One month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Congress in which he addressed freeing the country’s slaves. In it, Lincoln stressed the importance of doing the right thing to “save our country,” which he described as “the last best hope of earth.”
I want to borrow and amend Lincoln’s words. The family unit in American culture is under attack from many sides: radical feminism, which denies the value of husbands and fathers; gay rights advocates who push for the endorsement of same-sex marriages; divorce and remarriage for any reason; people living together outside the bond of marriage – just to name a few.
Yet, God says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psa. 127:1). When it comes to modeling for our world what the home should look like, the church of Jesus Christ is “the last best hope of earth.”
When we admit that God both knows and wants what is best for us (Psa. 147:5; 1 Pet. 5:7), it should be easier to trust and obey him in everything (Prov. 3:5-8). God wants your family to succeed. He wants your home to be happy and stable. He wants your marriage to be a small taste of heaven on earth. He wants your relationship with your spouse and kids to be healthy and happy. But the key to experiencing all of those things is to build our homes according to his design.
In matters pertaining to the home, God has spoken regarding:
- marriage being between man and woman (Gen. 2:18-24).
- the roles of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33).
- the responsibilities of parents to children (Eph. 6:4; Deut. 6:4-9).
- the role of children to parents (Eph. 6:2).
- the importance of intimacy (1 Cor. 7:1-5).
- the eternal consequences of adultery (Heb. 13:4).
- the permanence of marriage (Matt. 19:6).
- acceptable and unacceptable divorce (Matt. 19:3-12).
- the proper conduct of spouses to each other: love (1 Cor. 13), understanding and honor (1 Pet. 3:1-7), calm tempers (Prov. 15:1), and the golden rule (Matt. 7:12).
God has said much regarding human conduct, marital relationships, and family dynamics. We are unwise if we refuse to hear and heed his words.