As Goes the Home...
“As goes the home, so goes the nation.” The truth of this maxim can be recognized by Christians and non-Christians alike. After decades of decline, the home is beginning to receive an immense amount of attention. Working without the objective standard of God’s Word, however, many people have been trying to rebuild the home according to novel and aberrant paradigms. But “the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). God has not left humanity without direction. From the very beginning, while our parents were still in the paradise of Eden, God established the home as He wanted it.
Homes that please God begin with the joining together of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4; Genesis 2:22). This plan excludes polygyny (a man with a plurality of wives), and polyandry (a woman with a plurality of husbands). God underscored this fact when He presented the woman to Adam and said: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Also excluded is the concept of homosexual marriage. The Creator did not present Adam with a choice between Eve and another male companion—He made only woman. Adam was not incomplete simply because he lacked human companionship; he lacked female human companionship. Further, the Word of God categorically condemns homosexual behavior (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26ff.; 1 Corinthians 6:9, etc.).
Jesus based His teaching about the home upon the original pattern established by God. He said: “He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6). Thus, sexual relations are authorized only within marriage (see Proverbs 5:15-21).
All deviations from this “one flesh” pattern are condemned: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The Bible affirms that God “hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16). Yet, if the sacredness of marital love is violated in any act of fornication (all forms of sexual immorality), the innocent spouse is allowed (though, not required) to obtain a divorce and may marry another person (Matthew 19:9). There is no other reason for divorce approved by God.
The home that follows the divine pattern is one that will strive to be in fellowship with God. Genesis 3:8 portrays the Creator as “walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Precisely what this entailed we can only conjecture (see John 1:18), but it seems that Adam was not unaccustomed to this kind of communion (how else can we account for his impulse to hide?). When Eve was tempted by the serpent, she repeated God’s injunction regarding the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:3). When Cain was born, Eve credited God (Genesis 4:1). When Cain and Abel were of age, they approached God with offerings (Genesis 4:3). These facts imply that Adam and Eve had built into their home a reverence for—and fellowship with—God.
The home is humanity’s primary center for religious and moral instruction, hence the inspired dictate: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). It is a tragedy of mammoth proportions that modern families have abdicated this role to the school and church. Both these institutions have their functions to perform, but God never assigned to them the work of the home.
Moses set forth a wonderful example of the home’s spiritual environment when he said: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Logically, parents who practice this are more likely to see their children convert to Christ than are those who expect the church to be the sole source of spiritual training.
The state of the nation is a reflection of the state of its homes. The homes that are built according to the divine pattern will serve as the backbone of our nation. Because of weak and dysfunctional homes, the church is hindered in her task. But, from solidly built Christian homes, the church can draw a mighty army to overcome the forces of darkness and proclaim the Gospel of the triumphant Christ to the world. Therein lies hope for our nation.