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LIFE IN THE LORD:
The Productive Foursome
Man, Woman, Child
and the Christ,
present through the Spirit of God:
Families and Godliness
Following the introduction as in Chapter 7, we may now pursue our family theme.
In other words, this follows the effort to denature, remove the family character of the wandering Jew in his historic breadth and scope (Ch. 5 above), to cosmopolitanise him, so that he might just fit in ever so nicely into Palestine and Palestinians, and forget all about Philistines, idols, false prophets, their track record, the Bible, its track record, the scientific evaluation of the faith as shown in this site (as in SMR, TMR, Scientific Method ...), and become one more misfit nation, urbane, inundated, defoliated, eviscerated, put it how you will! This did not even attain to the minor light of moonshine.
This our present Chapter also follows also after Ch. 6 on predestination, in which God's plans concerning nations, tests, teaching, and reaching amid mankind are fulfilled, Israel one of the many specifics, and the emphasis of Ch. 5. In that sense, Ch. 6 is both a grounding for, and an example of, the prophetic and historical facts of Ch. 5.
Next, the power of God, ready to answer the cry of faith in mercy and lovingkindess was considered in terms of Psalm 107, which invites us to understand, an invitation which it is a delight to accept. Now in our present Chapter, we come, with these great features and foci from the Lord in mind, to families as a focus of love. Below nations in scope, but beyond the singularity of the individual, these have their own life for living. What are His prescriptions ? It is not hard to understand.
Let's be reasonable about families and all that is involved in them.
Reminding Ourselves of Families
A family: what a divinely beautiful thing! That is not rhapsody. It is a reference to the beauty which God has created in making a human family a pivot of production, a way of living and a group aggregate, vital in company, lovely in concept, stalwart in ideal, sound in stability.
You may say, You speak but of the beautiful, as with models in the flesh; and your concept of the family is a rarefied as imagining that everyone is a model in beauty!
But this is not so. THIS is how it can, often is and should be found; not in an ideal format, but in the INTENDED one. The very nature of a car can be substantially of a given kind: it runs, it is empowered, dirigible, comfortable and so on, and quite visible without its being a matter of ideal: merely one of norm when it is built to design and taken for such facilities. It may develop this or that without denying its basic character, though some will give more trouble in keeping to this design than others, depending on the nature of the design and of the care.
But what of the human being then, the family into which it naturally forms ?
Who intended it ? What a question that would be! We are speaking of the most amazing, intricate collocation of multiply specialised parts, in the most staggering array of elements, both technical and functional, moral, intellectual, spiritual, social and personal every to be visibly seen on this earth, outwitting in ingenuity anything our own intelligences (one of the products in this magnificent assemblage called man) in its sheer audacity and wit in control both of any generation and the production of generations to come, and you ask: Is something intended!
Having all the features of design (cf. Deity and Design ... Chs. 2, and 7), by which it may be defined, all the means (intricate mathematical, co-ordinated multi-systematics back of the productions, ordering and controlling the physical side of the embryonic and developing format), and all the outcome - what leaves for dead, the mere components in sheer splendour of its summary and integral result, the person (you, for example), you ask, What is it for, is there some point, is there perchance some purpose ? as one might ask a bird, had it a mind for it, studying its aerodynamic body, complete to the nature of its bones, lungs and sight, with unity and ability of a definable kind, and facility in interpreting magnetic signals, and perhaps much more: What was the intention ? could it have related to ... flying ? - or as if one might ask a policeman with helmet, truncheon and stun-gun, proclaiming the law, Was there some intention in your being there!
It is as if one might address a patrol officer, and say: Tell me, sir, but I DO perceive your helmet, badge, enforcement equipment, hear your legal advice and expressed dissatisfaction with my driving in terms of law, at which you seem very nimble, but - excuse me if I seem a little confused - could you help me guess for what purpose your work is intended! Does it perchance have something to do with motor-cars and the laws legislated for their use ?
It is intended for the things it does, in type at least, at the elemental level. We know this in an elementary fashion because information*1 has never been found and noted to come from unintelligence; it cannot be made to do so under observation, nor would it be expected, since it is facilely formulated, conceptually oriented, transfer of understanding in a mind format, to a mind.
