The Family Is Under Attack
By Chuck Bartlett
I am starting a series of lessons that I will be preaching Sunday mornings for the next little while on the family. There is little doubt that the family unit, as God ordained, is under attack. We must not only be aware of such, but do what we can to stand strong. The key to success is to focus on the family as God would have it, since He designed it. Let’s look at the pattern that we ought to follow.
The seriousness of marriage
When society puts little value on the institution of marriage, that same attitude can enter the minds of God’s people. It is so serious that man needs to see that the choosing of a mate is until death do they part (Rom. 7:1-4). It isn’t the idea that they “try out” each other before the vows are made. The Hebrew writer pointed out, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”(Heb. 13:4). The idea of “saving” oneself until marriage is a joke in many circles. With that, it has also become a joke that marriage is for life. The danger of not taking marriage seriously can put one in a situation where their life is miserable and possibly a separation, having destroyed the right to ever remarry (Matt. 5:32; 19:9).
Choosing a mate wisely
Marriage is not something you rush into. Sadly, the mindset in past times was the “shotgun” wedding. Committing fornication is not a reason to get married. To think you “have” to get married is not thinking properly. The choosing of a lifelong mate should take into
consideration if this person will be a help or hindrance to your spiritual growth. Since we are admonished to choose our friends wisely (I Cor. 15:33), how much more so when it comes to someone you desire to marry? Too, keep in mind that if you find yourself in a situation where your mate is no longer, or never has been, a help to you, remember that you can influence them by your godliness (I Cor. 7:16).
The roles as God designed
The goal we all need to have is to function the way our God designed it. It isn’t our place to say that I want the woman to be the head of the household and for the man to be the keeper of the home, when God says otherwise (Eph. 5:23; Titus 2:5). Of course, that does not mean the husband treats his wife like a slave – read Ephesians 5:28-29. Nor does it mean the wife is confined to the home – read Proverbs 31:10-31, about the virtuous woman. Keep in mind God designed marriage and the roles, not man. Therefore, we ought to ask ourselves; who really knows what’s best?
The role of parents
Just as there is divine guidance for the husband and wife, the same goes for parents. When children are brought into this world there are many God given responsibilities that must be obeyed. Most people accept the idea of providing for their physical needs (II Cor. 12:14). However, and more importantly, is the need to bring them up to serve the Lord (Eph. 6:4). This means to train them in the way they should go, knowing they need guidance (Prov. 22:6). Of course, the best way to do this is to lead by example. This was a blessing that Timothy received from his mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5).
The role of children
Even though children are just that, children, they have a duty to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1). It isn’t their place to make demands, and act as if they are entitled to everything they want. They also need to be thankful and show respect. This is what you read concerning the children of the virtuous wife (Prov. 31). In this passage, the children rise and called their mother blessed (vr. 28). This is just a sample from the lessons that will be preached in a series of lessons over the next few weeks.