The home is the basic unit of society, the source from which everything else comes. Homes will supply the factories, schools, businesses, churches, government officials, leaders, teachers, doctors, accountants, engineers, preachers and the rest. The home is the spring of civilization. Society cannot rise higher than the spring from which it comes. The home molds the values, priorities, morals, human relationships and just about everything else in society. It is a true saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.”
We are aware how lessons that ask, “Which Way?” regarding the church, nation, and home are somewhat discouraging. We wish it was not that way. They are depressing to prepare, deliver and read. But do we think things will be as they ought to be if we just bury our heads in the sand, as it were, and pretend all is well when all is not well?
The only ones who can be pleased with the direction of the family and homes in America are those who are either naive, blind, ignorant, morally degenerate, do not care or who seek the downfall of good things. This is not to contend that everything in every home is bad, but the direction generally is bad. While marriages increased seven or eight percent, divorces have increased sixty-five to seventy per cent. The number of unmarried couples just living together has grown between one hundred fifty and two hundred per cent. At the same time, children living with both parents is down eighteen to twenty-five per cent. Those living with one parent is up over forty per cent, and most of the loss of one parent has been because of divorce.
Children Neglected in Teaching
Sixty to seventy per cent of children under five years of age spend part of the day in some care facility without spiritual and moral training, while over half of the mothers in America have left their homes to earn money outside the home. We even hear of two-year marriage contracts, suits of “palimony,” (where one fornicator sues another fornicator after they have been committing fornication for a time, just living together).
The so-called “Women’s Liberation Movement” and such organizations as the National Organization of Women, along with their push for the so-called Equal Rights Amendment, has been a major contributing factor to the disruption of society and the disintegration of the home. With over half of the black births in America being illegitimate, and the illegitimate birth rate among whites doubling in the past five years, it is not an unfair question to ask if a nation can survive while it makes such vicious attacks on the home and family, its basic structure. The evidence of disregard for what God says on such things is heavily turned toward a worse situation.
The home is a divine institution like the church. It is designed by God and began in Eden. It has divinely given purposes, goals, responsibilities and privileges. Good homes begin with good marriages of one man, one woman, until death separates them. It involves God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the church, the knowledge of duties and privileges as declared in God’s Word. The prime goal of marriage and the home is to help one another get to heaven. When God is left out of these arrangements the home cannot be expected to be as it ought to be. When God is included and followed the home is one of God’s greatest blessings to mankind.
Sowing and Reaping
As with the church and nation, the law of sowing and reaping is relevant and because it cannot be repealed it gives us cause for real concern (Galatians 6:7,8). Downgrading the home and family is the result of sin and false doctrines designed to protect sinners. One gigantic factor on the increase is women leaving their domestic duties and the home and family for other pursuits. There has been a corresponding increase in adultery, lawlessness, and all manner of crimes, disregard for God and His church and general decay and corruption of morality. While this contention is not popular in our present society, it is still the truth and to shut our eyes to the truth is to sentence ourselves to a blindness that will destroy us. For the love of money, fame, pleasure and things, people have sold their families and homes, and not just their properties. Each woman who pursues employment outside the home at the neglect of her home should ask whether she does so from need or from greed.
We hear now and again someone say that the church is losing her young people. This is not entirely accurate. The losses of the young to the church are the result of homes losing the young. The church is unable, except in rare instances, to overcome what the home is doing to the young. The home is the training ground (Proverbs 22:6: Ephesians 6:4). We need parents like Abraham, Genesis 18:19, “For I know him that he will command his children and his household and they shall keep the way of he Lord.” Many parents are leaving the training of their children mostly to others and the result is the children receive little spiritual training. Their houses are not much more than filling stations occupied by strangers. Ability to communicate has been ruined by a worship at the altar of television. Priorities are being set by the godless even in the homes of those who profess Christ. Values are perverted because of what people are hearing and seeing.
Special mention is necessary on this theme because alcohol is probably the worst plague in our land. Did you know that drinking alcoholic beverages is producing more and more alcoholics and is America’s number one drug problem? Did you also know that most young people learn that it is proper to drink from what they hear and see in the home more than any other influence? What fools parents are who drink! While the homes are beleaguered with runaway children, child abuse, abortions, incest, suicides and murders of children, still parents neglect the spiritual and moral training that is their God-assigned duty to provide their children.
So many children are allowed to reach physical maturity never having been taught self-discipline but tolerated in self-indulgence. The most frustrated people on earth are those who have to meet life but have never learned the difference between right and wrong, and do not know how to make the decisions they have to make. Many children learn disrespect for authority by being allowed to display disrespect for parental authority first. Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Parental pursuit of selfish ambitions is at the root of many problems that are burying many youths. Far too many parents do not provide the time, energy, patience, knowledge and guidance enough to rear their own children. They are too busy chasing, sometimes money, sometimes other people.
The sin attributed to Eli was that he did not restrain his children. Just how can a parent do a good job when he is too busy with lesser things to attend to children?
