Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Foundations of a solid family

27 Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house. (Proverbs 24:27)

I have told my two boys that they have no business dating or courting girls until they are ready to take on the responsibilities of marriage and leading a family. It is a young man's duty to establish himself in his vocation (prepare his outside work, in the field) before he establishes his family (builds his house).

Far too many young men date and look for a girlfriend, way before their vocation is settled. They enter marriage, or take on a co-fornicator, before they have proven themselves to be worthy of a life partner and children to care for.

This is a much neglected passage of scripture in our church pulpits, and needs to be revisited regularly.

1 comment:

Steve from the Alice said...

I am sure there are many more areas of my Christian upbringing that I wish I could have changed, but this would surely be one of them. I grew up, in a sense, being groomed by my Christian parents for some type of full-time Christian ministry, as the term is commonly (mis)understood. I eventually ended up accepting a missionary's callling in a faith-based (no fixed or guaranteed wage) ministry. Looking back at our 25+ years with the mission, several conclusions could be drawn:

1 In using me for His purposes, God used a very, very flawed but (somewhat and at sometimes) willing servant to achieve His purposes.

2 God did, in fact, meet all of our financial needs, but rarely if ever in a way that caused me to be fully comfortable with the arrangement. I kicked and screamed a lot about finances (usually the perceived lack of), almost from day one. Finance was perhaps one of two major issues with my wife within our marriage, as well as between God and me.

3 I never, ever saw it as my responsibility as a husband to ensure that we had adequate finances. I was inculcated with the 'do God's work and the Lord will provide' mentality. The constant penny-pinching and manipulation of supporters through heart-tugging prayer letters and fervent deputation speeches, niggled with both me and my wife.

4 It is only more recently that I have seen my calling as missionary balanced with a subsequent calling as husband and father, the latter calling in many ways mediating against the former. That is to say, if a single man or woman is called into missionary work, so be it--they can then live by faith, as defined above. But once a called-man marries, he now has a second calling which includes, as you say in your blog, the duty to establish his financial feet (also an act of faith!) before even contemplating marriage, let alone continuing on in missions. Missions themselves, and supporting churches, need to do some serious re-examinining of member finance.

Sorry for burbling on--you have picked a scab! I hope this makes some sense!