Vol.XV No.IV Pg.5
June 1978

Realistic And Honest Facts Of Life

Robert F. Turner

(continued from preceding page)

The fundamental concept of "home" is expressed in the oft-neglected words of Jesus: "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother..." He, and the woman, must "leave" their former domestic units to form a new one. This necessitates growing up, accepting responsibilities, being no longer dependent upon dad and mother. Our age has encouraged a "child forever" attitude, where each individual is to "do his thing," freely flit about in pursuit of individual satisfaction; and then, when things go wrong, run home to mother (or her substitute, socialized government) to cry about our "rights" being violated. "Johnny hit me, continues, as we blame others for what might never have happened if we had matured.

But it is also necessary that we "cleave" to our partner, becoming one. This takes the maturing process much further. The solitary individual of unmarried adulthood is superseded by one who no longer thinks of himself alone, but of "us;" not of "mine" but of "our" happiness and well-being. A child, in process of preservation and establishing identity, can't do this. Nor can a "child" of 20, 30, or 50 years. That is why some "people say of marriage that it is boring, when what they mean is that it terrifies them.... that it is deadening, when what they mean is that it drives us beyond adolescent fantasies and romantic dreams." (Novak; ibid.) Successful marriages, and homes, are for those capable of "leaving" and "cleaving" in order to form a new unit.

God's word teaches the proper relation of husband and wife, of parent and child, of youth and aged (Eph. 5: 22-f., Titus 2:1-f, etc.). so when the church in its collective function upholds the Bible it encourages God approved homes. But a lack of understanding, or faith, in the spiritual and eternal goals of the church has perverted its emphasis. Many congregations have diverted their treasury and energy to social and domestic activities, adopting "home" functions. This has not improved the home, but offers a substitute for it. Homes do not spring from local church programs. It is the other way around. Firmly established and successful local churches are most likely to come from homes that are firmly planted upon divine principles. Lacking this, neither church nor nation can endure.

There is nothing more realistic, no more honest facing of facts, than an open recognition of the place of marriage and the home. The so-called "liberated" individuals of our day close their eyes to man's basic nature, civilized history, and cries of pain from our current tortured society. There are none more "intellectually dishonest" than those who follow their child-like fantasies of self-indulgence. This is not "enlightenment" but willful ignorance of the long demonstrated facts of life.

The home is not Utopia, nor is it "found," floating on dream clouds. A good home is earned, with labor and self-sacrifice. In the process we learn that the striving is also beautiful; that giving is the truest form of getting. And in a good home, attained, we find more romance than we ever dreamed possible.