In the words of Snoopy, “It was a dark and stormy night.” At least it was dark and a storm was going on inside the emotions of a 9-year-old boy who was desperately homesick. Every summer this lad was toted off to a camp in the Boston Mountains in Northwest Arkansas for a week of adventure, fun and learning. The days were filled with canoeing the creeks and streams, hiking in the Boston Mountains (some of the most beautiful views in the world!), swimming in Lake Fort Smith and fishing the tributaries. The activities made the camp some of the greatest times in the life of this boy. That is, until night came. Night brought shadows of creeping things and sounds that went bump in the dark, and the separation from home became more than a youngster could bear.
Perhaps you have also suffered from the malady of homesickness. The symptoms are severe:
- A fear you will never see loved ones again;
- An intense longing to be in your bed, under your roof with your
- A trepidation that something dramatically perverse is about to
- A sensation in the heart you cannot explain, but which will not go
- A feeling causing tears that will not stop, panic that will not be
assuaged, and terror beyond any known phobia of man.
The sad truth is that the lack of health in the home is poisoning the entire society in which we live. The dysfunction in the home has eroded the foundation of Christian values, leaving a mudslide of immorality to place the next generation on the slippery slope of seduction. The home must provide a God-ordained structure based on the biblical definitions for the roles of father, mother and children. Holy order is the result of holy structure; disorder is the result of disobedience.
The order starts with the father. Fathers must provide the spiritual covering for the home. A father cannot be replaced by a video game, a gang or an older sibling. A father has been given divine authority to protect his home, guard his marriage and educate his children in the ways of the Lord. Christian fathers belong to a sacred sect with the privilege of leaving a godly heritage for future generations. It is the role of the father to bring his home into its divine purpose. The first home in Genesis reveals that God ordained the man to take dominion over everything, exercise authority over every outside entity and function within his divine purpose. A man who does not know his own divine purpose cannot pass divine purpose to his children. The biblical truth is that a man should not marry until he is certain of his divine purpose. The role of a father is to connect his family to the purpose of God. While it is a crude saying (and please forgive its crassness), the truth is, “Any dog can have puppies; it takes a man to be a father.”
Nadya Suleman has become a household name. Perhaps you know her better as “Octomom,” the mother of 14 children, who recently conceived octuplets via in-vitro fertilization. Suleman is unmarried, unemployed and unchurched. She is the mother of 14 children by a biological father who is absent from the home. She confessed to a passion for children but no desire for marriage. With all due respect to this individual, her actions reveal a plague in modern society—the thought process of “I can get what I want, when I want, and how I want without accepting responsibility for my actions.” Her actions reveal how insolence toward divine order breeds an atmosphere for perpetual immaturity.
Long ago, as a pastor I learned a lesson that remains true today: the Church cannot resurrect what the home puts to death.
Nighttime has fallen for the American home, but hope can come with the arrival of a new day—a day that can remove the pains of the night and cause one to forget the bitter tears and fears of loneliness. Night can slip away and a day can arise that will restore reverence for God, respect for each other and revival to the House of God—a day so bright we will all see eye to eye.