The Blessings Of A
Being a member of a family is something that most of us have in common. All have been and are now a part of some family although many are estranged from the family. We wear family names, have family memories and backgrounds. Not everyone has pleasant recollections of their family, but for most people the concept of the family arouses thoughts of love and closeness. How sad this is not always the case.
Those of us who are married can recall the very special day that was our wedding day. We stood before a gospel preacher and pledged our lives and love to one we had chosen for our companion in life and who had chosen us in return. We recall the exciting preparations and even the nervousness and happiness of the hour of the ceremony. We especially hear in our mind that moment when we were asked, “Do you take this one whose hand you hold to be your lawful wedded mate, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate marriage? Do you promise to love, honor and cherish her, sickness and in health, adversity and prosperity, and do promise to forsake all others and keep thyself unto her alone as long you both shall live?” Then came the very sincere and response, “I do.” A similar promise was made by the mate-to-be with respect to you. Such memories are sacred. The promises are sacred. Upon them, as the teaching of God declares, another home came into being and was founded.
To those who are not yet married we want to say and hope, if it be your desire, that you will someday find someone worthy of your love and you will be worthy of their love in return. We hope that someday, before God and loved ones, you will make your promises for life. The decision to marry is the second most important decisions in a person’s life, second only to the decision to be spiritually wedded to Christ. It is most unfortunate that too few consider it so.
According to God’s Word
To have a marriage as it ought to be God’s Word must be consulted, His favors sought through obedience and prayer and the will of Christ to rule. No home, however successful in other ways that it might become, can ever attain the fullest measure of joy and divine approval that it ought to have until it is truly a Christian home.
Therefore, we urge with insistence to the unmarried that they marry a Christian, marry for life, marry in view of eternity. It is far better to remain unmarried than to marry into a relationship that will cause the condemnation of your soul and the souls of others, especially prospective children.
There are indescribable blessings awaiting those who enter and remain in a Christian marriage and Christian home. One blessing is companionship. Genesis 2: 18-25, God’s revelation of the origin of the home tells us, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” Another word to describe this companionship is love, a love that sweetens with every passing day and year. It ripens and seasons the longer you remain together. Robert Browning wrote, “Grow old along with me, the best it yet to be: the last of life for which the first was made.”
Not only is this husband-wife companionship enriched, but there is no value that can be placed on the Christian companionship that surpasses the blessings of children and grandchildren. Is it not wonderful to hold your child in your lap, even wipe away a tear from his or her face? It is thrilling to take your little daughter’s hand and lead her safely across the street? How do you put a price on talking to and working with a precious son? When they have grown to manhood and womanhood and stand tall and straight before God, how can you express your gratitude sufficiently? I do not wish to imply that one must marry and have children to know the meaning of love, even some aspects of family love. I am simply trying to magnify the blessings of family and convey the thought that family life, with mate and children, provides one of humankind’s most basic needs and blessings. The need to be needed and loved and the need to love another is found in the family. We cannot reach full happiness apart from genuine love. In this context consider First Corinthians 13:4-8, 13, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth... And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” The easiest place to find these qualities is within the framework of a Christian home and family.
A second blessing of a Christian family is the opportunity to enlarge our experiences, interest and knowledge especially in matters of a spiritual nature. As a family we are one unit. But we remain individuals with varying interests and talents. Even in the mundane and secular realm we have different interests, but as a family we can share them with each other and grow closer together as a result. I never cared much for fishing (just waiting until some fish decides to act) because I had rather instigate than wait. But what a joy it was to go fishing with some of my children and see them enjoy themselves.
Christians have consideration for each other and try to encourage one another in those things that contribute to a useful life. Members of the family “work” to make life pleasant and profitable for each other. They have a similar goal in life, the same standards, and can be of immeasurable assistance each other in pursuing the activities of life within the bounds of Christianity. Nowhere does the common concern for another blossom more beautifully than among the members Christian family, all working with and for one another. To be with those of a kindred spirit is a benefit that strengthens satisfies in a way nothing else can do.
Christian marriage provides for mankind’s biological needs. God created us with certain drives and appetites, such as hunger, sexual desires, etc. In marriage, and exclusively marriage, is the sexual desire for a mate to be gratified. Furthermore, with each member of the family fulfilling specific roles provisions of a physical nature are provided. Parents provide for their children. The breadwinner’s labors provide for the family. God knew what makes the human happy and He gave us the home.
