We live today in the most complex period in recorded history. Almost every newspaper headline, every television news report, every radio bulletin these days proclaims one essential truth: The modern world is in chaos. We are caught in a whirlwind of anger and outrage; violence and abuse of power; fear, terrorism and war; economic uncertainty; and new national alignments of power and commerce. Today’s headlines are God’s warning to a sinful world.
If anything, the events of the past year should cause people to realize that our world has changed, and a mere handful of nations holds the power to determine the fate of the planet.
The more complex and uncertain the world becomes, the more we need God’s truth for moral guidance. The Bible is as practical today for bringing harmony and peace on earth as it ever was.
The entire world is crying out for a message of hope. There is still good reason to hope. For with society’s failure comes the opportunity to repent and seek renewal. We need to recognize the failures of living without God and turn from our disobedience.
God has not revealed how His work is accomplished, and often God’s ways are hidden from us. In Ecclesiastes we read, “He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”(1) But God has put a longing for truth in our hearts, and He has given us His own truth in the revelations of Scripture. Will that instinctive longing for truth and hope persuade us to respond in time and turn to the source of our salvation? Will we yet be saved?
Many today are wringing their hands with fear and insecurity, because far more important than what is happening in the United States or on the other side of the world is what is happening to our families. In the home, characters and attitudes are formed. Integrity is born, values by which we live are made clear and goals are set. These values and goals last a lifetime.
Is your home built on a solid foundation? Remember the man Jesus told about who built his house on a rock? Is your house built on a rock? Is your home secure? Or is it filled with tension? Is it ready to break up? Nehemiah wrote, “There is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”(2) We see rubbish on the Internet, on television and in films, in newspapers and in magazines—making fun of marriage and the family and the home. We need to have a spiritual revival, and we need to have our homes renewed. Without that, we cannot escape the judgment of God.
Today many couples are living together without marrying. It has been reported that in the United States more than four million couples are living together outside marriage. The number of those who marry is decreasing, but the number of divorces remains high.
We’ve never had more books available advising us how to solve our family and marital problems than we have today. And yet somehow we’re more miserable, we’re more broken, we’re more torn, we’re more hurt, than we’ve ever been. Why? Because we have not taken the Word of God into account. God has laid down the rules and regulations for a happy home, and we’ve broken them. We need to come back to the Word of God and build our homes on the Bible and on God.
Ezekiel wrote, “Like mother, like daughter!”(3) And we could say, “Like father, like son.” As parents, we are supposed to set the example before our children in regard to Bible reading, prayer, integrity, honesty, truthfulness. As Christians, we have the responsibility to set good examples.
God is interested in your family, your marriage, your children. He shows us the ideals and the goals for the family, and He is willing to help us. Ezra said, “I proclaimed a fast there … to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones.”(4) Ezra was seeking the will of God for his family.
Have you sought God’s will? Have you gotten down on your knees and committed your children to the Lord? Do you gather your children for family devotions? Each family member needs to know Jesus Christ and love the Word of God.
The husband-wife relationship is the key to family success. Nearly all the psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists with whom I’ve talked, and nearly all the family-oriented books that I’ve read, indicate that the home can rise only as high as the husband-wife relationship. Children need to see love between the father and the mother.
Many people marry without any idea of how much is at stake. Be careful in your dating, and with whom you fall in love. Be sure that the person is God-fearing and loves Christ. The Scripture says, “Do not be unequally yoked together.”(5) In marriage there needs to be a spiritual unity. A marriage is made up of three: the husband, the wife, and God. Be sure that God is in your marriage.
God instituted marriage to be permanent. Many people enter marriage without the idea that it is for keeps. You will have problems, disagreements, but you are to accept each other’s faults. Your spouse is not perfect. Marriage isn’t always romantic. But we are to be together in a relationship that God has formed.
We need to have a lifetime commitment to marriage. Marriage is forever. God’s ideal is for the husband and the wife always to be faithful to each other. A recent survey found that more than 50 percent of the husbands polled indicated that they had cheated on their wives. Almost as many wives had cheated on their husbands. The Bible calls that adultery. It is a sin against God, and it breaks the marriage vow.
You may think that this sounds old-fashioned and out-of-date, but that’s the teaching of the Word of God, and the Word of God never, never, never, never changes. It’s the same always.
And in all these centuries God has not changed. Do you think that He will change His nature to accommodate Himself to your lifestyle? No! He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Many of you may be asking, “What can I do to help my marriage?”
First, turn your life over to Jesus Christ. Be willing to repent of your sins. Realize that God loves you. In spite of your sins, in spite of your failures, He loves you, and He is willing to forgive you. Determine that you will bring your life under the Lordship of Christ.
If you have failed at being a parent, if you have failed at being a husband or a wife or an obedient child, surrender your life to Christ. Let Him help you to be the right kind of husband, wife or child.
During one of our Crusades, a man came forward to commit his life to Christ. He and his wife were in the process of being divorced. He called her and said, “I’d like to settle this divorce business.” They went to a restaurant, and they renewed their commitments to each other. They telephoned their lawyers: “Call it off. We’re being reunited in Christ.”
That can happen to you. You and your spouse may not be separated physically, but you may be far apart spiritually and emotionally. Let Christ come in and bring you together again.
Our children need our help. They need our love. Many years ago I heard a psychiatrist say, “Your children may come to a point where they rebel and seek their own identity. They may rebel for three or four years, or for five years, or for just a little bit. Some may rebel wildly. Let them know that you disapprove of their actions but that you still love them.”
Let the love of Christ dominate your relationships within the family, and you can have a wonderful home. It is not too late to change. You can start now.
Second, by faith receive Christ into your heart. Notice that I said “by faith.” You may not understand what I mean when I say, “Accept Christ by faith.” You don’t have to understand it all—come by simple, childlike faith. As a little child trusts his earthly father, you can trust the heavenly Father. Put your hand in His hand and say, “I want Christ.”
Christ died on the cross for you. He rose from the dead, and He is alive today. And the Bible says that He is coming back. If you believe that and accept Him, He will come by the Holy Spirit and live in your heart right now. You don’t have to live the Christian life alone. You don’t have to be a husband alone or a wife alone or a child alone or a teenager alone.
Say “yes” to Christ. He can help you become the right kind of husband, the right kind of wife, the right kind of son or daughter. Let the Lord Jesus Christ bring you to the point where you can love your wife, love your husband, in a new way. If you will let Him, Christ will come into your heart right now.
(1) Ecclesiastes 3:11, NKJV. (2) Nehemiah 4:10, NKJV. (3) Ezekiel 16:44, NKJV. (4) Ezra 8:21, NKJV. (5) 2 Corinthians 6:14, NKJV.