We are living in volatile times. The people of the world, including America, are watching as the world is rapidly changing. We have watched as the world has become increasingly dangerous. Terrorism is a daily subject of concern in the minds of everyone. Along with this, the national debt continues to increase as an entitled society continues to reach into the pockets of the shrinking labor force. This comes from both ends. The entitled poor who want to take the lazy way out and the entitled rich who want to gain more and more on the backs of working people. Violent crime has increased dramatically, along with drug abuse, sexual crime, suicide and the like. The political climate is bizarre. The political and cultural elitists have become increasingly distant and disconnected with the working class. The government is impotent to do anything to address any of these issues. Many people are afraid. Many people are angry. Their anger spills over into hatred and violence as they look for someone to blame for their plight. Many people believe that the answer to their frustration lies in political change. Changing political leaders is not going to change the direction of America, nor of the world. If a tree is dying due to poison at the roots, grafting in new branches at the top will not save the tree. “We have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us.” The root of the problem is the erosion and deterioration of the family. The family is the root of society. The family is the first line of defense in the war against societal decay, but, the family has been decimated in every society throughout the world. As of 2016 the divorce rate in America was between 40 and 50%, depending on the poll. The out of wedlock birth rate is more than 40% in the general population, and among those of African descent, the rate is more than 72%. The answer to saving this world from being a dysfunctional mess is by getting families back to being functional families.
The foremost criterion is to get men to start acting like men again. The truth is that most men today have grown up to become dysfunctional, self-indulged, boys. They are more concerned about self-gratification in a shallow and immediate sense, than they are about the effect of their actions on themselves and on those around them in the long term. They are especially estranged from any thought of the things that will bring a lasting and eternal gratification. Can a man truly be a man if he cannot be a good husband? Can a man truly be a man if he cannot be a good father? He cannot! Until a man acts like a man he is not a man. Paul the Apostle once said, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13) A man is to be the standard of strength in his family. He is to display the standard of character of strength that does not give in to the weakness of the flesh; drugs, sexual immorality, lying, thieving, laziness and the pandemic of stupidity that has embraced this world. A man is to display to his family what the meaning of hard work, determination, and commitment are all about. If a man pictures himself as the hero of his family then he will seek to live up to that picture. Today society has emasculated the majority of men by teaching them that they are insignificant in the family picture. All that is needed is a child support check.
Many young men in this world today are confused. They are confused and angry because they do not know who they are or what they are to be. Many of them are being raised up without fathers to guide them. Even if a man is involved in his son’s life he is usually weak and lacks the character to give his son what he needs. Hostility is pent up in every male, and if there is no man to teach him how to handle his nature, he is bound to mishandle it. Young men need fathers. Young men need heroes.
Children need to be raised up seeing what a true loving relationship is between a man and a woman. Men and women need to be committed to one another in marriage and love in order to have a functional family. God commanded that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. (Eph. 5:25) He commanded the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered. (Titus 2:4-5) As it has been previously noted, in society today, couples often have children without ever committing to true love and care for the family over their own selves in marriage. Those who do marry will easily turn their heads and dissolve a marriage for just any reason without concern for the consequences.
There is a popular saying that is used by some politicians and social workers that was adapted from an African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” They adapt it to, “It takes a community to raise a child.” That expression is a cop out to avoid the true issue, that it is the parent’s responsibility to raise up the children they have created. I do not want my neighbors, or my government, or the school, or the church, or anybody else, raising up my children. My children are my responsibility from God. As the psalmist has said in Psalms 127: 3-4;
3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, children, are a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth.
The males of this world need to man up and act like men instead of being irresponsible over-aged adolescents.
The first institution created by God for the preservation of society was the family. Long before He created governments, laws, and churches, He created the family; one man, one woman, and a commitment to one another as one flesh. When Jesus was asked about the rules of the society in His day, as to a man being able to divorce for any reason, Jesus made it clear that marriage was between one man and one woman for life.
4 “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,”
5 and He also said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
No matter what had transpired over the years of history from the beginning until Christ, He makes it clear that the standard of what is right is as it was in the beginning.
The deterioration of society we see around us today is the result of the destruction of the family. People today have traded true love for shallow sexual relationships that erode their ability to know what love is. They go from one sexual affair to the next without concern for the emotional scars that callous their hearts. They ignore the consequences of the effect of having children without a functional family unit. Are people happier from this promiscuous life style? Has society become better in this sexual revolution? Are our children surpassing previous generations in integrity, honesty, and ambition? The advance stages of drug abuse, crime, children in foster care or other social programs, suicide, racial tensions and domestic violence, along with the eyewitness testimony of those of us who have lived through watching this moral decline, all account for the fact that this reckless agenda is destroying our world.
Most people are not happy in their present situation in life. The aforementioned issues of suicide, drug abuse, violence and so forth are the proof of this dilemma. While there are more avenues of entertainment and people have given themselves over to every indulgence of the flesh that supplies temporary pleasures, they have not found the answer to what will fulfill them. The answer lies in finding and fulfilling our destiny as a member of the human race through our spiritual calling. God has called each of us to find our fulfillment as part of a greater work than ourselves. When we fulfill our family role as a son or a daughter, as a father or a mother, as a brother or a sister, in the will of God, we will find our calling to fulfill the greater works that have been prepared for us in society and in the spiritual kingdom. Family is an institution originating from God. It was started by God and it cannot be fulfilled without Him. Nothing will save our nation or our world except the power of truth and love which can only be found in God and in the teachings and power of Christ. In a world that suffers from the pain of dysfunctional families God has blessed me to see my children and their spouses in the Lord as are all my grandchildren who are old enough to be in Christ. This was not by accident but through the love and discipline that comes in putting God first in life. My children are my credentials for giving this lesson in life.
Lima/Bath Church of Christ