Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Guidelines for Families – Part 1

I. Introduction

We just celebrated Mother’s Day in the United States. It got me thinking about families in general, and how difficult it is to sustain a marriage and be a parent. About half of all marriages end up in divorce in the U.S., and the culture isn’t helping any. In this series of posts I’d like to examine the biblical guidelines for marriage and the family found the the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.

II. Families Under Attack

In my opinion, families are under attack in western society. For example, men are portrayed unfavorably in some TV sitcoms: Homer Simpson, Two and a Half Men, and others. Admittedly some men fit these stereotypes, but TV shouldn’t reinforce them. Back in the day we had positive role models to emulate, such as Jim Anderson on “Father Knows Best”, Ward Cleaver on “Leave It to Beaver”, Danny Thomas on “Make Room for Daddy”, and Ozzie Nelson (not Ozzie Osborne) on “Ozzie and Harriett”. In addition, the media mocks traditional values, encourages instant gratification, and negatively influences children. The voices of parents – even if they do spend time with their kids – are drowned out by TV, movies, magazines, peer pressure, and other influences.

So marriage and families are under pressure, but we have to remember that God instituted marriage and gave us guidelines for it. Like us, God is relational. God wants to have a relationship with us, and wants us to have good and appropriate relationships with others. That’s why there’s so much about loving one another in the Bible. If the relationship with God isn’t there, our other relationships will not be optimal because we will find it much more difficult to love.

More on this topic in future posts.

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