In this day and age, it is so rare to see families completely sold out for Jesus. Much of feminism's beliefs - rather than the pure Word of God - has shaped the beliefs of Christians. This article is written with the hopes of encouraging families to truly turn away from the ways of the world (and its dangerous beliefs) and seek the truth of the Bible, so that their families might be a bright light for the lost and hopeless!
My heart is so passionate about the strengthening of Christian families. Families are the tool that God uses to work out His perfect will. Strong families build strong churches, just as weak families build weak churches. May our families be strong so that the church of Jesus Christ may be strong! We must also remember that God is the one who created families. It is the devil who is at work trying to destroy them.
There are three areas that especially cause me concern for the family: first is the lack of hope many young people have towards marriage, the second is divorce, and the third is women leaving the home for the workplace.
The Beauty of Marriage
Many people do not think it is even possible for marriages to last nowadays. During a discussion in my college ethics class, my teacher asked the class, "How many of you don't think it's possible for marriages to last?" Almost all of the students raised their hands. I was completely shocked and saddened. I wondered, if people don't believe that marriages can last anymore before they even enter marriage, then how are they going to be able to keep their marriages strong when trials come?
Also, so many people my age believe that they have to live together before they can get married - to see if it will work. This is a complete lie from Satan. People who "test out" marriage before marriage are twice as likely to divorce. I think one of the reasons for this is that they doubt marriage before they even enter it. It is faith that sustains us in marriage. Also, people who live together before marriage show a lack of respect for marriage.
As Christians, we are called to honor marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure..." To honor marriage means to hold it in high regard or to esteem it. When we honor marriage, we actually help strengthen marriages and families.
Malachi gives some great insight into how much God hates divorce and why this is so. This is what Malachi 2:13-17 says: "You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. "For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence," says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously." May we as Christians uphold the permanency of marriage and encourage others to do so!
The Importance of the Wife's Role
Another area in which Satan is working to destroy families is by drawing more and more women into the workforce. When women are in the workforce and out of their homes, they are not able to spend the needed time caring for their husbands, their children, and those in need.
I think it is important for Christians to understand the different Biblical roles that God created for men and women. Without a proper understanding of our roles as Christian women, we can hurt the cause of Christ - the very thing we stand for. Titus 2:3-5 takes the role of women so seriously that it says that "older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."
First Timothy 5:14 also gives directions to widows, which I think can be applicable to women in general. This verse says, "So I counsel younger widows [women] to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander."
Women are to be keepers at home, or homemakers. There is not a more wonderful job in the world! The woman who is busy keeping her home is able to care for the needs of her husband. How many working wives come home and have energy to meet their husbands' needs? Not many. Most working women come home tired and still have much to do around the house. They have very little energy to put into their marriage relationship. And numerous surveys and interviews show that women know this and wish they had a way out.
The woman who is busy keeping her home is also able to raise her children. She is able to teach her children the things of the Lord, and there is not a more important job than raising godly children who will love the Lord. I've heard many amazing statistics that if a couple has three to five children, and their children have the same, within a few generations that one couple will have influenced thousands of people.
Women who take delight in their homes can provide such an outreach to the lost and hurting. Hospitality is such a neglected ministry and so dearly needed in our present society. Before I was a Christian, I had spent a lot of time at a Christian family's home. I will never ever forget the peaceful feeling of being there. The mom was a lady who just delighted in her home and family and it made such an influence on my life!
Bringing unbelievers into our Christian homes should be a refreshment to them and give them hope - hope for eternal life and also hope for being able to have a godly family, in which spouses love each other dearly and where the children are loved and cared for. Also, many newer Christians have come from broken homes and have a great need to see the beauty of a family functioning as God intended it to.
My greatest prayers for husbands and wives would be that they would love each other, just as Christ loves the church - with a selfless, never ending love. I also pray that women would return home, so that they can raise up their children for Christ and be true helpmates to their husbands. Our society and even churches greatly need to see the witness of families who love each other and live out the Word in their lives. May the Lord bless and encourage you and give you great hope and strength!