The Foundation of Society
It has been said that the nearest thing to heaven on earth is to be a member of a Christian home. Those who have been blessed with such a home will agree. Christ has given principles for the home which, when followed, will make the home what it ought to be. We offer this lesson with a prayer that after studying this lesson you may turn again to your home and put forth the effort necessary to make sure it is a Christian home.
The home is older than the Lord’s church. Like the church it originated in the mind of God and is a divine institution. No home will ever be what it ought to be if there is disregard of the Founder of It.
The home, again like the church, is composed of human beings. The first home consisted of Adam and Eve, created by God, given a residence in the Garden of Eden and from that day to this the home has been the basic and foundational unit of society. As goes the home, so goes almost everything else. The collapse of the home means the collapse of society.
God gave mankind the home for the benefit of mankind from infancy to the grave. Let us suggest three reasons why God planned the home arrangement as He did.
First, it provides an honorable birth for children. “Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth” was the command given to the first man and woman. Children born out of wedlock do not enter this world in a manner pleasing to God. This is no fault of the child but is because of the sins of its parents. It is God’s will that through the home and through holy marriage that children are born. Without this there is the spread of degeneracy and immorality that eventually destroys all who are involved reflecting the low level of morality of society.
Second, the home gives protection, help and physical provision to its members. Parents provide for the children. The physical necessities for each one comes through the cooperation and work of the members of the home. We are expected to provide for our own. In sickness, health, good times, hard times, all times, we have a duty to each other to provide the things necessary in the physical realm for the sustenance of life.
Third, the home is the primary training ground of the soul. Too many have wanted to shift this responsibility to the church, even to the schools. But it belongs to the home. A child comes into the world as a piece of clay that is moldable and dependent. Children can be taught and trained to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. That duty belongs to fathers and mothers.
Some parents are more concerned about their child’s development in sports, mental growth, physical and social advancement than they are the welfare of their soul and their relationship with God before whom they shall someday stand in judgment. At the root of the problems of many young people is the neglect of parents to assure their children of spiritual training and information from the Word of God (Ephesians 6:1-4; Proverbs 22:6).
We need more fathers like the young father who stood before the glass partition in the hospital gazing with admiration at his newborn child, and prayed, “God, help me to realize that this is more than just another mouth to feed, but a living soul to train for Thee.”
The home is also the basic unit to provide for the elderly. There comes a time when the young must provide for the old just as the old once provided for the young.
The Christian home is built upon God’s plan for marriage (Matthew 19:1-12). No longer is life a matter of “I, me, mine” and “you, yours.” In marriage there is to be that oneness that recognizes from “this day forward” the relationship is “we, us and ours.” There is to be this oneness in the home. This oneness must extend to include both mates united in Christ.
Death ends marriage in the sight of God (Romans 7:2,3). But God does not require one to continue with a mate who is sexually unfaithful to them (Matthew 19:9). This and only this cause permits a marriage partner to divorce the mate. God’s foundation for the home is that the husband and wife enter marriage with respect for the life long existence of marriage. No court, no judge, no circumstance other than fornication has the power to dissolve marriage. Remarriages that are entered without the earlier marriage having been dissolved by death or divorce because of fornication are adulterous in nature and can never be acceptable before God as an honorable home. Only the innocent party has the right to remarry.
The home is a place of companionship. “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” This was God’s concern for mankind. God made for the male a suitable companion in the female. Many things can destroy this companionship, such as drunkenness, selfishness and failure to accept the duties of marriage. Sexual infidelity can be the breaking of the tie.
Married people should enjoy companionship. They do not have each other forever. Ask those who have been called upon to bury their mate about companionship. Husbands and wives should live life together. Each should live in such a way that the other can admire them, desire them and seek their company. When this is done, and the inevitable time comes for parting through death, it can be said, “We had a wonderful Christian companionship together.”
The Christian home is where the husband is the leader of the home. The spiritual leadership is also on his shoulders. Sad it is that so many men have also neglected this most serious duty. Often it is the wife and mother who must give direction in service to God. This is not as it ought to be. A man ought to be ashamed to be so weak as to fail in what is his number one responsibility toward his family. It is far more important than physical provisions and this does not minimize that duty. Each husband and father ought to commit himself to lead his wife and children to God through God’s church. Regardless of whatever else he may achieve in life, when he does this he is a success before the Almighty. He is a failure if he does not do this with all his power and ability.
