17 May 2019

Who is building your house?

Raising a family today is very different from how it used to be. Today's family unit has shrunk to one child per family, whereas in the past couples would easily have 10, if not more, children. Many would argue that life, in some respects, was simpler, easier and to some extent more valued than today.

Take, for example, the relationship between children and parents. Today's children have so much more freedom. Their sense of independence is greater and they will more readily challenge the authority and opinions of their parents and grandparents.

Today's parents are left with the daunting challenge of wringing cooperation from their offspring, just to maintain a sense of peace in the house. Imagine the scene when a mother leaves home to go to work. Before she goes, she instructs her children not to use the stove. They are to stay away from the kitchen for their own safety. Off she goes to work and believes her children will follow her instructions.

When she comes back though, she finds that her children did not listen to her words and rejected her guidance. Such a breakdown in respect and discipline can only make family life much tougher. Even the institution of marriage is no longer valued as it was before.

These days couples tend to live together before they get married, 'just in case' things don’t work out. They don't need a lawyer to separate them, they just need to move out and move on to the next available prospect. So how does one deal with family problems today? What does one do when threats - physical or verbal - no longer have the desired effect?

The Bible says: "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." (Psalms 127:1)

This passage clearly defines the key to a successful family: "Unless the LORD builds the house..." If God is not present in your family structure, you are labouring in vain. No matter how much you try to rebuke, restrict or punish your unruly children or unfaithful spouse - if God does not give you the blueprint for your house (family) and instructions on how to build it - all is in vain.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Dear reader, have you attempted to build your house with your own knowledge? Will you give God a chance to build (or maybe even rebuild) your house.