Reminding Ourselves of DNA that does it,
and Spirit*2 in Man , that Sees what it will Do
You need it to have it in the DNA, which being far more than orders, is in a system where the MEANS for their implementation have likewise to be devised and PRESENT, at the right time, amount and format, and this in continuity, so that what cannot yet work, because it is a composite picture which makes up the workability of the specialised components, must be sustained while the rest of the information comes into being, until the entirety being present, with devices for the performance of the commands, it ... happens. This is what does not happen, cannot be made to happen, and is contrary to the logic of events, a conceptualisable, unified, uni-language command module ... arising ... without the intelligence which conceptualises, orders, organises and inspires the basic ingredients with their own unitary characteristics, so that become constituent parts of a whole which requires its own type of constructive ability, depending on what the construction is.
There is enormous variation in this, because part of the equipment is moral, to discern laws in invisible matters, and part is spiritual, to imagine laws and other constructions, and discover purposes, and ground for them - but allowing for that, what is elemental ? It is a body with means of MOTION, means of SIGHT to teach photography, of hearing that is mobile, of touch, that is interpretable with imagination and memory, of abilities to effect combination of inferior elements (such as found in the body), and to forge them into purpose-built means of securing aims, and to combine these with other such elements, and to complicate all of them, integrate them into systems, interpret the meaning of the systems, imbue them with meaning, relate them to life, fashion them for utility for mind, body or spirit or morality.
What is not programmatic is far more intensively difficult, and impossible for man; for it is only by program that he puts into code his wishes and desires, or its equivalent; and when you have to have ability to devise programs with total originality, from imagination, the thing called spirit, which we are all present now utilising, capable of defying logic's laws, though paying for it if this be done, then man cannot do it.
He may envisage, conceptualise, formulate codes, languages, analyse them, relate them to known laws, key them into those in their existing situations, construct consequences by such intellectualising of speech in harmony with laws and power, all provided extraneous to man; but he cannot make (except by procreation, which requires no understanding of such things) what he is.
But as to what man is, let us consider it further.
It also has means of testing, and in particular, testing its own products, and itself as a product, and testing what it is for by the evidence to be assessed by eyes and ears and touch and mind and imagination and logic, part of the intellect which co-operates in this co-ordinated amassment of unified facilities, grouped about the overall unity of PERSON.
Realising the Unrelenting Invention of the Family
Again, these prodigies, called mankind, are not merely THERE. Apart from their first production unit, Adam, they did not come each one from the sculptor's hand. THIS sculptor, this architect, this engineer, this producer of persons, invisible back of the controlled, causally delimited means, controlled by specifications, elevated by code, superintended by spirit, a further grant of invisible operation in the realm of what is by nature invisible, such as courage and fear, anger and truth: He not only MADE man, but He gave to him the power to make others, not by wit, but by procreation. It was built into the building, a transformative aspect of the code, and it involves male and female, coded in correlative aspects, with intricate workmanship, for this also.
This power involves such complex mathematics and flow-facilities, controls, commands and correlation of orders in symbols with materials for obeying those ordered, all systematically brought together, that it would be too much to expect anyone other than the Maker Himself - whose product is human nature, equipped with imagination and facility to argue and to continue in truth or to depart from it, by lie or incompetence, whichever applies, to invent it. That is one reason why it is not being done by man, except in procreation. Man cannot make man.
What however is being done needs further attention, for in it lies another feature which was formatted, one the one side, and given opportunity in the domain of spirit for recognition, on the other.
This is that of semi-automatic production facilities. It is cast in a duality mode, so that what is called man and woman, or male and female, by co-operation can produce this result, a new and young one of themselves: when once their imagination and will and understanding and thoughts are in that direction. Of course, it can be a matter of force, but this is a presumption on the part of one, to ignore the person as such, to whom such compulsion is applied. Ignoring this use of will, however, what is the procedure at the personal level ?
To achieve what is felicitous for this, and because apart from descent, in man, this is the very nature of the Maker, and since He pursued a likeness which could know Him, for mankind He invented love, and added for its parental role, sensations expressive of it, so that when this facility is used to produce more of mankind, it has the atmosphere of love, the intensity of love. With this, as a means, like a car for motion, there are placed the automated and structurally controlled facilities to bring the result in a child, the sub-unit, programmatic part. The babe welcomes the day it begins, by totally changing his breathing mechanism. Instead of taking oxygen from a mother's blood, by one means, he now takes it by another, from the air.
