Jerry C. Brewer
The home is society’s incubator where children, as future citizens, are to be nourished spiritually and materially. The father is to provide for his family (1 Tim. 5:8) and nourish his children up in spiritual things (Eph. 6:4). The mother is to be a keeper at home (Titus 2:3-5). When parents fail in these things—as they surely have in our time—children are left to their own devices. Morals, duty, love for God, parents, and their fellow man have no meaning to them. The near-universal neglect of children today has not only created multitudinous problems in civil society, hut has also affected the church.
Divorce is a pandemic in society that is destroying souls and homes and will continue to do so until, and unless, local congregations take a firm stand in clearly teaching the Lord’s will concerning marriage. Citing figures in 1999, the Associated Press reported that, “there were about 4.2 divorces for every thousand people in 1998. That rate was 8.5 per thousand in Nevada, 6.4 in Tennessee, 6.1 in Arkansas, and 6.0 in Alabama and Oklahoma.”
The home, as God instituted it in the beginning, is for the material good of the race and its perpetuation. It is also where Children should first learn spiritual truths at the feet of their parents. As instituted in the beginning, the home is for the comfort of man. “God said, it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). Thus, God made woman from man’s rib and, by virtue of that, she is bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. Hence, Adam declared that, “she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” Growing out of that, is the other purpose of the home—the generating of children for the perpetuation of the human race (Gen. 1:28). From the beginning, it was God’s intent that children were to be produced in homes where men and women are married. That law was unchanged in Jesus’ day and remains so in our day. God never intended that man should roam and freely breed as animals of the earth, but that one man and one woman would form a monogamous union for life.
But children produced in God-ordained homes must be developed into God fearing individuals, and that responsibility falls squarely upon the shoulders of parents. God’s pattern for developing children into decent God fearing adults was given by inspiration centuries before modern sociologists and child psychologists created their industries. There are four ways in which a child must develop to be a decent citizen of any society, and those are expressed by the inspired Luke regarding the human maturing of Jesus. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
The development of the child Jesus began with his mental and physical growth. He “increased in wisdom and stature.” The order of these two things indicates their importance. Of first importance are the mental and physical development of the child. The next order is also revealing. He increased “in favor with God and man.” Thus, Jesus matured mentally, physically, spiritually and socially.
Providing for his family, both physically and spiritually, has always been the primary responsibility of the father. Paul reminds us that, “…if any provide not for his own, and specially those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5:8). It also was—and remains—the God given responsibility of the mother to be a keeper at home and guide the children. This was divinely commanded by Paul in his letter to Titus when he said the older women should teach the younger women, “to be sober, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). This is the only pattern for the home that will produce morally upright citizens and faithful Christians.
The pitiful order of the home in our society today is that parents strike out the spiritual development of their children—“in favor with God,” place their social development—“and [in favor with] man”— first, then go from there. No person who is raised without a knowledge of God is a fit citizen in any society.