Participants: Alanzo Smith, June Smith
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000071
00:30 Welcome to Marriage In God's Hands.
00:33 I'm Alanzo Smith and here with me is my
00:36 precious wife, June Smith.
00:39 June, say "welcome" to the folks.
00:43 It is my joy.
00:44 Welcome to Marriage In God's Hands.
00:46 And today we are going to talk about,
00:48 deception and envy.
00:49 As a matter of fact, in our previous presentation,
00:53 we spoke about deception.
00:56 So we want to focus on the envy aspect, the envy section
01:00 of our presentation.
01:03 But we're still on the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah.
01:08 We said it started out on a note of deception,
01:11 and as a result, it's down hill from there.
01:14 We also gave you folks a caution that you should never enter into
01:19 a relationship based on deception.
01:23 As the Bible says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked.
01:26 For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. "
01:31 When Rachel realized that she could not have children
01:37 and that her sister Leah was having children,
01:42 and especially sons, she envied her sister.
01:46 Let's talk about the notion, the concept of not having children;
01:52 childlessness in marriage.
01:54 Because that is a reality that confronts
01:59 a lot of families today.
02:02 It is said about 14% of couples who get married
02:06 will not have children.
02:08 And unfortunately, many of them don't know that
02:11 before they get married for a variety of reasons.
02:14 Infertility problems can be a very difficult
02:19 construct in marriages.
02:21 And many people are facing that problem today.
02:25 That is very sad and we want to really reach into the hearts
02:30 of families and individuals who are experiencing this.
02:35 We want to say to the husband if it's your wife
02:38 who can't give birth to a child, be caring, be empathetic,
02:46 be understanding, avoid pressure from your relatives and friends,
02:51 and bring your best self.
02:53 When you took that vow to marry this woman that you
02:58 love so much, it was for better or for worse.
03:03 Unfortunately, if it seems as if there might not be a child,
03:08 you just have to love her just the same and
03:12 make her feel special.
03:14 Do that for her.
03:16 And the same thing is true for men.
03:19 It is not always that the woman can't have children in marriage.
03:23 Sometimes it is the man or the situation rests with the man,
03:28 or the husband.
03:29 And so if that's the situation, then a wife needs to be
03:32 understanding, a wife needs to be sensitive,
03:34 a wife needs to be nurturing and caring and love
03:38 him just the same.
03:39 Marriage is not all about having children.
03:41 In fact, marriage is about loving each other
03:45 for better or for worse.
03:47 And love transcends everything else.
03:50 Now June, what I would like you to do for me,
03:53 we spoke to the husband and we spoke to the wife,
03:56 but I think there's a large body out there that
03:59 we need to talk to, and that body is the church.
04:03 Because the church does play an important role in the
04:07 lives and functions of families, especially young families.
04:11 And how should the church relate to a young couple,
04:15 or to any couple for that matter, who is childless?
04:20 You know, the title of this program is,
04:22 Marriage In God's Hands.
04:24 And the church tends to be very family focused
04:29 so that when we organize our services, we tend to
04:35 provide a forum for families.
04:37 And rightly so.
04:38 But that should not be at the exclusion of couples
04:43 who are childless.
04:45 Because here you have a number of families in your congregation
04:49 who are not able to have children, yet your focus
04:53 is on the family; the role of the family,
04:56 the role of parenting, the role of...
04:59 So we're saying then, be sensitive.
05:02 So when you have mother's day, father's day, children's day;
05:08 we're not saying you're not to have them.
05:10 You are to have these programs.
05:11 And, yes, you are to plan them well.
05:13 But we're saying, be sensitive.
05:15 For example, you can have a program of inclusion
05:19 so the wives that are in your congregation that
05:25 have no children, rather than having them sitting in the pew
05:28 while you call the mother's to come up, invite them
05:31 to come as well.
05:32 Let them come up, give them a bouquet.
05:34 Whatever you're giving those mother's, give them too.
05:36 And let them know that they are spiritual mother's in Israel
05:39 and that these boys and girls that are in the church,
05:42 it's their job to help nurture them and to care for them.
05:45 So we're talking about a ministry of inclusion.
05:48 It actually says, it takes a village to raise a child.
05:52 So those mother's without children can play a great role
05:56 in nurturing young children.
05:58 In fact, we encourage couples to bond with families who
06:04 have children, if you have none, and get to learn or to share
06:09 in the responsibility of nurturing those children.
