Vol.XV No.IV Pg.4
June 1978

Home, For The Grown-Ups

Robert F. Turner

God made man, and woman. That is just about as basic as a study can get. And the next most basic step is, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:21-25). Jesus adds, "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" (Matt. 19:6). The home is the most basic element in society.

We do not refer to mere biological procreation. Artificial insemination, state supervised harems, or temporary relationships may suffice for this. But in a home former ties and individual aspirations are second in importance to the preservation of this permanent unit. Its roles of trainer, protector and stabilizer far outweigh that of procreator. Women Libers, socialized governments and current morals may minimize its importance, but revelation and historical evidence cry out against their error.

The "first division" of the Ten Commandments has to do with God. He is ONE, SPIRIT, HOLY, and the God of DELIVERANCE. But the "second division" has to do with man, and begins with the fifth command: "Honor thy father and thy mother..." The sixth command protects LIFE, and the seventh protects the sanctity of the HOME: Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:1). Further reference to the inviolable nature of the home is found in the last command: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, wife, etc." Paul pictures Christ's love for His people in terms of the home, not as a "party" loyalty (Eph. 5:23-f); for we are the "family" of God (3:14-f). Reader's Digest (Mar. 78, p.111 quotes Michael Novak, Harper's Magazine, as saying, "The family is the critical center of social force. It is a seedbed of economic skills and attitudes toward work. It is a stronger agency of educational success than the school and a stronger teacher of the religious imagination than the church. Political and social planning in a wise social order begins with the axiom: What strengthens the family strengthens society."

What Novak calls "religious imagination" I would call "faith;" but I would have to agree that the role of the home is greater in this field than is "the church" — for I assume he refers to collective activity, in a "church building," under institutional guidance. Many people, including many brethren, have never learned that God's family (the "church") also acts distributively, as saints function in domestic, economic and civic affairs. It is absurd to think that Bible classes and an hour or so of formal "worship" can have a greater influence upon society than can a truly "Christian" home.

And I'm going to say this if it cancels half our readers. By "Christian home" I do NOT refer to one that simply transfers formal worship or "class" activities from the church building into "daily devotionals," puts "God Is Love" on the wall, and formally expresses "thanks" for the food. These worthwhile endeavors may even have an adverse effect upon our children unless they are coupled with a genuine atmosphere of fairness, understanding, love and faith in God.