The second mode is prepared, as in all time-spaced creative constructions, by a timely and seemly irrelevant mode, which must work so perfectly that in moments of no great number, it DOES work or the child is dead. Suppose however, that it succeeds ...
When this is done, there is a family.
It is important to be reasonable about a family, and not treat it like a fairy palace of untold treasures, which 'happens' to be there, complete with gardeners, but assumed not to belong to anyone, or to have required any organisational or other effort for its implantation and implementation. We have considered this area in SMR, TMR, but for now we proceed.
When the Lord, the Maker is not in the family, by the misuse of the facility of imagination and departure from necessary truth, then the family is incomplete. Hence it may be BEGUN too soon, through allowing the facilities expressive of love, to be activated without love; or the sensations symptomatic of love, to be enlisted without understanding; or thoughtless haste to proceed to the procreation of children, without what love demands: the intensive thought for, or desire concerning the welfare of the same.
That may be conceived as a correlative of murder, in its most unreformed outcome, since it places a child, someone just like each of the parents, into this world without the love FOR each other on the part of the parents, and FOR the child as begotten, being desired. This leaves a vacuum, which may be filled in various ways, as when oil or water or air fills a petrol tank in a car. Results are often found in divorce, separation, slander and degradation in front of the child, or ineptitude concerning provisions for it: whether from no discipline, too much discipline, mere machinery of order and control, too lax, too unfeeling a spirit.
Such is the thrust of things, the grand vision of real discipline being God Himself, as one way or another, without the love which God defines and issues from His everlasting self, the spiritual divorce continues. Again, the newly endued life of the child may continue in the love for each other of the parents, married in love and loving for their offspring and seeking tenderly to bring the same to that same Lord. Whether directly in line with the truth of the Lord, or tainted: these are likely issuances, depending on the case, when the nine months or so construction program reaches fruition.
Why however is there something correlative to murder in the negative instance in view above ? or in what degree is it there ? It is because it is a voluntary, wilful despatch or removal of what is necessary for the life of the child as designed, like giving no food, except that this is food for the spirit of the child, its personal being and morality. It involves the child's introduction to its ultimate Source, did far more than design its bodily specifications better than any human engineer can do, and categorically surpassed man's own inventive powers He also gave it spirit, in that it has an ultra-programmatic facility to lie or not, choose known falsity or not, doggedly pursue good or evil, cast its will this way or that, invoke spiritual evils or provoke with them or be moved to revoke them, in various non-ultimate ways, but profoundly significant ways.
The mercies of predestination do not alter the responsibility of the parents; for to know to do good, and do evil, becomes the work of an investor, whose proceeds to the company of the human race, for all their possible grandeur and glitz, are moving towards spiritual destitution in another, ever one from his own self.
WHEN IS A FAMILY IN VIRTUAL FAMINE ?
To deny what is necessary for the scope of life, as it is made, constitutes wilful omission, brings on the death warrant for this ultimate end in the invisible realm of choice and joy, peace and understanding, realisation and power-access for living, does constitute a type of murder. If God intervenes, it is well; but for man, It is wilful failure to provide what is to the utmost level, the need for life. Insofar as this affects the body and the mind, while it is not murder in a literal (that is purely physical sense, obliterating a life on this earth), it is a top level omission for the entire life. Even teaching cannot entirely atone for it, as the EXAMPLE of the parent is a lively aid to understanding; though certainly sound teaching on the topic would give the child more opportunity to find the life which made him or her, and the joy of it.
Hence the minimum size of a (normally) productive family (that is, one which is not widow and child and so forth, in various combinations), is four: father, mother, child and Christ by the Holy Spirit in the home.
Various degrees of usurpation of the design, such as same-sex and (physically) non-productive undertakings, not designed for racial outcome, fornication, adultery and the like, while as with King David, one of these may occur with devastating consequences, and yet be repented of (as in Psalm 51), for all that, they are like using a plough for a pen: a near fatal abuse of equipment, touching not only the area of procreation, but its means, and so engineering sorrows aplenty, in mind, emotion and spirit.
