by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
The health of the family is the keystone of every nation. All of us are children or parents, grandchildren or grandparent —we have a connection with the past and a destiny for the future. Our relationships as husbands and wives, as children, as brothers and sisters is primary. We need to shore up those relationships in these days, and we need the help and instruction of our God. The health of our society begins with the health of our families and the news has not been altogether good.
One third of our children have a mother, but no father. Too many parents do not expect respect from their children—as a result, many do not receive the respect that makes for order in the home and ultimately in the society of which we are a part. Too many children are expected to raise themselves. If we begin with the 1940s, we have seen a steady increase in the divorce rate until the present century. The divorce rate has begun to decline, because increasing numbers are choosing to live together rather than marry!
Some of my remarks here are based on my Quarterly Newsletter from last April. I believe that a quote from Malcolm Muggeridge is appropriate:
“We are living in a nightmare precisely because we have tried to set up an earthly paradise. We have believed in “progress.” Trusted to human leadership, rendered unto Caesar the things that are God’s…There is no wisdom except in the fear of God; but no one fears God; therefore there is no wisdom.”
I believe that those of us who believe in our Savior and his word can make a difference, not only for ourselves but also for the society in which we live. The scriptures teach that our marriages should be exemplary:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery and I take it to mean Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31,32)
We do not just live for ourselves. We live for one another and for the society of which we are a part. Too many people, today, look upon marriage solely from their perspective. They are interested in what they can get out of it, but not sufficiently interested in what their spouse and even their children can get out of it. The teachings of scripture lead us on the right path:
“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3,4)
For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ—we are to grow in his grace. It is a life long process. We call this sanctification. The challenge of the Christian marriage should be that more and more we learn to be considerate and helpful to our husbands and our wives; to our brothers and our sisters. The closer that we draw to our Savior the better will be our lives together—and we will be what Jesus said we will be:
“The light of the world.” (Matthew 4:14)