The Joy Of The Family

Texts: Genesis 2:18-24; 35:1-7; Psalm 127:3-4; Proverbs 18:22; Ephesians 5:25-33

Today we want to remind ourselves that God has very good intentions for us all (Gen. 2:18-24). He wants us to be happy in marriage and to enjoy the bliss that goes with it (Gen. 2:18). He wants a strong cooperation between the husband and the wife to achieve the purpose of God (Gen. 18:24; Pr. 18:22; Mt. 19:6). There will be strength when the two come together in unity, with their offspring, to overcome their adversaries (Dt. 32:30; Isa. 8:18). He gave the order of their behavior so that the union which He established will prosper.

For Wives:

Marriage is meant to be a complimentary union of one man and one woman; the partners should not isolate one another (Dt. 32:30; Eccl. 4:11). To eliminate the loneliness, God provided a help that is suitable in such situations. Note that the word help in this context means “to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; to contribute strength or means to ; to render assistance or to cooperate effectively with; to aid; to assist: to make easier or less difficult; to contribute to; to facilitate”. The moment the woman (wife) neglects this aspect of this divinely-ordained institution, then the life or health of that marriage and indeed, of that man (husband), begins to take a plunge or a nosedive (Pr. 18:22; 14:1). When the man (the husband) is denied the joys or the fruits of the marriage, then the purpose of the marriage is defeated and his life usually begins a downward or a negative spiral (Eph. 5:22-24). When he is relegated to the background because he is no more what he used to be physically, financially or otherwise, then that union will also begin to deteriorate (Rom. 7:2).

In some parts of the world, the law in such places makes it the case that if there is a divorce, the children of that marriage are legally given to the mother/wife for custody. Sometimes, this custody battle happens when there is a mere disagreement and the couple decide to be separated. There is however something sinister and alarming that usually happens when a family unit is fractured in this manner: in many cases, the wives/mothers will adamantly deny the children in that marriage any access to their father! Needless to say, these broken family arrangements are not God’s ideal wishes for his children. The fact is that if a man is denied access to his legacy in life or the focus of his struggles (i.e. his children), in many cases, that man will become very despondent and cease to find any meaning to life. He might become suicidal or homicidal because of his wife’s action. Furthermore, such an action on the wife’s part can also severely impact her children who are thus being robbed of the benefits of having a male role model in their lives. Wives, do not purposely make the home uncomfortable for your husbands because it will inevitably affect the rest of the members of your family; it will be an ill wind that blows nobody good (Pr. 11:29).

For Husbands:

The man should obey God by loving his wife in all circumstances; remembering to dwell with the wife of his youth as the one who has been fashioned by God to help him in times of hardship and trouble (Pr. 18:22). He should regard her as his body and accept her limitations bearing in mind that God, the originator of the union, already confirmed that she is the weaker vessel (I Pet. 3:7; I Cor. 7:33). It should therefore be inconceivable for you to think of ever beating or striking her. The instruction of God is to love her without reservation (Eph. 5:25-31). There should be no thought of divorce or ending that family, despite the problems that arise, because he that started the good work has the capability of turning things around for good when He is allowed to take over a matter (Mt. 5:32. 19:7; Lk. 16:18; I Cor. 7:27).

There are many things that steal the joy of the family. Some of them are:

1. Allowing third parties into the marriage is against the principles of God (Mt. 19:6; Mk. 10:9).

2. Hypocrisy: not recognizing our own faults but pointing fingers at the other party (Mt. 7:7-9).

3. An unforgiving heart: holding unto past offences or lacking a heart that accommodates; being intolerant (Mt. 6:14-15; I Cor. 6:7). All these will open the door to suspicion.

4. Indifference: When the husband and wife are consumed with self-pride and stubbornness, communication ceases; each one remains like a closed lake that does not flow out; they become completely indifferent to the welfare of their partners and/or their children. In many cases,  their children become their hapless go-betweens or intermediaries conveying messages between the warring partners over minute matters. Remember that a closed lake, that is, one in which the water does not flow out, is often thought to be deeper, more saline (salty) and thus more hostile to life. When things get to this juncture, the offspring in that marriage are psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually devastated.

5. Enemies of Christ: If a family does not recognize the lordship and rulership of our Lord Jesus Christ – the one who brings peace into the family – then that family is far more likely to slip into deep-seated crisis. They may spend time and effort fruitlessly trying to patch up or resolve their differences by their own means (Isa. 9:6; Mt. 11:28-30). The joy of the family is complete when the joy of the Lord is felt in the family.

Your welfare in time and in eternity is God’s concern and ours!

Fellowship Hymn
All hail, the power of Jesus Name (HSCF 17)

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