06:12 So that you sometimes can help these couples who have children
06:15 to provide child care or to provide good babysitting
06:20 arrangements if they have to go some place as a couple, etc.
06:23 You can provide a ministry that has a great value
06:26 to the congregation.
06:28 So we don't want you to feel less of a couple
06:31 if you don't have children.
06:33 You are still special, you are still wonderful,
06:36 and you have a great ministry to offer to other families
06:40 and to other children.
06:41 Don't be a recluse, don't withdraw to yourself.
06:44 Love children and give your best, present your best self
06:47 to other children.
06:48 And be a mother, and be a father;
06:50 spiritual mother and spiritual father.
06:53 Of course, there's always adoption, there's always...
06:57 Other variables that they can choose.
06:59 Now the passage we're looking at, the story that
07:03 we're looking at, it says that Rachel envied Leah
07:09 because she had children, she gave children to Jacob,
07:14 and she could not.
07:15 Now here we're talking about the concept of envy.
07:19 Now Rachel envied her sister.
07:23 Little did she know that her sister is jealous of her.
07:28 Because Leah knows that Jacob's love was toward Rachel.
07:34 So we have this symbiotic confusion.
07:37 Rachel envies Leah and Leah is envying Rachel.
07:47 It's a dog and bone syndrome.
07:50 You know, I heard the story of some thieves who,
07:55 well actually, these were thieves that were very
07:59 defiant, as it were.
08:00 So they drove up into the front of the house and they
08:04 picked the lock and started taking out this woman's
08:08 expensive Persian carpet and they were loading them
08:13 onto the van.
08:14 The next door neighbor saw them taking out the carpet and
08:18 asked, "What are you doing with those carpets?"
08:21 And they said, "Oh, we are cleaners.
08:22 We are taking them to the cleaners. "
08:24 And the lady said, "Well, would you be willing
08:27 to do that for me too?
08:28 Would you clean mine?"
08:30 And they said, "Sure. "
08:31 So when they were through with this house, they went
08:33 over to the neighbor and took out all of her expensive
08:37 Persian carpet and went away.
08:40 What was happening here was that this neighbor
08:43 was technically envying what the other neighbor was doing.
08:46 And she wanted to keep up with her neighbor.
08:49 And we see the result of what envy is all about.
08:52 So envy is never a good thing.
08:54 And envy creates toxicity in a relationship.
08:57 So you don't want to envy what others have
08:59 or even envy your own family members because you don't know
09:03 what their circumstances are.
09:04 Because here in the story, Rachel was hurting herself
09:09 by envying the relationship that Leah had, and vice versa.
09:13 And that was just not healthful for either of them.
09:16 And envy leads to malicious feelings.
09:20 Envy leads to jealousy.
09:23 When you envy someone, you now become jealous of them.
09:28 And jealousy is a dangerous thing when people start
09:32 becoming jealous of another person.
09:34 So here we find, now, jealousy has set in.
09:38 Now how might we avoid being envious?
09:41 Well you know, first of all I think you have to accept
09:46 yourself for who you are, and you have to accept
09:50 what you have and learn to be satisfied with what you have
09:54 and live within your means.
09:56 So if this is what God has blessed you with,
09:59 see yourself as God's child and this is what He has given you.
10:06 Accept it, be happy with it, and move on.
10:10 And what God has blessed the other person with,
10:12 because God blesses all of us, but in different ways.
10:15 So if God gives you five talents and gives me one talent,
10:19 as we have that story in the Bible,
10:21 rather than me being envious of your five talents,
10:25 use my one talent to the honor and glory of God.
10:28 And that leads us to the point where we want to say,
10:31 learn to celebrate the success of others.
10:34 The reality is, there will always be people who
10:37 have more than you.
10:38 And your role is to use your gifts to God's glory
10:42 and be happy for other people's gifts.
10:44 Now people who are envious will hate you.
10:51 They will hate you for what you have.
10:53 They will sometime try to destroy you,
10:57 as we spoke about jealousy before.
10:59 Now if you know of someone who is jealous of another person,
11:06 or if you know of someone who is jealous of you
11:09 or hates you or these negative things that we're talking about,
11:13 what do we do?
11:14 Do you reciprocate?
11:16 Do we give them back hate, do we give them back anger?
11:20 Do we sabotage them, do we malice them?
11:23 Do we lie on them?
