It has been said that a family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without the family. Our very existence as a society depends on the success of the family. And while it is vitally important to our culture, the family is under attack today.
In fact, the Bible tells us that one of the signs of the end times would be a breakdown in the family and a disrespect for parents in particular: “For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred” (2 Timothy 3:2 NLT).
I don’t think anything can bring greater pleasure than our family. And few things can give us as much pain as our family. Kids have problems with parents. Parents have problems with kids. And sometimes people will blame it all on coming from a dysfunctional family. To them I would say, welcome to humanity. Who doesn’t have a dysfunctional family?
How many marriages have been dissolved over “irreconcilable differences” as well? Who doesn’t have irreconcilable differences? My wife and I have been married 36 years, and we have many differences that will never be reconciled. She is neat, and I am messy, she is sometimes late, and I am early. But we never would dissolve our marriage over them. I am tired of hearing claims of dysfunctional families or irreconcilable differences as excuses for needlessly breaking up families and completely disregarding what the Bible says.
I grew up in a home of divorce. My mother was married and divorced seven times. We moved around a lot, and people would soon find out that I didn’t have a dad at home. That was considered scandalous back then. Now it is considered curious if you have a mom and a dad who are actually together and you live with both of them. How I thank God for couples who have stayed together and raised their children with a biblical foundation.
In giving the Ten Commandments, before God spoke a word about how to treat others, he started with the family: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12 NIV). Notice that God did not give the command to honor your father and your other father. Or, honor your mother and her partner. Or, honor your mother and her live-in lover. No, it says “Honor your father and your mother.” That is God’s order. When we tamper with God’s template, we do so at our own peril.
Of course, there is a movement afoot to redefine marriage and the family. Media and modern culture are pushing for same-sex marriage. The normalization of homosexuality is gaining momentum. And this is not merely a political issue; it is a moral issue. I would take it even further and say it is a biblical issue. It is a clear-cut issue in Scripture, and either you will think about it biblically, or you will not think about it biblically. Everyone has a worldview. Everyone believes something. Even those who say they don’t believe anything actually believe something. The question is: Is your worldview biblical, or isn’t it?
There is a living God, and he has revealed himself in the pages of Scripture. Therefore, Christians accept the fact that we have absolute truth from God. We develop our worldview from what the Bible teaches.
The Bible is very clear in saying that homosexuality is not in God’s order. In the Garden of Eden, God brought a man and a woman together. God is not anti-gay; God is anti-sin. No matter how sin expresses itself, God deals with it. A person is not born a homosexual; he or she is born with a sinful nature, like everyone else in the human race.
I will acknowledge that a person who is born with a sinful nature might be attracted to members of the same sex. Certainly that can happen. And I would also acknowledge that a person who is born with a sinful nature might be more prone to issues of addiction. Some people, if they touch alcohol or get involved in drugs, become addicts. There are certain people who are perhaps more vulnerable in certain areas.
But having said that, all these things can be overcome with God’s help. I have met people who once were addicts and no longer are, because they have committed their lives to Jesus Christ. I have met people who were homosexuals and are now happily married and living a heterosexual lifestyle. We all were born sinners in need of a Savior. He can change us and help us to live the life he has called us to live.
Sometimes people say that the Bible is not clear on this issue. That is false. The Bible is crystal-clear on its teaching on what God says is clearly sin:
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people – none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10 NLT)
There is no confusion on this issue unless your confusion is with the Bible. Romans 1:22–27 lays it out as plainly as it can be laid out regarding what the Bible teaches on this subject. God’s order for the family is a man and woman – a husband and wife – who are faithful to each other. We need to respect that and give it the honor it deserves.
Honor your father and mother.