This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Family Revival.
Our families will not be any stronger than our individual family members. Our churches will not be any stronger than our families. Our nation will not be any stronger than our churches.
Many sociologists, philosophers, and wicked people have tried to redefine the family—and minimize what our Lord Jesus taught about family.
Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
This is God’s design for healthy marriages—which are needed for building strong families.
To be married, a person is to leave his or her father and mother. The apron strings, and sometimes the financial strings, need to be cut so that the children can have the Christian home God intended.
The marriage relationship supersedes the parent-child relationship. If you have poured all of your love and time on your children, to the neglect of your spouse, when the empty nest comes, you will find you have an empty marriage.
The KJV says a man “shall cleave to his wife.” To cleave means to weld, or glue; to put together in a permanent relationship. Marriage is to be permanent. You cannot please God by breaking up your home.
God’s arithmetic is 1 + 1 = 1.
God has made husbands and wives one flesh, physically. “But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15a). How are we going to populate the world with godly children unless godly people have children?
Husbands and wives are one flesh, psychologically. Your spouse is to be your friend—someone with whom you share the most intimate thoughts of your heart.
Husbands and wives are one flesh, spiritually. Pray together. As you do, God’s Spirit is binding your hearts together. Men, your wife needs to hear you pray.
This is God’s plan for the family: leave, cleave, and become one flesh. You cannot change it, and you cannot improve upon it.
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Marriage is to be a permanent, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman.
God does permit divorce if there is fornication—but even then, He does not command divorce. Take the example of Gomer and the prophet Hosea. (Read Hosea 1:2-3, 3:1-2.)
It is not love that sustains your marriage; it is your marriage that sustains your love. Love is something that you can do if you wish to do it.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
“…Admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:4b-5).
Behind every command of God is the omnipotent power of God to carry out that command. God has commanded you to love your spouse. He is not talking about an emotion—He is talking about a choice.
There is a difference between God’s love and Hollywood’s love.
Often, when people say, “I love you,” they may really mean, “I want you.” We are looking for happiness and joy in an individual rather than in Almighty God. That is a conditional love, and it is selfish.
Sooner or later, that kind of love will cause fear in the heart of your spouse. “He loves me because…” And maybe the “because” is fading. They will feel like they have failed. That will turn to anger and resentment, and they will feel manipulated.
The love that God commands for husbands and wives is unconditional. (See Romans 5:8, Ephesians 5:25.)
If we have this unconditional love, that brings security into the family, rather than fear—because you know you are loved, no matter what. Peace will replace guilt. Joy will replace anger.
This kind of love is not, primarily, an emotion. It is an act of the will.
“There is constant arguing, so we need to separate for the children’s sake.”
That is unmitigated selfishness. Are those the only options—those children hear you arguing, or else you divorce? There is another option: get right with God! It takes two to make an argument.
Who said so, other than you?
If you are looking to marriage to meet your deepest needs, that will never be done. God did not get you married so that you might be happy, but that you might be holy.
You do not live in isolation. You owe it to God, to yourself, and to your family to keep those holy vows that you made before God.
“I prayed about it, and God wants me to get a divorce.”
Do you think God is going to bend His Word just for you? Are you a special exception? No. God’s Word is God’s Word! Marriages are a covenant only to be ended by death.
Maybe you are saying, “I’ve already been divorced and married another. I cannot put my home back together.”
Indeed, you cannot. What you have to do is take what you have left and bring that to God. If you have a broken home, God will forgive you, and cleanse the bitterness out of your heart. (See 1 John 1:7; Isaiah 1:18.)
Christians, remember: divorce is not an unpardonable sin. Stop looking down your nose at those who have been divorced, as if you are better than they are. You are not.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Is this one article going to change your family? No—but it can help you make a decision.
Say this: “By God’s grace, we can and we will work it out.” It may take time, but with God, there is always hope.
How are you going to defend your home?
Center your home on Christ. The devil is doing all that he can to destroy your home. But if Christ is the core, a godly family will stand, because it is a house built upon a rock. (See Matthew 7:24.)
Feed your love. Love is not a dazzling diamond that you get to possess; it is like a flower that needs to be cultivated and fed.
Never flirt with another man or woman. Even in jest—do not do it.
Never cease to flirt with your spouse. Let your spouse know he or she is special.
Be a testimony. A healthy family in which the husband and wife are together and the children are loved, will make a radical, dramatic testimony to those around you—perhaps more than any lesson you can teach.
Matthew 7:24, 19:4-9; Malachi 2:15; Hosea 1:2-3, 3:1-2; Ephesians 5:25; Titus 2:4-5; Romans 5:8, 8:1; 1 John 1:7; Isaiah 1:18
Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
God sets the solitary in families; he brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.