My last post focused on the need to recognize children as a gifts from God.
Another question that was raised as I watched "Mona Lisa Smile" with my daughter came up again last night with another daughter. What is the point? Why do most women get married, have children, train them, and then they marry, have children, train them, they marry, have children, etc... What is the point?
Believe me, that same question has rumbled around in my own head more than once.Titus 2.3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. NAS
Why did God set it up this way? Is there not more to do in life than this? Surely the fulfillment of career is more worthwhile as well as more challenging. Certainly it would be better if I somehow spent more time serving the church, the community, the world at large. Why should I invest all this time and effort in training children to serve, only to see them turn around and invest most of their time and energy in their own limited sphere of home and hearth? Isn't there a better, more efficient way?
The simple answer: this is God's plan and we walk by faith when we choose it. We don't even need to know the answer to these questions.
But, fortunately, there are some known reasons for His plan as well. Let's look right now at children of the current generation. They are the fruit of feminism, the product of a culture that has abandoned home as the core of life. Their mothers have education, jobs, independence. Their fathers have learned to share authority and parenting and have gladly allowed women to have their sexual freedom (after all, that provides their liberty as well.) I am personally not impressed.
Consider the state of marriage in secular humanist cultures. I cannot give hard and fast statistics (although I may need to look that up some day) but I think we all know that the institution of marriage is not prospering. I was told that there were more divorces in Spain last year than marriages. The US may still have plenty of people getting married (check out Madison Ave. - weddings are good money-making adventures so let's keep pushing them) but they don't last. God's plan for women to make home their focal point, and for men to accept the challenge of leading and loving, protects marriage and children. It provides a nurturing atmosphere for covenant, growth, love, service, and work.
But what about in Christian homes? Aren't those failures due to a lack of faith in Jesus? Can't we see our children and marriages prosper simply through sound Biblical teaching? Can't we have our cake and eat it, too?
Once again, I do not have hard and fast stats, but my own observation as I travel and talk with others in various places is that this pattern of living given in the Word was intentional. It is more than just a good idea - it is essential for the health and prosperity of marriage and family. Christians have dabbled, and even given themselves over, to wrong paradigms regarding marriage and family, and it has not borne good fruit. This should not be. This cannot be!
Our call to see the next generation prosper insures the growth of His kingdom. The earth is existing for one reason: we await His return and the ushering in of His eternal kingdom. Until then, we are not only to be occupying, we are to be extending the knowledge of the gospel in every place.
We will not do that by losing ground with every generation. We will not do that by failing to keep marraige covenant and losing our sons and daughters to the enemy. We will do that by seeing children who prosper in His kingdom, bringing forth fruit before their time, and by having marriages that are a reflection of Him and His unfailing love for His bride.
There is only one way to do that: God's way.
And I guess that prerogative is His.