Divorce is even occurring in the church at alarming rates. While it is still far less than in society generally (one of two in society), we find more and more professed “Christians” who show they really do not respect God’s laws governing marriage and the home. Even less do they respect His teaching regarding divorce and remarriage. To accommodate this growing sin in the church we are being bombarded with doctrines that rather appease those in sin than causing sinners to repent and correct. So many in the church have partaken of the sinful ways of the world that many preachers, teachers and elders have decided that we must “love them” and teach them something different from what God has said, or at least try to present some plausible dodge around what he has said so we can just go ahead and accept the adulterous unions among us.
Schools Often Hinder
Our schools have contributed to undermining the teaching done in godly homes, and even the erosion of the home itself. False doctrines about marriage, divorce, and remarriage among brethren have had a big push in recent years from professors in “our” schools. Even those in schools who know better and do not believe these errors being taught are not strong and courageous enough to openly oppose their colleagues. Jobs mean more than truth to so many.
Just what does one think the teaching of evolution does to the reliability of the Bible? Yet, evolution is taught as fact, even in schools supposedly operated by brethren. There are required texts that compromise with evolution. This is glaringly apparent in public schools, which in many matters have become one of the most poisonous enemies of the Lord's church in our day. They teach values and doctrines that are opposite to what God has revealed. Even homosexuality is presented as an acceptable lifestyle to small children. Humanism has become the loudest theme in public education.
Evidence Tells the Sad Story
The evidence of the decline of the home is staggering and it is obvious that the home has been going the wrong direction for several decades. While this is not pleasant to realize we might as well realize the truth about it. Sadly, too many do not really care.
Everything about the home is not bad. We should not conclude that all in America's homes have fallen to the devil. There are godly homes, governed by godly parents, rearing godly children. But this discussion has to do with present trend and downward spiral of the home, and the conclusions are too pronounced. But all homes do not produce divorce and delinquent children. It is because these homes respect God and His Word. This is why the task of taking the truth of God to the world is so pressing with respect to the quality and spiritual welfare of the occupants and inhabitants of our homes.
What Must Be Done?
It is one thing to recognize a trend but quite another to do something constructive about it and, in this case, turn it around to what it ought to be. There are efforts that should be made. Parents need to show their young what a godly home is. Often divorce breeds divorce. But stability breeds stability. Many youths never know a good home, marry without that knowledge, and when their home breaks down and out they consider that about normal. They expect failure because that is what they have experienced in their upbringing.
There should be more preparation for marriage by more teaching on God’s will for the home and family. It is easier to prevent than to correct problems. Preparation for marriage is a great preventive.
Married people must sever all ties with whatever puts a strain on the stability of the marriage and home, whether it be associates, jobs, recreations, locations, etc. We should police the television. What comes over it most often in the name of entertainment is nothing but spiritual and moral garbage of hell with every sort of sin paraded as an acceptable bit of conduct including fornication, drunkenness, homosexuality, violence, hate, divorce, murder, etc. On an average day on the “soaps” viewers see and hear nearly seven instances of something sexually perverse. Great entertainment for people who want to please God!
Cannot we strengthen the homes and ties of marriage and the family by family worship, personal prayer, righteous activities together, attendance at worship, family reunions that stress godly heritage, learning and practicing the “Golden Rule”? The greatest gift a parent can give his child are principles and specifics that show the sanctity and uniqueness of a godly home where Christ reigns supreme.
Sometimes the question is asked of a parent whose children are noted for being what they ought to be, “What did you do that your sons or daughters are as they are?” It is generally conceded that providing a one, two, three catalogued list is almost impossible. Good children are formed by living before them good lives. It is not so much one big thing as it is the daily little things combined. But we can say with confidence that teaching them a respect for the Bible is absolutely essential. Whatever advice could ever be given parents regarding their children is that human wisdom cannot displace or replace divine wisdom. As Edgar A. Guest once wrote, “It takes a heap o’ living in a house to make it a home.” Good homes produce good people and good churches. Good homes exist where each family member strives to live faithfully before God. Our homes can be what God approves if we will only listen and apply what He says.
Lost Children: A Terrible Tragedy
We often feel terribly helpless as we hear and read of the deterioration of homes, seeing children going astray, and watching the nation dig its own grave by ignoring the family and home. While none of us as individuals may ever make much impact on the world, even the nation, maybe even the community where we live, we can start now to make our homes more in keeping with the divine pattern.
Consider Noah, who saved his children from a world that was so degenerate God destroyed it. Consider Hannah’s Samuel’s mother, who gave her child into the service of God. She did this even as the nation generally was going away from God.
Once a person asked me why anybody would want to bring children into this dismal and sinful world where things seemingly are going from bad to worse. I could only respond that we needed our children so we might train them God’s way, and work and pray that they will keep the light of truth burning brightly in this darkened world in their own generation. We can provide for God tools for His service through our children if we will. May God help us, and them, in the midst of a present onslaught against His divine will to do what we must to make the salvation of ourselves, our children, and our children’s children the eternal reality.
1. What can be expected when children are not taught?
2. How does the law of sowing and reaping apply to the home?
3. Do you consider the homes in America to be going the correct direction?
4. Give reasons for your answer to question four.
5. What are some evidences that many homes are going the wrong direction?
6. With whom does improvement have to start?