When such is the MODE chosen, or when this compounds the generation-productive norm for the race, this involves further degrees of dissociation from design, intention, authorisation, and hence more innovation, at which man is very skilled by the nature of his gifts. The results, as the Bible (Romans 1:17ff. shows) can come in the most remarkable fashion, being left IN THOSE who do them, like a ferment or distillate, or deep-seated bruise. Romans 1, like I Timothy 1 and I Corinthians 5-6, is very expressive on these topics, in these fields, noting amongst other things the not amazing result, that if this is to be the mode of life, it is exclusive of association with God. People doing it, so living, cannot enter the kingdom of heaven (cf. News 23). Indeed, it traces the nature of these things, when made into a practice, from divorce from what is divine, suppression of truth, worshipping what is made instead of the Maker, callow misconception of the Creator through will, that leaves a murky area (as the Chapter comes to its end) of personal misalignment and preoccupation, of which the sexual is merely an element.
This kingdom is a specific in which those who love their Maker, find their Redeemer, acknowledge that not only in family areas and arenas, but in many others (as in II Corinthians 12-13) they have broached topics with insincerity, mere ambition, self-centredness or lust of one facility or another, in mind, body or spirit, and breached laws of God. These are here especially, obvious, as often, and written in his verified and validated book, the Bible (cf. Ch. 2, above). Whole civilisations may disregard this; but it does not disregard them.
This however is but one phase in the domain of the activities of the liberally endowed and endued human spirit, in its depredations, declarations, whether of doom, delight or of licentiousness. Thus, the husband and wife may breed in the milieu of a godly family. It is entered by those who doing this, repenting as it is called, also find in their Maker the maker of their peace, meaning and usefulness, as the One who having done the work, has an interest in its results, wisdom to impart and work to assign. That involves seeking Him where He may be found (Isaiah 55).
His intense control of the bodily format and formation, functions and facilities, as scientists are successively finding in staggering ways, which they are able to investigate and categorise, precisely because the Maker made in them the minds that run on the same principles of logic as His own, in what is the opposite of a chance world, and the the very pattern of a forged one, is readily seen in the DNA.
His immense and intense desires for man at the optional, imaginative, optative side, where he acts as a person, are seen in the Bible, written not this time in what indicates the product of immense intellect, commanding code; but beyond that, with what also shows a commanding power to control history in its eventual outcomes, and so to predict it over millenia with that same precision as is found in the DNA code, but with a personal aspect in focus. If the DNA is directed at the equipment for living, the Bible is directed at the presence of life, the spirit of man and his ambit and direction, his knowledge and his orientation, his worship and his work; for man tends always to worship, himself, his race, tribe, sport, sportsmen, soldiers, nation, current social or political -ism, like a self-committed prisoner, in voluntary darkness, immured from the sun.
There is in the human person, the power to do as he will, and further, to will as he will, though in this, not by his own work; for God has provided in the Bible, the means of having a new creation for the spirit of man, surging into misuse of his mental, moral, and physical equipment, where his binding and blinding forces of his own will are neither the entrance means, nor the entry outcomes. This is wrought by the provision of the Almighty, to secure each person one way or the other, through foreknowledge, like the author of a book.
In God's book, we find that He would like all to come into His kingdom, that He has the facilities which give a new FORM of life to man, and has paid for these, as occurs in all creation, by notable effort; in this case both immense and intense. Thus, in the known PRESENCE of the power and purity of God Himself, He knows and has known His own people; but it is equally found written that He neither forces any nor leaves the matter to the momentary thrust of a fallen personality, which after all, in itself, is spoiled for research by its lusts, deficiencies and ignorances.
In choosing His own people, therefore, God has statedly constrained Himself by various principles.
PRINCIPLES AND PARENTS
PRINCIPLE 1 - He not only loves all, at the outset of the matter, but SO loves them that He was willing to send His only begotten Son, set in the format of flesh from the eternity of heaven, where He is the WORD and EXPRESSION of God, that whosever believes in Him should be delivered from perishing. Thus any man may be saved from the confusion of being created and having no remedy to obtain, nothing between his position and that of eventual refuse. This is the first positive step. God is very willing and says so repeatedly, emphatically, dramatically and by challenge, appeal, exhortation, warning and ... yes coming in personal presence to demonstrate His entire meaning and effect His entire program.
