I’m sure I’m neither the first nor the only one to have said that “If there is a problem in the church, I know the cause: Someone(s) is not feeling, thinking, and/or acting like Christ.” Period, end of sentence. The solution, therefore, becomes obvious, though perhaps not necessarily easy to execute (the problem, not the person!).
But many difficulties we face are family-oriented, thus the ubiquitous “family problems” also deserve some attention. But before we go any further, let’s be clear about a couple of things: 1) The “family” is ordained and ordered by God, and thus works remarkably well when implemented according to His dictates and parameters for both the family as a whole, and the specific roles and responsibilities within it; and, 2) Thus, most “family problems” result from a departure, or multiple departures, from what God prescribed; and are best treated by a hasty retreat back to the Book and its application.
In this vein, please consider…
- When husbands aren’t the kind of loving, sacrificial, and sanctifying “head” described and prescribed by the example of Christ in Eph.5:25-31,33a, there will be “family problems.” Likewise, when husbands fail to “live with” their wives “in an understanding way” and “grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life” as in 1Pet.5:2, there will be “family problems.”
- When wives are not the kind of submissive, respectful, glorious, and holy and blameless “bride” described and prescribed as per the example of the church in Eph.5:22,26-27,33b, there will be “family problems.” And again, if wives fail to be “chaste and respectful” in their behavior and emphasize their external adornment over the inner “imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit” as 1Pet.3:1-4, there will be “family problems.”
- When husbands & wives don’t “honor” their marriage (Heb.13:4) and follow the described and prescribed “duties” of their sexual relationship according to 1Cor.7:1-5, there will be “family problems.”
- When parents, and specifically fathers who are either absent or abdicated, don’t “bring up” their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph.6:4) according the loving example of God our Father and His “discipline” of His children (Heb.12:5-13), there will be “family problems.”
- When children despise and reject their parents’ wise counsel (Prov.1:8ff) and refuse to “honor” and “obey” their parents “in the Lord,” Eph.6:1-3, there will be “family problems.”
Some will surely object to these basic dictates with “It’s not that simple!” But dear husband, wife, couple, parents, and children, “Yes, it is.” Though not a complete course in combating “family problems,” the above passages contain the basic tenets of God’s wisdom for the proper formation and function of the “family”… which He created and ordained. Do we really think we know more about such than the Originator (cf. Isa.55:8-9; Jer.10:23)? So before you destroy your family, why not go back and read (and reread) the “Owner/Operator’s Manual,” and try it again the way its Creator intended?