMEMBER WHAT THAT WAS LIKE!) and wonder (ISN’T THAT SWEET?) Now: for the lady – true story – who puts her little dog in the baby carriage and walks it around the neighborhood, I get more of a WHAT THE? … but that’s another story. Because, dog aside, you know this because a lot of you lived this as one who went through a divorce or grew up in one: babies and children RARELY save a marriage. Instead, they usually bring a different kind of stress or tension that magnifies what was there before. And those stresses rarely get easier as the child gets older. I came across this book (AV): HOW YOUR CHILD’S ADOLESCENCE TRIGGERS YOUR OWN CRISIS. Well thanks a lot! Both to 13 year old AND to author! Now you know why we have all these 45 year olds driving Alfa Romeos that they can’t even fit in! And then, I know, as we consider this baby carriage thing that some of you here feel like you caused that divorce you grew up in. Not anything you DID, necessarily, but simply your PRESENCE. And although mom and dads and grandparents and aunts and uncles all told you it wasn’t your fault, you never felt quite that confident. So here we are. Baby carriage time and for all too many couples and households, maybe the one you’re in now, it does more dividing than uniting.
And here’s the deal. Most of the time, when churches and pastors and authors and experts deal with and teach on parenting, & marriage & the interaction of the two, they focus on the HOW. (Not HOW are babies made … that’s next week.) HOW do you raise, HOW do you potty train, HOW do you discipline, HOW do you change diapers, HOW do you get through teenage year. And there’s a place for all of that, and all of that is important, it’s just a bit premature. I want to back it up to a WHY question. Why are you given children? Whether it’s biological, step, or foster, why? What is the design and purpose from ON HIGH in entrusting you with kids? Is there a reason beyond biology? Deeper than ensuring the continuation of the species? More than keeping the name going?
Which is why Psalm 78 is such a revelation. As we say here every Sunday, the bible is library and not book and as we said THIS Sunday, within that library the Psalms is the song book. The Spotify if you’re just too digital to catch a song book reference. But SOME Psalms are songs that teach as they sing. Like my son learned the 10C to a song back in the day with the chorus Don’t bow down to idols; idols don’t love you. (Clip?) That’s really the function of the song that is Psalm 78 – it is a song that was sung to teach. And what it teaches is very much a survey of the history of the Old Testament people, the Jews, the children of Israel.
Yet the opening “verse” of the song (verses 1-7) is absolutely fascinating. Look at how it begins in 78:1 and whenever I read here, circle those words that have to do with WORDS LISTEN SAY TELL: