The Marriage Knot 

knotAnd The Family Came Tumbling Downknot

bride and groom

A long time ago, some fish, swimming in the ocean, met a young crawfish. The fish were very upset about the crawfish because he was not swimming the right way. He was going sideways and going backward. These fish decided they would do something about it. They would have a special school for this crawfish. They taught him very diligently how to swim correctly. The fish taught with such success that they had the crawfish swimming straight in no time, which made the fish teachers very happy. But when the young crawfish returned home to mother and father, he went right back to the ways he had known before. As a result, all the training he had received was to no avail.

Your children are being taught good in Church School. They are being taught good in most of the public school systems. But when these children come home, what are they receiving? Are we destroying everything they have learned that is good, or are we developing ourselves along spiritual lines. Of course the reverse of this is true. Many are being taught correct and good at home, but the world and its pressures tend to deteriorate the knowledge. The family situation in America is teetering on the top of a wall and is about to fall. Many homes have already fallen in America, in your state, in your town and on your block. The homes have fallen and "they can 't be put back together again" without the help of Almighty God.

The thing that has kept families together at the seams has been the weaving of Bible reading. But the homes today are being devilishly torn asunder and are breaking apart at the seams because they lack these small reinforcements. Prayer and Bible reading that once held the family together is not present in many homes. As a result the homes are falling down.

Years ago, when a Jenny Lind was singing across the country she performed in Washington D.C. where many dignitaries were present. At one performance the applause was so thunderous that she came back to sing again and again. In fact, she gave 17 encores. During the next to last encore, she looked up in the balcony and saw John Howard Paine who gave us the song, "Home, Sweet Home" and she was so moved at his presence that her last song was, "Home, Sweet Home."

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From the Opera of "Clari, the Maid of Milan"

MID PLEASURES and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble there 's no place like home! A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there, Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere. Home! home! sweet, sweet home! There 's no place like home!

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain:
O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gaily that came at my call;-
Give me them,-and the peace of mind dearer than all!
Home! home! sweet, sweet home!
There 's no place like home!

How sweet 't is to sit 'neath a fond father's smile,
And the cares of a mother to soothe and beguile!
Let others delight mid new pleasures to roam,
But give me, oh, give me, the pleasures of home!
Home! home! sweet, sweet home!
There 's no place like home!

To thee I 'll return, overburdened with care;
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam;
Be it ever so humble, there 's no place like home.
Home! home! sweet, sweet home!
There 's no place like home!

That song finds a responsive chord in hearts all around the world. When she finished singing, the people stood applauding and throwing hats in the air for five minutes. Then someone noticed John Howard Paine in the balcony and a hush fell upon the people in that auditorium until you could have heard a pin drop. This was their way of showing appreciation the one who had given this great song to America.

Is your home sweet? Or, do you just live in a house? Throughout society and especially in religious circles, there is today a strong effort underway to shore up and to reestablish the underlying principles of our home, within our Church and in our town. It is happening in various denominations. There is an emphasis on supporting the American Home. I believe in America. so I wave the flag proudly. I am a Christian, also and I believe in the American home.

Yet, people say the home cannot survive in the nuclear age. And people say the home cannot survive in the secular age or in the permissive age that we live in. I, for one, believe it can. You represent the homes that are surviving and even yet more homes could survive.

I pay tribute to the fathers who are the heads of their house and pray for their families that they will be stronger, regardless of its strength right now. I believe what J. Edgar Hoover said many years ago. "America needs reform in the high chair, not in the electric chair." Families are tumbling downs because the Christian family is swimming against the current. Yet, the Christian family can be a liberating force in America.

Think of it - your home can be a liberating force right in your hometown. Love with honesty and honor and a willingness to stick by the marriage vows is the fundamental for a very happy society. Our problem is that the government on every level is too casual about the marriages that are being performed and as a result, a hodge-podge of laws related to marriage in the 50 states has/is being developed.

The Federal government has failed to stabilize the situation and if it persists in this casual attitude toward marriage and the marriage vows then we should not be surprised as to the outcome. With current laws affecting the core of the home - that being a male and a female -the family is under attack. It will not survive instead of growing stronger in the years ahead. We have to return to the Bible basics.

wedding rings

What are some of the basics? They are listed right in God's Word. No home built on the basics comes tumbling down. What does the Bible say about the family?

Though not first - there is a word regarding children. "Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you." "A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother."

