EULESS, Texas (BP)–I recently heard a prominent author and speaker make a startling statement about the family in an insightful and surprising meeting. He boldly declared, “We have lost the culture. We must not lose the family!”
How very true. The attack on the family starts with culture: same-sex marriages, court rulings against prayer in school, Christianity and Christian values marginalized in the media and on television. These are all attacks against Christian values. Coupled with the cultural attack, the breakdown of the home is occurring with division, violence and divorce.
Our families are under siege, and we must not succumb to this adversity. We must strengthen our families because they are central to the health of our society.
And they are essential to the health of our individual lives. After 25 years of research of more than 14,000 families around the world, culminating in their sapient book on the family titled “Fantastic Families,” Nick Stinnett and Joe Beam concluded: “We are confronted daily with evidence that the quality of family life is crucial to our happiness, emotional well-being, and mental health. There isn’t a question about it any more: We know that poor relationships within the family are related to many problems in society.” With this said, and the priority that the Scriptures give on the family, we must strive to strengthen our homes.
How can we bolster our defenses? How can we reinforce the walls of the home?
First, we must learn to treasure family relationships. In the Book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul places premium value on the family. He did that by writing about the interlocking relationships within the family unit (Eph. 6). He compared the relationship of the husband and wife to that of Christ and the church, Jesus’ bride. He took the highest relationship, that of Jesus and the church, and placed it beside the highest human relationship, the husband and the wife.
Both Jesus and the church treasure the beautiful relationship they experience under God’s design. Likewise, the husband and wife also should treasure the beautiful relationship they experience under God’s design. Both God and his children treasure the relationship they experience together. So it is with the parents and children in the human family. Parents and children should treasure their relationship with each other. No doubt, relationships within the family make for a treasure. And as Christian homes place primary importance on the treasure of family relationships, we will begin to bolster our defenses and strengthen our families.
Second, to bolster our defenses against the siege against the family, we must live out family relationships as the Scriptures teach us. First, the husband is to love and lead his wife and family, as recorded in Eph. 6:23a, “For the husband is the head of the wife;” the husband must lead the home. The manner of leadership is love. The husband lovingly leads his wife, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 6:25). Out of love the husband should sacrificially love his wife.
The wife, then, adhering to Scripture, follows and respects her husband, as delineated in Eph. 6:22, “Wives submit to your own husbands.” This means that the wife should follow the leadership of the husband.
Next, Paul addressed the relationship of children to their parents in Eph. 6:1-2, “Obey your parents and honor your parents.” This means children should be obedient and respectful to their parents in action and attitude.
Finally, parents adhere to the biblical prescription for relating to their children as revealed in Eph. 6:4: “do not provoke your children to wrath … bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” This simply means that parents should strive to avoid provoking their children by being a poor model. Each relationship within the family is important: husband and wife, parent and child, child and parent, wife and husband. Each is important and to be treasured!
Healthy and happy homes don’t just happen. They happen after we prioritize and follow the principles of Scripture. As we strive to serve the Lord in this way, we will find strength in the midst of the siege.
For more of Dr. Thomas’ resources, visit LifePoints at www.firstonthe.net.