1st Cor. 4:16-17 I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
There is no relationship as good, as fulfilling and complete as that of husband and wife, when all is ok. All the married here will bear me witness.
It is better than parent/children relationship; friend to friend or sister to sister. No wonder it is under great attack.
Good as this institution is, the statistics are giving us a gloomy report. In Great Britain one out of every 3 marriages end in divorce. U.S.A. Atlantic Monthly carried an article and I quote "after the World War II, more than 80% of children grew up in homes with two biological parents who were married to each other. By 1980 that figure had fallen to 50%. Today nearly 30% of all U.S. births are to single mothers despite the 1. million abortions each year". Focus on the Family Magazine, July 1994 - households composed of married families with children made up 44% of U.S. homes in 1960. Today that figure is only 25%. In Europe the statistics are not so much different from that of the United States.
In Latin America we can take Mexico as our sample to give us the picture of the situation. Reuben Berra and David Musi both from Mexico say that 4000 people request for divorce per year. 40% of children live with divorced parents and 15% live with parents from a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th marriage. Twenty five percent are raised by single mothers.
In Australia 35% of marriages end in divorce. In Africa, the family terminators have not spared her and the divorce cases are very rampant. This is because of modernization and the discarding of tradition norms to embrace the western style of living. We do not keep correct statistics, but each of us can count marriages of loved ones that have not been so successful.
Some of the causes of divorce include:-
Yet this is not God's desire and never was. His desire was:-
A mix-up of purpose ends in a confused marriage. One of the most destructive elements in a marital relationship is where marriage partners fail to identify, determine and mutually assign areas of responsibility. Many couples today live together in a sort of non-leader co-existence. "Woe unto the house where the hen crows and the cock keeps quiet", says the old Spanish proverb. Ruth Graham the wife of Billy Graham said in an interview, "If there are two leaders in a marriage then one of them is unnecessary". Fine phases about liberation and mutual submission sound good and enlightening, but as far as marriage goes, they are unscriptural. Being equal does not mean that a man and a women have the same function. A husband and a wife may be equal spiritually but not functionally, i.e. folk and knife. The functional difference has been established by God, and any attempt to change this will produce serious fractures in the marital relationship, because they are different in many ways.
Hear me my sisters and fellow women, we have to submit to the authority of our own husbands.
Prov. 17:6 - "Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father". Fathers, - do you fit in that category? Let me start with the fathers because they are the leaders, heads of households. Dad - can your son point out among many others and say - that is my dad! There is leadership vacuum in many homes. Husband is everything ok in your home?
Can you say like Paul, imitate me as I imitate Christ? 1 Cor. 4:16-17 one father has said "I cannot think of a greater tragedy in life than to lose the respect of my children. I would be the most humiliated man if my children were ashamed of me. But nothing would make my heart beat faster than if my child pointed me out in a crowd and said proudly "That's my dad!"
A good test of whether you are a father who is respected by his children is to ask yourself, "Do I want my son to be what I am, to do what I do, to go where I go?"
Fathers, remember that never before in al history have your children needed the undivided interest and attention of loving parents as in these days of a polluted moral and spiritual atmosphere". What do your children call you? Ibiristi/Mr etc?
Mothers, how about you, can your children point you out of so many other mothers, and proudly say - that's my mother! There was a very interesting article in the Daily Nation - Wednesday, 16th June 1999 about parenting. I quote in part "Both education and employment have conspired to deny parents and children valuable time together. But the growing practice by parents of coming late almost every night and having as little time as possible with their young ones has caused many parents to be surprised by the strangers in their households.
Many parents today thing their duty ends in providing shelter, food, clothing, health, education and other material requirements Their children are left in the hands of house-helps whose hiring and firing largely depends on what children tell their parents.
Parents are failing in their duty, failing both their children and the society as a whole. Any parent who brings up irresponsible future leaders for the society should know what harm she/he is doing to the future of society and by extension their own".
In Mat. 19, some Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him. Read Vs. 3-9. Jesus in a nutshell gave the reason why people find it hard to stay together - HARDNESS OF HEARTS.
Explain story of salt
Which one do you choose? Hardness of heart can be camouflaged in many ways, including traditions and culture etc.
Also, hardness of heart can come in our trying to prove ourselves. -------
What can we do? No instant answer, but suggestions:
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