THE MIND OF GOD CONCERNING FAMILIES
There are several lessons i had to learn when it comes to life and it all begins with my family. My night turned into sorrow when i began to think about the trend to which most families are going these days. No love again in the home, trivial issues will result into outburst and to some into what they call irreconcilable differences. And seriously being a victim of this, I keep wondering why then did God institute this. So the question is WHAT IS THE MIND OF GOD CONCERNING YOUR FAMILY AND MINE?
In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities. Families lie at the center of our Heavenly Father’s plan. This statement from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” declares the responsibilities of parents to their families:
“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”
The family is the most important unit of society. This is a fact that everyone must learn. The family is not only the basic societal unit. It is also the basic sexual unit, the basic child-raising unit, the basic communication unit, and the basic all-around fun and friendship unit. It is okay if one is not in a family at this time, but it is important to understand that the family is the basic unit of society.
A family is a unit of two dedicated to healing, even if they do not enunciate it or even understand it fully. It means two who are happy to be together, who want to be together, and who deeply love one another, even though it can just be friends, for example, or a parent and a child.
Stated differently, the definition of family is two living in a close personal relationship. Close relationships most often exist between family members, but not always by any means. Couples may live together for years and not be that close, for example.
In fact, close relationships often develop among friends of either sex, work colleagues, and perhaps in other situations such as members of a sports team who work and play together constantly, for example. This is important to understand. They don’t even need to live in the same town or know each other personally, as long as they love each other enough.
Also, those living under the same roof must be in a close relationship. Just because two are roommates, for example, or even sexual partners living together, married, church-going, or just “shacking up”, as they call it, does not mean they are a family because they must be in a close, loving relationship with each other. One in relationship with the other, if it is not returned, is not good enough. They both must feel the same way about each other, and this is the key.
So with all the above definition about what family is, the question is what is the mind of God concerning our families?
A basic principle — that our family is the very heart of God’s plan — has been largely lost in most churches today. A serious problem in all this is that churches often do not organize their programs with the unity of the family in mind. Many churches have lost sight of the family or are not aware that the family is at the heart of God’s plan. This is not to say that single people are of less importance to the church — they are also part of families — only, that families need help to become stronger from all the activities of their church. Since many churches are not trying enough to help families, families are discouraged and are just staying away. They buy a camper and go off for the weekend trying their best to pull their little family together. Some churches do realize this and focus on the family.
Business and professional men often make the same mistake I did. Putting their careers first, their little family suffers. Women, too, sometimes let a career displace the needs of their family. Some women are successful in having a career while raising a family, but not many. For most, that is not God’s will. God’s will is to put the family at the center of our lives and learn to trust God for our needs and live on what He supplies.
Even worse is the false desire to always be “happy.” Some adopt the attitude that if they cannot be happy in their marriage and home, they don’t have to “continue putting up with it.” They think single life or a different partner will make them happy. So they abandon God’s plan for their family and go all out to find self-centered “happiness.” IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Families once formed are meant to stay together!
The next question is what are we willing to do about our families henceforth? Dear brothers and sisters, our family is at the heart of God’s plan. It is the most precious thing in our life. If our family life is not being lived to the glory of God, we are losing out. What can we do? To begin with, let’s not settle for the status quo! Here are a few suggestions:
1. Young people: obey your parents. Vow to reserve sex for marriage. Plan now how you will structure a Godly home.
2. Singles: remember, if you still have parents — love and respect them. Don’t destroy a family in order to get a mate. Do everything possible to make families of your acquaintance stronger. Plan your family life now, before you get infatuated with someone.
3. Broken homes: try to rebuild where you are right now. God forgives and heals, although it may take awhile.
4. Parents: dedicate your family to the Lord, and then do it again every day. Remember there is a Third Parent Who will help us, the Holy Spirit, but the responsibility is especially with the father to seek His help.
5. Worship the Lord together in the home. Memorize His Word together. Dad, it is up to you; mother can help, but it is basically up to you. Don’t fail your family by not leading them to the Lord daily in worship of Him.
6. Officers of the church: leaders need to constantly “think family” when they plan church programs. Ask while planning, “Is this activity going to strengthen or weaken families?” The church, like the early church, needs to have small group meetings in homes.
To sum this all up, remember what Joshua said at the end of his life — a very astounding, striking thing: “All the rest of you people can go to hell, if that is what you want. [That’s what he meant.] You can serve the gods of the Amorites where you live or the gods of the Mesopotamians or the gods of the Egyptians, but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.” (Joshua 24:14,15)