By Eric Norford
This writer heard a story a few years ago about a twelve year old girl that came from a family that had split. The mother and father divorced after fifteen plus years of marriage. The father had been committing fornication with an eighteen year old girl. The father thought his children would understand and love his new wife. However their reaction was the opposite.
It is very sad to say that the majority of homes in our society are like this one: husband and wife divorce because one did not remain faithful to the vows each made before God and man. There are even homes that split for no reason. What is even sadder is that some Christians have divorced for no reason that is scriptural and some even for scriptural grounds.
What we need to do is go back to what the Bible says about the home. When we see what God wants in the home, then the problems we face as Christians, can be put to flight. What does God want in the home? He wants commitment from the husband and wife, father and mother, and children. Until all are committed to God and his ways in regard to the home, our homes and lives will not be pleasing to God.
God wants a husband and wife to be committed to each other. In Genesis 2:24, we find the institution of marriage given by God. God saw that is was not good for man to be alone, so he took a rib from man and made a woman and brought her unto the man. When Adam saw the woman, he made this statement from God, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh. ” God intended from the beginning that a man and a woman stay together for life. However, we find later that man began to take more than one wife and began to put away his wives. It is true that God allowed this to happen throughout the Old Testament, but “from the beginning it was not so.” God never intended for a man to have more than one wife. If he wanted that to occur, would he not have created two?
We have Jesus in Matthew 19:3-9 replying to the Pharisees’ questions regarding marriage-divorce- remarriage. Jesus goes back to the beginning of creation to show that God joined the man and the woman together and said, “What God joined together man was not to put it asunder.”
What we need today are spouses committed to each other. Wives are to be in subjection to their own husbands as the church is to Christ. Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. This is illustrated brilliantly in Christ and the church (Eph. 5:22-33).
Our young people need to be taught what God wants in a marriage relationship. One man for one woman for life. If they are not brought up this way, what will become of our society or the church?
God wants committed parents. Children are a heritage of the Lord (Psa. 127:3-5) and a gift from God (Gen. 33:5). It is a tremendous responsibility to bring up children, Children are dependent upon their parents and parents need to be there for them. This means parents must spend time with their children. In our society, we have gotten away from this, In the 1930’s and ’40’s, parents spent about three to four hours daily with their kids; however, in the 1980’s and early ’90’s, parents spend about fifteen minutes daily with them (according to present statistics). Have you ever wondered why crime is up all across this country? Most of it has to do with children not receiving enough attention from father and mother. The gang problems throughout this country are a case in point. The child comes home from school to an empty house and becomes lonely. In order to cure the boredom, he will go out and do something just to receive the attention that he is craving. If parents will be there for their children, then the child is not as likely to go out and do something wrong.
According to Ephesians 6:4, “fathers are to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” How can this be effectively done if the father spends little or no time with his child? If you train up a child in the way that he should go, then when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). We need to tell our children Bible stories every day because a failure to do so could bring great pain for the parents.
Children also need to be disciplined when they do something wrong. This is for the benefit of the child, so when he gets older he will not do this wrong thing again. Parents, when they discipline, do it out of love. It is up to the parents to decide whether corporal punishment or something else should be used. The Scriptures talk about discipline in Proverbs; the wise man says on several occasions, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (13:24), “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying ” (19:18), ” Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (23:13-14), and “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (29:15). Discipline needs to be done or we will have a generation that will not be able to tell what is right or wrong.
We need parents committed to their children. They need to spend a great amount of time with them to tell them about God and life.
God wants committed children. Paul says in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thyfather and mother, which is thefirst commandment with promise,- that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” There is a movement among us that is trying to win children’s rights and involved with this are the following: children can do whatever they want, they can talk back to their parents, they do not have to obey them, they can sue their parents if they get a spanking, etc. God forbid! Children are to be in subjection to their parents. They are to obey their parents even if they don’t like doing what they were told to do.
Children will one day take care of their parents. When mom and dad get old in years and cannot do much, this is the time that children are to requite their parents (1 Tim. 5:4).
We need children committed to their parents and God, so they will teach their children the same way.
God has an answer for every aspect of the home, if we will only heed to what he says. Our homes will be better, and divorce will be the farthest thing from our minds. God does not like the home to be torn apart by man’s wisdom because he first instituted it and sustains it. Are we committed to our spouses? Are we committed to our children? Are we committed to our parents? If we are to be pleasing to God, we better be. May God help us to keep our homes pure.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 17, pp. 518-519
September 5, 1991