THE CHRISTIAN HOME
May 1, 1986 Issue
by Roy Lee Criswell
We today can have happy homes because homes were meant to be happy. As we look across our nation, we can see a higher divorce rate, and more juvenile delinquency than ever before. There is one basic reason for this -- broken homes. It has been God's law from the beginning that homes were to be happy, and the people in those homes were to serve him (Gen 2:21 -24).
In essence, it is taught in the Bible, and great men of our nation have said, that "the home is the foundation of all human stability and progress. As goes the home, so goes the nation." We have heard it said that history repeats itself. In view of this, we cannot help but see that our nation in many ways becoming very corrupt. Several centuries ago there was another nation just as strong, but that nation fell. It was the Roman Empire. It fell because the people were living corrupt lives; their homes were becoming places of immorality. If our nation is not careful, it may find itself in the same condition.
From our pulpits today, we need to cry against sins of all kinds; we need to try to persuade people to repent of their evil living, and renounce their evil habits. Relatively speaking, this nation was once a God-fearing one, but today God is left out of the lives of many. Many of these were once strong members of the body; this is a shame to any people.
In the home, we all play a great part; we all have our responsibilities. As parents, we must do our duty. Every organization must have a head to insure stability, and order. This position was given to man by God. Paul wrote in Eph 5:24: "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church ." So, God has commanded that the husband be the head of the wife. In living up to this obligation, man must be the ruler, provider, and protector of the home. Husbands, we must remember that no man can successfully control another who is not able to control himself. See Pro 15:32; 1 Tim 3:4.
The husband is to love his wife. Paul wrote in Eph 5:25: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." We must remember that love is longsuffering, kind, humble, patient, unselfish, and courteous (1 Cor 13:4-8). No marriage can be happy without a strong mutual love.
After God made man, He saw that it was necessary to make him a helper. This helper was woman. In her creation, she was taken from Adam's side. This was done that she might be his companion and helper throughout life. It is by man's side that she can realize her greatest usefulness and sweetest joys. It should be the ambition of every Christian young lady to be a wife and mother. This involves some of her greatest tasks in her service to God.
In the home, the wife has many duties to perform. She is to be an obedient wife. In Eph 5:22, we read, "Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands as unto the Lord." This does not mean that her intellect is inferior to man's. It only means that she, with her feminine and tender qualities, is not as endowed for rulership as the man.
Another duty of the woman is to bring children into the world. Certainly no home is complete without the patter of little children's feet. Many times when a child is born into a home, it will bring about a closer relationship between and among those in that home. Motherhood is a wonderful distinction. The woman who so chooses should not look upon her work as inferior to the careers of others. This is a great work, and we need more women who are willing to do it.
The woman, too, is to be a keeper at home. Paul wrote and commanded the older woman to train the younger woman for such occupations (Titus 2:5). It appears that many of our older sisters in the church have fallen down on this necessary task. Being a keeper at home involves ability to manage financial affairs, prepare the meals, keep the house as tidy as possible; she must provide an atmosphere of love, happiness, friendliness, cheerfulness and cooperation.
It seems that many women today think that it is necessary for them to hold down a job outside the home. In doing so, they often let yesterday's luxuries become today's necessities. The Bible indicates that it is the man who is to make the living (1 Tim 5:8). In holding down a job, many lose sight of their duties as mother and home-keeper. The children are left with others who do not pro vide the motherly love that should be given. It seems that if a woman is truly devoted to her home and her family, she will not have time to work outside the home; home duties are a full-time job.
In the home, it becomes our duty to correct our children. Paul wrote in Eph 6:4: "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." We are not to correct the child to provoke him; correction is to have lasting purpose. Solomon tells us in Pro 13:24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Children should not be permitted to do everything they wish; they should not be permitted to be disobedient and unruly. Under the Law of Moses when a child failed to do what was expected of him, he was stoned to death. Many young people of today should be thankful that they do not live under that law. In our instruction, we must be sure to give to our children a spiritual education. We need to have daily Bible reading and prayer in our homes. We are to be a good example before them. We must ever watch our habits, lest we lead our children astray.
In dealing with a theme such as this, we should not forget our youth. In the world today there is a tendency among young people to be disrespectful toward parents and other elders. I realize to a great degree that parents are to blame, but this is not entirely true. Some young people seem to think that their parents are survivors of an out-moded age, and unlearned are they. Mark Twain once said something like this: "When I was sixteen I thought my father was the most ignorant man I had ever seen; but then years later I decided he was very brilliant and I wondered how the old man had learned so much in ten years." Paul tells us in Eph 6:1-2, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honor thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise." This command prohibits all hurtful acts and cruel speeches to parents on one hand, and enjoins all necessary acts of kindness and filial respect on the other hand. The child can honor the parent by helping with his substance in case the parent is in need. When separated from them, too, by being the kind of men and women we should be.
In conclusion, our observation is that a man can travel the world over in search of what he needs and then return home and find it. Let us resolve to make our homes a place of peace, love and happiness.
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