11:24 The things that envious people do, do we return it in kind?
11:26 No we shouldn't.
11:28 As Christians we should do just what the Bible says;
11:31 love those who hate us.
11:33 Treat those with these traits with respect,
11:37 and hopefully we can heap coals of fire on their head
11:40 and, who knows, win them to the glory of God.
11:44 Envy is something that is toxic to the human soul
11:50 and the human spirit.
11:52 We have too many families where people are not
11:55 satisfied with what they have and what they have accomplished.
12:00 What their children can do and what their neighbor or
12:06 their friend or someone else's children can do,
12:09 they become envious.
12:10 And sometimes you have a situation where this
12:13 rivalry starts, where you start pushing your child;
12:16 pushing your child beyond boundary to be like that child
12:19 and "Why can't you be like that child?"
12:21 Is that healthy to the relationship,
12:24 especially for the children?
12:25 That is not healthy.
12:26 You don't want to compete with anyone else.
12:29 Compete with yourself to maximize your own strengths
12:31 and work to improve your own limitations.
12:34 But never envy anyone else because that is not of God.
12:38 But it's important for us to look at Rachel's experience.
12:41 Here was Rachel envying Leah for what she thought
12:45 Leah was able to do; have children.
12:48 And she, pretty much, bothered God to give her this blessing.
12:52 What would you say was the outcome of that?
12:55 You know, we will talk about that in our next section
12:59 because that's what we want to go into;
13:02 the outcome of envy.
13:05 We're saying to you folks, do not be envious of anyone.
13:10 Accept what God has given you.
13:12 Be satisfied, appreciate your children for who they are.
13:16 Love them, care for them, make them feel special,
13:20 and don't push them to become someone else.
13:22 Because frankly speaking, they are not.
13:25 Envy and deception are dangerous characteristics to possess.
13:30 We'll be right back.
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14:09 Welcome back to Marriage In God's Hands.
14:12 We've been talking about deception and envy.
14:16 And we chronicled the story of Rachel, Jacob, and Leah
14:22 and talked about how those concepts were played out
14:27 in their family.
14:28 Now it is obvious that Rachel was also not happy.
14:35 So she kept pressuring her husband because she had
14:41 no children, it's a childless marriage, her sister is
14:44 having children for her husband, her sister's handmaid is having
14:48 children for her husband, but nothing is happening her way.
14:52 So Jacob got angry now.
14:55 And Jacob says, "Am I God? Why are you asking me?
14:58 Am I the one who caused you not to have children?
15:00 Why are you upset with me?"
15:02 So Jacob got very angry with Rachel.
15:06 My question here is, is Jacob's anger justified?
15:12 Now he might have felt pressured by his wife,
15:15 the wife might have been fussing with him a lot
15:18 because she had not been able to get pregnant.
15:22 So he got annoyed, he got upset.
15:23 Was the justified?
15:25 I think it was very insensitive of Jacob.
15:28 Jacob was in a situation where he was dealing
15:32 with his own pain.
15:34 Because clearly he was deceived by his father-in-law.
15:38 But the reality is, here was his wife caught in a bind.
15:43 And she was complaining because she felt desperate
15:46 to do what she thought was the thing to do then
15:49 which was to have a child for her husband,
15:51 especially to have a son.
15:53 And so she was complaining, she was whining,
15:56 and it might have been a little overbearing for him.
15:59 But he needed to be sensitive to her pain.
16:02 Are you saying that this is also true for the society at large,
16:07 for individuals when we need to empathize a little more,
16:12 when one family member is hurting and is going through
16:16 their own pain or their situation, rather than saying,
16:18 "Well, snap out of it, get out of it. "
16:20 There comes a time when you might have to say to the person,
16:23 "Snap out of it," but it should not come before we empathize
16:28 and we help to restore and to rebuild that individual
16:31 and what they're going through.
16:32 So yes, I agree with you that Jacob should have been
16:35 a little more sensitive, especially because of the
16:38 situation and how painful and stressful it was.
16:41 So Rachel is not happy.
16:45 Okay, she's not happy in this situation.
16:47 So look what Rachel did.
16:49 She offered her handmaid to Jacob and says,
16:55 "Okay, have children with my handmaid. "
16:58 Because she's thinking in herself, "If my handmaid
17:01 should have children for my husband, he will be happy
17:04 with me and that will make the marriage work. "
17:06 Again, we go back to the deception and that
17:09 does not work at all.
