“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7).
Progress and family have never been very compatible. The economic development of the U.S. south depended on capturing large numbers of African people, who knew more about raising cotton than the plantation owners, bringing them to America and treating them as livestock. African-American family life still has not recovered.
More than a century ago, the Canadian government thought that the development of the Canadian prairies depended on neutralizing the strength of the First Nations people. Children were taken away from their parents and placed in residential schools, where they were taught to be ashamed of their origins. Now we are faced with a crisis of dysfunctional First Nations families who understand more about partying than about being parents to their children..
The public school system was intended to bring unity and cohesiveness to society by overriding the supposedly divisive influence of the families the children came from. Various social agencies have needed to be established to deal with the fallout from the weakened influence of the home. These agencies only seem to further weaken the homes.
For most progressive thinkers, the family was the chief obstacle to their vision of a liberated society. It has taken a couple hundred years, but their ideas have taken hold and personal freedom is now considered to be the ultimate source of happiness. Why then do we live in such a hurting society?
I was volunteering at a local food bank and a young lady came in to explain her situation. She had met a young man who promised to love and care for her throughout life. She moved in with him, without benefit of marriage, and as soon as the young man heard that a baby was on the way he disappeared. This young lady was poised, well mannered, and had enough education that she could have found a good job to support herself. But now she was a single mother. Stories like this abound.
The disintegration of stable families in our society is destroying the sheltering fabric that provided protection for the weakest members of society. Granted, there have always been some homes where the weaker members were oppressed and mistreated, sometimes in the name of righteousness. But the situation today seems to leave everyone vulnerable. Violence against women has increased, sexual exploitation of women is now considered normal, teenage girls are targets of unscrupulous men. The weak and elderly are often left to fend for themselves.
We have sown the wind and now we are reaping the whirlwind. The plan of God for the family provided a shelter from the whirlwind. That shelter has been rejected for spurious reasons.
Yes, the Bible teaches that women should submit to their husbands. But this instruction is given to the wives and does not give the husband any excuse to demand or enforce submission. Submission is only submission if it is voluntary, anything else is oppression. Let us not confuse the two.
The Bible says that husbands are to love their wives, to care for them and provide for them as they do for their own bodies, and not to be bitter against them. There is nothing found anywhere in the Bible that would hint of permission for a husband to mistreat his wife.
The Biblical pattern of the family is the only workable pattern for building a stable, cohesive society, where the needs of all are supplied and all are loved and respected. All homes are imperfect, because all we as people are imperfect. Yet, for imperfect people to discard marriage and family and try to build something better is sheer folly.