The social problems that many of us are suffering from would not have been there if family members had done what they were supposed to do at the right time, and in the right manner. Let us look at corruption in our society, for instance. Most people, if not everybody, would agree that corruption is evil. We say that cheating, lying, killing etc. are condemnable practices that should at least be discouraged if they cannot be totally eradicated in our society. Unfortunately, most of those problems begin at home.
How many people spend quality time to seek the mind of God concerning issues relating to their families, either those of spouses or children? How many of us sincerely engage ourselves in serious prayers for God to intervene in our family matters? How many of us spend enough time with our spouses and children, in order to let them enjoy family life and to bring up the children in the way of the Lord (Prov. 22:6)? We cannot deny the fact that many, if not most, of the problems confronting us in the larger society, begin in small ways within the family. A child does not become an armed robber overnight, he must have started pilfering as a child before graduating into criminality. Sometime some of those bad habits in many children would be detected by neighbours and teachers but when parents are told, they would not do anything to correct the erring children. Some parents would even quarrel with those who come to report the children, accusing them of envy and unkindness toward the children. Rather than discipline their wards they continue to pamper them until it becomes too late to save them from total destruction.
Besides, many of us (parents) have become absentee parents. Before the children are up from bed in the morning, we are gone. Before we return home late in the evening, they are already asleep. Monday through Friday, the practice is the same. On Saturdays, there are social engagements lined up, from morning till evening: naming, housewarming, funeral, wedding ceremonies and such like. All these take us away from home. And on Sunday, some would tell their children to go to church while they themselves take time to rest at home. No sharing together, no intimacy, no close relationship!
Similarly, are we not usually “too busy” all day in the office or anywhere we are working, and, consequently, “too tired” when we return home late in the evening, to do anything serious to check the spread of evil right under our nose, that is, in our homes? Yes, too tired! Too tired to listen and chat with our wife! Too tired to communicate with our children after a long day out there, whereas many of them may have been waiting to talk to daddy or mummy concerning their challenges! Too tired to even pray together before we go to bed! Too tired to fight the enemy together! Beloved, many things are fundamentally wrong with the marriage of most, if not all of us. Should we continue to complain that many of our youths are heartless, uncaring, unfriendly, disrespectful, disobedient, wayward, unambitious, wasteful etc? That they have no sense of shame and have lost their conscience and sense of value?
Are they really to blame entirely? Should we not look inward, as parents, and acknowledge that we too have disappointed God, that we have failed in some of our responsibilities as parents? We may need to rather blame ourselves for our ignorance (Hos 4:6), carelessness (Matt. 13:25; 26:41), prayerlessness (Luke 18:1; 1 Thes. 5:17), planlessness (Prov. 6:6-8) and willful disobedience to the Lord God who established the institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:18, 21-23) and gave man the blueprint for a successful marriage (Gen. 2:24; Mat. 19:5; Ephes. 5:22-31). Is it not high time we listened to God, repent of the wasted years spent in fruitless marriages, return to God and cry to Him to save our homes from destruction? He has to deliver us, with our spouses and children, from the path of eternal destruction.
The psalmist says: If the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psa. 11:3) Beloved, the righteous can pray to God for the salvation of God and revival of our homes. After all, we believe that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
Furthermore, we know that the righteous can complement prayer, which is an act of faith, with work, indeed serious work (James 2:20-26), to make lives and families fulfil the purposes for which God created them. In all sincerity, we need to stop pretending as if all is well in our homes. If all is well, for now, praise is to the Lord. However, we should not be ignorant of the devices of the devil (2 Cor. 2:11) who is against the success of Christian marriages and wants to destroy our homes (Jn. 10:10a). Do not let us assist him (devil) in destroying that very good thing that God Himself established.
Let us carefully and humbly identify where the axe head of our marriage has fallen off in the Jordan of our homes, and call unto God for His ever available assistance. Jer. 33.3 says: Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. In addition, 2 Chron. 7:14 also says: If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
All hope for the restoration of God’s goodness for our homes should not be lost. If we ask, we shall be given. If we seek God’s intervention in our homes, we shall find it. And if we knock on the door of God for mercy, it shall be opened unto us (Matt. 7:7). If we do not ask, seek or knock, nothing will be done for us. God is ready to help us if we are ready to ask for His help: to save and revive our family life. Without a doubt, we need revival in our homes. We need it seriously, especially in these end times. We should not shy away from our problems, rather we should recognize that they are there, and believe that by God’s grace we shall overcome them in Jesus’ name. It is to create this awareness that God has laid the burden for this book in our heart. For a couple of reasons, the title of the book itself, Our Family Matters, is evidently ambiguous. It means our family, among other things in life, matters to God in particular, and as such, it should matter to us too. Secondly, it also means there are things pertaining to our families, that should be considered important or of vital importance to us. These are family matters.
This book thus examines both connotation and denotation, so as to adequately respond to the ambiguity apparently created in the title. The first chapter discusses the essence of understanding and knowledge, with regard to marriage and marital affairs.
In Chapter Two we look at the beginning of a relationship that often culminates in marriage friendship, courtship, engagement and finally, wedding. A marriage relationship is a matter of giving and take and involves a lot of sacrifices. The chapter also considers the issue of will. For instance, whose will matters, God’s or man’s? Similarly, the marriage vow that we normally take but pay little or no attention to, after the wedding, is looked at.
In Chapter Three, we try to see the various components of a happy family. Biblical principles that guide marriage, responsibilities of members of the family and a few probable causes of challenges and how to tackle them the way of the Lord, are examined. In Chapter Four, we take a serious look at health issues. In other words, we look at the physical, mental, moral, spiritual and emotional areas of human wellbeing. From personal as well as family perspectives, we look at things that can mar or make our sound health. The next chapter deals with two of the major ingredients of marriage love and unity.
In Chapter Six are discussed sundry issues that can cause conflicts in the home. They include sex, finance, communication, relations and training of children, among others. These are not only treated, but solutions to marital challenges are also equally provided in the chapter. Chapter Seven, in a unique way, treats the issue of our end on earth and where we shall spend eternity heaven or hell. The book concludes with prayer points based on various topics treated and scriptural references that are appropriate for waging serious spiritual warfare against all enemies of our families.
Our prayer is that the objective of this book shall be achieved in the final analysis. Let everyone who takes time to read it sincerely examine himself/herself, repent of misdemeanours as they concern family life, go and make amends and begin to enjoy heaven on earth. May the good Lord grant us the enablement to achieve this and many more blessings from our Creator and Saviour in Jesus’ marvellous name. Amen. God bless your reading.
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