Often one parent or the other will keep the home divided religiously. This is so disturbing to children as well as each other. It brings a strain on the ties of love, respect and oneness. It destroys opportunities in training children aright. It creates confusion and frustration and often is the means of the destruction of faith in the hearts of members of the family.
Two fathers were talking and one said, “I give my son the very best education.” The other commended him for this, but added, “Do not rob him of the greatest gift you can give.” “And what is that,” asked the first father. The second responded, “Do not fail to give him the memory of having a Christian father, a Christian example, a Christian upbringing. No other man can give him that.”
When children are deprived of having a memory of a devoted Christian father and mother they have been cheated from the greatest security, comfort, pattern, faith and confidence that they ever receive. Happy is that home where the family is led by a Christian man and woman.
In the Christian home the mother is queen. Behind every good man there is usually the encouragement, support and advice of a good woman. The influence upon children, either for good or bad, that is in the power of the mother cannot be measured because of its enormity. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
So often men who have accomplished great things have had the benefit of a mother who sacrificed themselves in the training of their children. This was their duty, and they considered it their privilege. Nor were they inattentive and negligent in performing their godly task. It is a shame when women who have borne children will not put their primary duty first and attend to the home, but seek other careers of a social, political and financial emphasis and their children denied the guidance and comfort that God intended to be provided by the mother.
The “worthy woman” of Proverbs 31 was such that her husband praised her and her children called her blessed. This could not be said if she had failed in her God-given role of wife and mother.
Let us present a few straightforward words to the young. Especially those who have reached their teen years should give heed because they are accountable before God. They ought to be Christians. The home is not what it ought to be when there are young people of accountable age who have yet refused to obey the gospel.
Be A Christian
Being a Christian means to live a life of purity in Christ. In Galatians 5 we read a catalog of sins that includes the sin of “lasciviousness.” Not only are the young to abstain from fornication and adultery, but also reveling, riotous conduct, laciviousness and such like. Some have the idea that because one is young he has the license to “go wild.” This is not so. It is mistake to encourage and allow the young to cultivate habits and appetites for that which is worldly and sinful. Rather, they should be taught self-control.
As for the sexual desire, it is clean, pure, wholesome and honorable. But God requires self-control and respect for this appetite. The satisfaction of the sexual desire outside of marriage is sinful. One of the purposes of marriage is to provide for this need (First Corinthians 7:2). But outside of holy wedlock that which is given by God for man’s pleasure, companionship and reproduction of the race becomes an abomination. Lasciviousess and promiscuous conduct arouses the passions that cannot be satisfied outside of marriage. From such behavior the young must abstain. The deliberate creation of unlawful desire is to flirt with hell and sin against God.
Christian boys and girls ought assist each other in controlling these appetites rather than encouraging each other with temptation. It should be the goal of every boy and girl to present bodies to their marriage partners unsoiled by sin, but pure, and void of the cheap conduct that is so rampant today.
Giving one’s body to another outside of marriage is not a sign love but a sign of degeneracy. Nor would one who truly loves another ever encourage the other to commit sin and damn the soul. We would urge the young to find the greatest happiness in life by following the way of Jesus Christ and “keep thyself pure.”
Home is where there is love. The source of love is God (First John 4:8). The fullest measure of love cannot exist apart from Christ. Love ties the family together. When there is love for God and His Word, love for His Son and His church, there will be love for each other. This love will make the home as near heaven as one can find on earth.
We close with this story. Imagine a young man who marries his chosen young lady. After their honeymoon they return to their small and modest quarters and begin life together. After a while a child is given them; possibly more. The mother reads the child the Bible stories. The father leads them in spiritual upbringing. They are loyal to God in work and worship. Their hearts are thrilled as one by one their precious children are baptized into Christ. These children mature physically and spiritually, and before it seems that much time has elapsed, the children are planning marriages. Being taught to seek a mate from among the people of God, they have the determination in their heart to rear their children as they have been reared, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is then that one can realize even here on this earth and in this life the fondest and most precious blessings of having made the home a Christian home.
From this moment forward, let us all resolve that we shall do our best to assure each member of the family the benefit and treasure of living and growing in a truly Christian home.
1. Why can the home properly be called the foundation of society?
2. What blessings should the home provide for the members of the home?
3. Discuss temporal and eternal rewards of a good home.