We all know that the home is in trouble in America today. There are now more children living with one parent than there are with two parents. Counselors are legion who specialize in marriage problems. Hundreds of books are written today on how to work out difficulties in marriage. It is interesting that the Bible has so much to say about the home, husband and wife, rearing children, loving each other and having a good life. The problem is that many will not seek this instruction and many who know what it says will not follow it because of selfishness and disregard for God’s authority.
Tertullian in the third century after Christ, wrote these words, “Beautiful is the marriage of Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice. They are both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in spirit. They are two in one flesh, and where there is one flesh there is also one spirit. They pray together, they worship together; instructing one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church; side by side they face difficulties and persecution, and side by side they share their consolations.”
The amazing thing about the word of God is that it is timeless. It is never out of date. The twenty-first century home still needs what the third century home needed. The Bible teaches one man and one woman by love and purpose are joined together for life before God. This was HIS plan. The man was the head of the home in the same loving manner that Jesus is the head of HIS church. The wife submitted to the husband as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:21-32). Children obeyed their parents in the Lord in New Testament times as in the Old Testament times (Ephesians 6:1-3), and parents were loving and considerate in bringing up their children (Ephesians 6:4).
God planned the home for our good and our fulfillment. There are no unreasonable demands. Love is at the center of the home. Authority is basic to any relationship. Everyone cannot “do his/her own thing.” All have to love, honor and respect one another. They communicate, they give in to each other, they reconcile, they conciliate. They respect God’s authority, the parent’s authority, the father’s authority.
There is no relationship devoid of problems. Where humans are concerned, we will have problems. As humans, we have problems with God, but let it be remembered that GOD IS ALWAYS RIGHT. While he is patient and kind toward us, we must ALWAYS bend our will to his will. If everyone in trouble would seek God’s will for their marriage and children, there would be no more separations, single parent homes, disturbed children, and hurt loves ones. It takes time and real effort to work out marital problems, but God has the solutions if we are willing to follow them. If the Bible is not the solution, then what do we have that will work? I have known those who would not follow what God says. They broke up the home. They went separate ways. They lost money, health insurance for the children, and it is twice the amount to maintain two abodes. They broke the hearts of their children and the hearts of family members who loved both of them. They had personal misery in the process; some had emotional breakdowns. And I have heard many say after having married a second or third time, “I wish I had worked it out the first time!”
Tertullian was right when he wrote, “Side by side they visit God’s church; side by side they face difficulties and persecution, and side by side they share their consolations.”
Harvey Porter Keynoter 1992