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We bemoan divorce statistics which do not appear to improve. But divorce is not the cause but the result of family dysfunction, and what ruins the home ruins society. The problem always goes back to whoever is ruling the family. Where one person is sick that person dominates family life.
Who is Lord of the Home
It never starts out that way. Newly-weds are the most positive, hopeful group of all, filled with the best expectations for a happy home, prosperous and stable, even when they themselves are neither.
But then circumstances change. And God does not change circumstances; He changes people who then deal with circumstances. We may pray for different circumstances- more money, more power, a better location, more education – whatever – but when we are in His will He changes us.
God’s purpose is to bring us individually into conformity to His will and His plans. God is smarter than we are. (You’d be surprised how many do not believe this.)
What is the Will of God
Christian counselors will tell you the most common need people desire is “to know the will of God.” Well – here it is: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… In street language that means “clean up your act.”
Bad attitudes and behavior must go. This passage mentions specifically fornication, i.e. sex outside of marriage, as being the first step for coming into conformity with God. It is routinely violated these days and the results are everywhere.
But the rest must go too – unforgiveness, selfishness, passive aggressive behavior, and aggressiveness as well, control freakishness, greed, envy, jealousy, self-will and refusal to change. The list is long.
To our newlyweds everything for a while is fine and then – loss of a job, a miscarriage, an accident, a car breaks down, the untimely death of a relative, a house fire. You name it.
This is the fallen world we live in. We do not have Utopia here, nor will we get it. What will we do? How do we react? God wants us to seek Him in this situation.
Reactions to Evil
And here is the awful truth. We become depressed, we blame others … the president, our parents, our teachers, our church. We drink to excess or seek an affair, or change jobs. Allowed to continue we become the Sick Man of the home and our problem becomes the lifestyle of everyone else. The children stay away or play basketball outdoors til midnight to avoid contact with the sick. Or they lock their bedroom door and play music on headphones or watch TV to block out reality. I know literally a dozen people who married right out of high school to escape the sick home. 100 years ago the Poor Man’s Divorce – just leaving town – was common. With social security numbers and DNA you can’t do that anymore. Some people leave the country if they can afford it.
Psychologists learned that family members can become physically ill when the Sick Lord rules – stomach cramps, depression, suicide, asthma, migraines, truancy, drugs. Children blame themselves for divorce. “If I had been a good child, this would not have happened.” So the kid pours the booze down the sink. It’s an expensive drain cleaner – don’t bother. Removing an inanimate object cures nothing.
Frustration, despair ensures and finally separation and divorce. Yes, things are better, the Sick Lord is no longer in charge but new problems develop – mainly financial. And society suffers another small breakdown.
What is the answer? A child must inform a trusted adult. Adults can try intervention which is a practical means of going back to the original problem and solving it. Even if it is years ago we can do that because God is in eternity and time is no problem to Him if the participants are alive.
My friend and her two adult daughters packed daddy’s bag, put it in the trunk and Daddy in the car. They drove to the airport, handed him a ticket to the Mayo Clinic and said, “Quit alcohol and remain sober or don’t come home.” This kind of intervention takes a group of people, not just one.
It worked. He never again touched alcohol, but his heart was not changed. His whole body showed the grief he had over giving up his beloved Brandy and he died a few years later. To quit your problem does not necessarily change your heart. But it is the first step.
God intervened in the life of a teenager whose mother planned to kill her. A neighbor by accident discovered the plot and called authorities. When I say “by accident” I really mean that someone prayed. You can always intervene with prayer – and it is legal and silent.
If someone brandishes a loaded gun at you, call the police. You need a public record of this event. You do not say, “Oh, he’ll get over it.” Evil allowed to fester eventually takes over and becomes uncontrollable.
Decide to Resist Evil
Every event and change in your life calls for a response or a reaction. God is giving you the option to do it His Way or your way. The answers are all in the book – the Bible. Churches may or may not help. They are people driven and people are flawed.
Blessed is He who does God’s will first.