PRINCIPLE 2 - Thus God was not only willing - a nice prelude, and many are willing for much which, nevertheless, they do not do - so to act. He actually DID it. Prophecy became reality. Horror for Him at our plight, stark need to deliver us from what we engendered, became deliverance for us, every one participating and receiving what He achieved. Notice the capital in the 'He'! This includes deliverance from death into eternal life, which is the continuity for the amazing life we have as a psychic prelude and spiritual gift, at the outset. This is the second positive step.
PRINCIPLE 3 - The Lord not only refuses to receive any who do not accept this searching challenge to God's own love, but indicates remorselessly, like a doctor indicating the results to a depraved smoker, with cancer and need of CERTAIN action and not other response - that failing to receive this, refusing the Saviour, declining to be collected, corrected and categorically cleansed by Him, changed and indeed SPIRITUALLY reproduced in this way, regenerated as it is called, is a final negation of the life He has made. Here life has no place, felicity, facility or future, but a kind of spiritual death, as ugly as cancer, as deserved as fat from gluttony and as fatal as fraud in the laboratory. This is the third step, a negative one.
PRINCIPLE 4 - WHEN persons do come to acknowledge their need to repent, to believe and be regenerated, then He has rules, just as your car does, but these are more searching because imaginative people have more ideas than cars do! This is the third positive step. Moreover He has atmosphere, spirit and surround for man, when he is brought to the relationship for which Christ bought him (I Corinthians 6), and the main objective (as in Ch. 4 above) is love, the love of God, defined by God. As with any creation, the rules for use do not comprise what it is, but its best treatment. You can ruin things any way; use them well with a certain constriction of understanding, that perceives what they are and for what they are made.
IF, said Christ, you love Me, you will keep My words (John 15:21ff.). In that case, as in your car's, you need to know what you are and what the rules are. It is more than this by far; but not at all less.
This is knowledge, understanding and wisdom (cf. Colossians 1:9, James 1:5ff.), and returning to the family, this is needed for the parents to have, show and imbue, so that the child has every opportunity, though not under a dictatorship but in a regimen of love, to find the point of life and the discipline, direction, power and peace intended, and to know God, the Maker of his life, and not just those who like his parents, can co-operate in the production of new personal entities. In other words, the physical means for child-production are designed for being part (like a serve in tennis), of a totality, and the reality is to know the entirety of the schema, and to live in that realm. This, unlike tennis is neither a game nor an option; you can mess up the sport and place table tennis over the net if you will, but this is not the design.
There are results. Christ made it clear that IF you are His, IFF you are His, then you will love Him, and not be drowned in misuse, sin though you will. A car, for example, by its nature, does not fly; nor does a crow make melodious sound. A child of GOD is as begotten with a nature, as the babe at the outset; but this is a spiritual nature, and with this comes the godly guarantee of help in its life, so that the Christian is not alone. Indeed, by the Spirit of God, it is a matter not of a distant companion, but Christ in you (Colossians 1:27), a gift to be received with a gratitude profound, since God is the missing aspect and power not only in the godless family, but in the godless life. There is one God and one way, of His devising and payment, to Him. What is other is irrelevant in the end...
Let us however return to the family.
As man gains more power by gaining with his donated intellect, more knowledge of the way in which the mind of God has constructed both his mentality, and the world in which he lives, things co-ordinate and mutually co-operative, the system finder and the systems to be found, the law discerner and the laws for the finding, so does his meddlesome, pseudo-autonomous power to create mischief.
Man may create imaginative substitutes for the ideas, ideals, principles, rules and realities accorded to the family. When part of this imagination is social, then schools, built on political principles which may be related to other 'games' or works than life, may both spoil and foil its outcomes. This in extreme cases, such as now found in South Australia (cf. Appendix) may come between child and parent, and tend systematically to ruin what God has decreed for the child, barging in with effervescent or even indecent thoughts, clumsy in origin, impractical in nature, with horrid outcomes, like SURVIVAL by all means: an anti-qualitative slide in the descent to hell. What you are to be taught and have subject for examination is decreed, as it was in the USSR in its phases of inhuman atrocity.