17:12 Her perception of what happiness meant was clearly warped.
17:16 And it reminds me of the notion of the demise that many families
17:22 are experiencing because they're barking up the
17:25 wrong tree for happiness.
17:27 Obviously, happiness comes from within.
17:30 Happiness comes from finding meaning in yourself
17:33 and your relationship with Christ.
17:35 And no husband, no wife, no child can bring you happiness,
17:40 as is reflected in this scenario with Jacob and his two wives.
17:45 So she did what her sister did, what she saw her sister do.
17:50 We call this, multi-generational transactional patterns
17:56 of behavior where dysfunction in one family can translate
18:02 into the other family.
18:03 Talk to us about this; individuals carrying
18:07 dysfunctional patterns of behavior into their
18:10 family from families of origin, and how this can
18:13 impact, whether negative or positive, the relationship.
18:17 If there's a family in the Bible that clearly outlines and
18:21 explains how multi-generational transactional patterns
18:25 get socialized in families, it's this family.
18:28 Jacob was the son of a deceptive couple as well.
18:33 Well, his mother was charged with probably causing one of the
18:37 greatest deceptions where she had deceived his father
18:41 into getting him the birthright that was due
18:44 to his brother, Esau.
18:45 And look how this played out in the generations hence.
18:48 Sarah had this great scheme and got her husband
18:54 to bless Jacob.
18:55 And here was Jacob who...
18:57 I'm sorry, Rebecca.
18:59 And here was Jacob who, because of his mother, Rebecca's act,
19:04 had to run away from home and landed in this place where
19:08 his Uncle Laban was, and the deception continued.
19:11 So families who impose deception, it gets perpetuated.
19:18 Pointed justice, we sometimes call it?
19:19 It's unfortunate that children end up with this scar,
19:23 but that is usually what happens.
19:25 I would like to take a little time out to speak to
19:28 our audience and you who have been listening to us
19:32 because sometimes you take into your relationship
19:36 what we call, baggage's.
19:38 You take into your relationship things that
19:41 are hurting your relationships.
19:43 Sometimes it's what you saw your grandfather do,
19:47 or what your father did, and you accept it.
19:49 You are socialized to believe that this is how it is and
19:52 this is how it should be.
19:54 And you tell yourself, "Well, my father wouldn't allow this,"
19:57 or "My grandfather would not. "
19:59 And the same thing with the ladies, with you ladies.
20:02 You bring things in that you saw your grandmother
20:05 or your mother do.
20:06 So here you are in your nuclear family and what is happening
20:10 is that you have brought in some things that are toxic
20:13 to the relationship and they are hurting your relationship.
20:16 And you have to examine yourself and say, "How might we change?
20:20 How might we inject in this relationship something better
20:25 than that which my parents had or my grandparents had?"
20:29 Bringing in baggage into the relationship can cause
20:33 the relationship to suffer.
20:35 And the story we're talking about, if we look in
20:39 that generation, we saw that it came back from even the
20:42 generation before Isaac.
20:43 Because his own father, Abraham, had deceived or tried to
20:49 pass off his wife as his sister.
20:52 So here we have all these lines of deception that eventually
20:55 got manifested in Rachel's life.
20:59 So we have two desperate wives, two desperate women,
21:05 trying to please their husband.
21:09 Desperation is a cruel task master.
21:13 And a woman or a man should never find himself or herself
21:19 to a point where they become desperate.
21:22 That's important for us to say and keep saying.
21:26 Because desperate women will go after a man,
21:31 desperate men will go after a woman, regardless of the fact
21:35 that they are married.
21:36 It's like, "I don't care. "
21:38 "I want him, I don't care. "
21:40 One woman calculatedly planned to take away
21:45 this woman's husband.
21:48 And she had no qualms about it.
21:52 She put it in her head that this is what she's going to do.
21:55 She's desperate and she's going to bring about a resolution
21:58 to her desperation.
21:59 So she took him away.
22:02 It is a very sad thing that frequently happens in families
22:05 where the price or the consequence to the behavior
22:10 is not what's looked at, but it's the desire
22:14 of the desperate person.
22:16 And as was displayed in this relationship with both
22:19 Rachel and Leah, nobody won.
22:22 This was a family that had a very sad ending
22:25 because people were just very indiscreet and were
22:29 selfish in the way they went about the things they wanted.
