Never Paid, Only Transferred
Why do we have children? There are the usual explanations: we procreate to perpetuate the species, out of duty, for moral beliefs, to reassure ourselves, or out of passion.
There is more. We make babies because we need them; we need them because they need us. The bond that makes us children to our parents and parents to our children is indestructible.
We have children to honor our parents—a debt that can never be paid, only transferred. “You are not only my son,” Maimonides, a twelth-century Jewish philosopher, once told his child. “You are also my father’s grandson.” —Albert Memmi
“When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother.” Proverbs 4:3
How to Hurt Your Spouse
A wife came into the preacher’s office full of hatred toward her husband. “I don’t want to just get rid of him; I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.”
The preacher suggested an ingenious plan. “Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind and considerate as possible. Spare no efforts to please him. Make him believe you love him. After you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him you are getting a divorce. That will really hurt him.”
With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, “Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!”
And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting “as if.” For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, and sharing. When she did not return, the preacher called. “Are you ready to go through with the divorce?”
“Divorce?” she exclaimed. “Never! I discovered I really do love him.”
Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds.
—J. Allan Peterson
“Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
How Can We Safeguard Our Homes?
1. Recognize God’s Purpose for the Home. The ideal home must be built on God’s ideal for the home (Psalm 127:1). Homes are hurt because God’s rules for the family are ignored.
2. Get the Family Together. Go places together; do things together; eat together. Take time out for each other (Ephesians 5:16).
3. Communicate. Talk things out. Answer children’s questions. Discuss life, conduct, goals, hopes, values, and spiritual concerns (Deuteronomy 6:6–7).
4. Let God Have His Way with Your Family. Research has repeatedly shown that happy families are those with a spiritual purpose and a sense of values. In God they trust! Regular worship, prayer, Bible reading—all these things bind families together (Hebrews 10:25).