A tragedy of our time is the extensive degree of indifference many have toward the nobility, honor, sacredness and sanctity of marriage. It is entered into lightly and lived within flippantly. Promiscuous sexual activity outside of marriage has become a national scandal. What the world calls pre-marital and extra-marital affairs are nothing less than outright fornication and adultery that damns the souls of those who commit it. “Sexual activity” is the code word for the unmarried who do not respect God’s law. What has been the fruit of such degenerate conduct? We see broken homes, children neglected, morality and self-respect dipping to a low ebb, unwanted children, abortions, diseases that are rampant. It would seem that people who claim to be intelligent could see the devastation their disregard of God’s way produces and then cease their sinful manner. In a Christian home there is a loving respect for God’s standard of morality and the joy that comes from following God’s way is what separates Christians from the servants of Satan.
The Christian home provides a sense of security for the members of the home. So many problems of life arise from a feeling of insecurity. A large portion of this insecurity among children is because parents are “too busy” seeking their own interests and ambitions without due regard for their responsibility toward their child. Even though it is not a popular thing for which to contend in our time, it still needs to be said and I have no hesitancy to say it: Mothers who leave the home, seeking their careers outside the home, working more because of greed than need, and turning their children over to the care and rearing of others, have produced a generation of untaught, insecure, floundering, wondering, unstable, misguided and bewildered young people. Is money worth what the mother away from home is costing? We deny that it is. We are not opposed to women working outside the home per se. We are strongly opposed to wives and mothers neglecting their primary duty to the home and family regardless of what provokes it. With the abundance and luxuries we see in so many homes where wife and mother work outside the home we are not persuaded that need has caused abandonment of the home for the factory and office, but a selfish quest for personal careers and ambitions for materialism.
United We Stand
Everyone in the home needs to know they are cared for and the members of the family stand together. Let the husbands provide (First Timothy 5:8) and let the wives attend to the home (Titus 2:4,5). You may not like this formula but time proves it works best. You may not have as much of this world’s goods, but you will more than likely have an overflow of what God calls good. Rather than considering the performance of work and duty in the home as degrading and second class, as some would have our wives and daughters to think, caring for the home, children and attending to the provision of the mental and emotional security which they are capable of providing, it is the noblest and most productive career a woman can have. The tide of secularism has played havoc with homes over the land, but the Christian home holds firm to God’s ways and puts first things first with every member of the family gaining from it.
With there being so many things that threaten and intimidate out there in the sinful world, with so many challenges, with injustices and disappointments abounding everywhere, the Christian home is a harbor of safety from the outside world. At home each member will find guidance, encouragement, support and will know the family stands by them and with them come what may. We have to be so careful when in public as we strive with the pressures, stresses and strains that are commonplace. But home is where we can take refuge from that if and when the home is as it ought to be. There others sympathize and assist each other over the bumps in the road of life. What a blessing to have such a home!
This does not imply we can be uncaring about how we behave at home. It implies the opposite. As one little girl said, after being away from home visiting others for several days, “It is nice to be home where I don’t always have to try to be so nice.” We do not infer that rudeness and indifference should be allowed in the home. But the home should be where you can “unwind” and be with those who understand and care. This may be one of the reasons people love being at home and with their families.
Everybody Helps Everybody
The most significant blessing of a Christian home is that it provides a relationship where everybody is helping everybody else to get to heaven. This is the prime goal of marriage and the intent of a Christian marriage. Fathers, mothers, children, all laboring together make sure that the circle of the family will not be broken around the throne of God. We are members of God’s spiritual family (Romans 8:14,16), as His sons and daughters. God pictures His people as a family relationship. He originated our earthly families and as surely as we are to help all our brethren to go to heaven, even more are we to help our kin to see God in His glory at the last day.
Those who have had a Christian family know the blessings. Many who have been deprived for one reason or another from having such a home have missed so much. Many of them recognize their loss. That is why they have committed themselves to provide a Christian home for their mate and children. We dare not waste the golden years of family life whatever be the stage in which we are living; whether recently married, with young children, grown children, or back to Mom and Dad alone again. Even when our home may include aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins, brothers or sisters, we all should use our influence to let Christ reign over the home. Those who succeed in having such a home will forever praise the Lord above for the blessings it provides.
1. What must be consulted if we are to have a marriage as it ought to be?
2. What are the advantages of marrying a Christian?
3. What are the risks of marrying outside the Lord’s church?
4. Name the blessings of a Christian home and family.