22:33 While you cannot blame Rachel totally for what she did,
22:40 understanding her desperation, there should be a limit,
22:44 however, as to how far an individual will go to
22:49 quench that desperation.
22:50 There should be a limit as to what an individual will do.
22:54 Each of you listening should have a bar, and it
22:58 should be a moral bar, it should be an ethical bar,
23:03 it should be a spiritual bar, where you sit.
23:08 One that God will approve and can approve.
23:11 One that operates within human dignity.
23:15 That you say to yourself, "I will not fall below this bar.
23:19 I will not compromise values and principles to the extent that
23:24 I have to come below this bar. "
23:26 You have to set it for yourself.
23:28 You can't ask someone to do it for you.
23:31 You have to set this high standard for yourself.
23:35 Because society is eroding and we see the bar is getting lower,
23:40 and lower, and lower.
23:42 And we're appealing to you.
23:44 We want you to keep that standard high.
23:46 That's what God will require of His children.
23:49 Now what stories can we learn or what lessons can we learn
23:53 from Rachel's story?
23:55 Well first of all, don't lose your dignity.
24:02 Maintain your cool, maintain your dignity,
24:05 under all circumstances.
24:08 Rachel lost her cool because, you know, she became desperate.
24:13 And the same thing with Leah.
24:15 So we're saying to you, maintain your composure.
24:19 Be yourself and learn to trust God.
24:22 Isn't it amazing that the thing that she wanted the most
24:26 literally took her life?
24:28 Yeah, as a matter of fact, she said to her husband,
24:33 "Give me children or else I die. "
24:39 That was her prayer, that was her plea.
24:41 So she fasted, she prayed, and she begged God,
24:45 "Give me children. "
24:46 And so God answered her prayer.
24:48 She conceived and she had her first child.
24:51 And she conceived again and she had her second child.
24:54 But guess what.
24:56 She died in childbirth.
24:58 Isn't that something?
24:59 But that's a lesson for us modern Israel.
25:02 That's a lesson for us today.
25:03 There are sometimes things happening in our lives
25:06 and we just can't see around the bend.
25:08 But as the song says, we have got to learn to trust
25:11 God's heart nevertheless.
25:13 What's tends to happen in many relationships is,
25:15 the things that we want badly and we have no control over,
25:20 we will do whatever it takes to push God's hand, as it were.
25:24 But like Rachel, God gave in, as it were.
25:27 Because sometimes that's how He works.
25:29 But in the end, it might not be to our best interest.
25:34 So whatever is the desire of your heart, you should not
25:38 compromise spiritual values to gain that desire,
25:42 you should not accept abuse to gain that desire,
25:48 you should not settle to shear your relationship
25:52 to gain that desire.
25:53 We're saying that God has put a price on yourself, on you.
25:59 Who dare you to take it off.
26:01 You should maintain that price.
26:03 He paid for you with His life and that makes you very special.
26:08 And regardless of what your needs are and what the
26:11 defects are and what the even tragedies in your life are,
26:15 the fact is, God will do for you and will give you the things
26:20 that He knows will always work in your best interest.
26:24 And if He withholds anything from you, trust that it is also
26:29 in your best interest.
26:30 We have looked at the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah.
26:37 And we have started out by showing you how
26:40 Jacob's father-in-law deceived him into marrying Leah.
26:45 And when he married Leah, because of that deception
26:49 Leah had a difficult time.
26:52 She was not loved, she was hated,
26:54 she was not joined to her husband.
26:56 That woman literally suffered.
26:59 And by the time Jacob, after working so hard,
27:02 by the time he got the other wife, the one that he
27:05 really loved, still there was pain in the relationship
27:10 and there was conflict.
27:11 Those two women were desperate.
27:14 Our message to you, our counsel to you,
27:18 out instruction to you is, don't get desperate.
27:23 Do not want anything that badly.
27:25 Do not want to get married that badly.
27:27 Do not want to have a child that badly.
27:30 Do not want to get rich that badly.
27:32 Do not want a job or a promotion that badly.
27:37 Do not want to be recognized that badly.
27:40 That you will stop at nothing to get it.
27:43 Learn to wait on God.
27:45 "Wait on the Lord and be of good courage
27:48 and He shall strengthen thine heart.
27:50 Wait, I say, on the Lord"
27:53 We have repeated this text before and we'll continue to
27:56 repeat it because we believe that in there lies the answer;
28:00 when you learn to wait on God.