What does it say about a wife? "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." What about mutuality? In Ephesians 5:21, "Be subject to one another, out of reverence for the Christ."? What about the head of the home? "Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the house and Christ is the head of the church."

What about love for a wife? "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. Even so, husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. Husbands, have respect for your wife, likewise you husbands, be considerate to your wives, bestowing honor on the woman, as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs the grace of life, in order that your prayers be not hindered.

What about adultery? "You shall not commit adultery. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' but I say to you, that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

What about discipline of the children? "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." What about administering discipline in love? "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

Now, if we would heed these verses, our homes would be like strong rocks set in this weary land. Peace would be in our family. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God."

When I am asked to perform a marriage, I give the couple something to read when they are alone and can digest the words. One remark says, "Do not raise your voice in the house unless the house is on fire." The Bible tells us "A soft answer turns away wrath, a harsh word sirs up anger." These are attacks against the home and when we burst out in anger to our spouse, to our children or children to children, these are rocks hurled at the home's foundation. The Bible always has the answer to man's need. It speaks with clarity and authority on numerous concerns and it brings guidance, peace and hope to those who heed its message. These Scriptures I have related to you so you can strengthen your home.

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1 Timothy 5:4 reads, "To learn first to show piety at home." Some people are all smiles at Church but gloomy and grouchy at home. Are you this way? Why is it that we show our very best to the general public who care very little about us, but when we go home to the people to whom we have been bound in the career of marriage, we sometimes throw off the smiling face. It is like throwing away a happy appearance and putting on the grouchy, gloomy look. I will never understand why I do that and why others do that. This is a sin. We must ask God to shore us up and strengthen our inner person.

The one place in the world where hearts are sure of each as other should be a place of confidence. It should b e a place where we tear off the mask of guarded and suspicious coldness that is forced upon us by the world. Where we remove our self-defense and where we pour out our love. It is the one place where expressions of - let's say tenderness can gush out without any sense of awkwardness or dread or ridicule. It is my home.

I want all our homes to be "Home Sweet Home". I want you to have a home so that when your children go off to college and are asked, "What is the one thing you miss more than anything else?" That child can say, "I miss the times when my family held hands around the table and prayed. I miss my dad holding my mom's hand. That is what I miss the most.

If we can develop that kind of home, it will not come tumbling down, but will get stronger and stronger. Further, today, too many of our homes have lost touch with "religion" I don't really like that word, but use it. I feel it makes a wrong statement. But the failure to provide spiritual guidance for our kids is missing. The rampage of juvenile delinquency, the high incidence of crime across the nation is a disgraceful reflection on the parental responsibility. God must be brought back into the family circle. He must become an important central part of every day life.

How does your home stand up to this interesting story. This child came to eat with a Christian family. Now, her parents were also Christians, but the "secret disciple" kind. The Christianity was left at the church on Sunday. So this child who was staying over with a friend observed the Christian-life style. She was much influenced by the prayers. She remarked, "God doesn't live at my house. If I want to talk to God I have to come to your house." This need not be true if we, as parents, take the initiative in making our home as strong as it can possibly be.

Many of us have moved into a new house at one time or another.

Someone said, "It takes a heap of thinking to plan house for two;
it takes a heap of money to see the project through;
it takes a heap of plaster to smooth its many walls;
it takes a heap of labor and many pounds of nails,
and yet its worth the watching and waiting it entails.
When a house is finished from cornerstone to dome,
it takes but happy heartbeats to change it from house to home."

In Isaiah 39, Hezekiah was showing his home to some people. They saw many things in the home, but yet, when they came through the house there was nothing that turned their attention to the Lord. As a result, God spoke to him, saying, "You will have to pay the consequences."

When people come to our homes, let us not be ashamed to say, "We have a Christian home." Let there be something visible that speaks of the Invisible God.

A family was seated in their home late in the evening and was startled to hear a rapping. On investigation of all the doors and windows they found no one, but they continued to hear rapping. Finally, they discovered that a picture of Jesus on the wall was being intermittently blown about by a fan in the room and causing the sound.

I think that in some homes Jesus is asking to come in. This family that had been startled by the rapping realized that all they had was a picture on the wall. He was not really in their home. If He's in your home, then your home is a Christian home and the results will be God's blessings and honor. Each member will receive great blessings and it will truly be "Home, Sweet Home."

My prayer for you, my reader is that your home
will be a responsive one to the Spirit of the Lord.
Regardless of the size, regardless whether you
are single are having those living with you may
Jesus be the honored unseen guest 24/7
in the name of Jesus. Amen

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