In such cases, Christian parents have to follow the Lord's rules, whatever man says, for as in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, if you are living in the city and confines of Vanity Fair, things may not be fair; but you dare not defile what God has created, growing from the suckling at its breast, to the arrival of the appraising will. This type of State misuse of force will produce tests, and may demand imaginative action, in dependence on the leading and enabling of God; but this is part of the voyage of discovery which is prepared for the Christian, and if the seas rage high, God is higher yet.
Of this arena, Ch. 7 above provides knowledge! in this that it presents Psalm 107 and its teaching on such a topic!
To this in detail, we proceed in the Appendix, but sufficient for the present is the type of challenge involved.
As to the education of children, then, to revert to the ways of the Lord directly: To help them without understanding what they are, is to mix ignorance with knowledge, skill with dumbness, perhaps good intentions with bad perspective, and is merely an arrant misuse of what God has given, a disenchantment with the Maker to the extent that it becomes odious to Him. It is a 'sport' , a type which may be found in some branches in a fruit tree, a human invention about what to do with the divine invention which is man.
As to the case where the State is intruding into the family with force, even where parents teach and know the truth, in the end, it is one that steals the property God has made, and even dares ignore His claims, that is, when it does not explicitly rebel. It insists as it has insisted in Germany (with physical duress) and in the USSR that was (with the same), on its will and way with mutilated and mutilating philosophy; but here, the duress is applied to the uneducated ear, to the closed mouth of the student, and his need of education becomes a grotesque module of indoctrination, protected by Government decree, and never by truth.
It hides in its shame, even from the tongues of the students, tied by its devices. No marks are to be obtained we find, for other approaches than the theme of a chosen organic evolution; only this newly anointed philosophic aristocrat of views is to be suffered. This is the precise opposite of suffering children to come where they will; while it is not all, it is much, and to make such demands CANNOT be in accord with the UN placement for this nation, concerning non-discrimination in the field of religion or belief. This is ALL discrimination in precisely this field, that of creation. The child is DENIED equal treatment in curriculum, freedom of speech and standing for criticism.
Such a family is damaged and it produces, like a river entering another in a system of rivers, much silt in superficiality, downstream.
Where however Christ imbues the atmosphere of the family, His word is carefully understood and applied (we DO this sort of thing in income tax, or our special professional fields, and can rejoice in the liberty this gives us! is it so different when it is life itself!); where prayer and praise of the Lord are like the throb of a ship's motor, and thus His free and generous Spirit leads us with the companionship, power and the peace that is right for man (II Corinthians 3:17-18, Psalm 51:12, Philippians 4:4ff.) and is moreover part of the blessed provision for the design complex (Isaiah 57:19-20), then blessed family life is free to come. Then you have the scope for the fourfold family, as noted at the first, in normative conditions, the minimum, with maximum co-operation with its Creator and Saviour, and for each child who receives Him as such, its Redeemer.
Here love is eminent, sacrifice for truth is endemic, challenge is met, pseudo-aristocratic theories of human invention that do without God and weakly make inane substitutes in the world of creation, salvation, sin and direction in life are despised at least as much as the ungoverned oppressors of French victims of aristocracy before the Revolution, and truth remains past any and all revolution, in that immovable place from which it cannot be moved*3. Here love both to children and to one another forms the very atmosphere, and it is good to absorb it.
PRINCIPLES AND THAT DUALITY: MAN AND WIFE
Ephesians 5 has a profound contribution of divinely ordered wisdom here. But surely, one may say, you do not need orders for love ?
That begs the question. IF it is divinely pure love in the heart from the Lord, and if you are established in your goings in the Lord, then it is very free; but in order for you to be in that state, you have first to realise three things. Firstly, you are not the author of your own salvation (Hebrews 12), and so need to know Him who is, and that personally, and with extreme care toward His propositions (even parents can have rules for ease and surety of action). Secondly, you need to love Him, from whom love comes as its ultimate and total source, and if you do, you will desire to keep His words, since this love is absolute, and not exclusive of His ... mouth, of what it utters! Thirdly, you will need to become a transmitter, so that this love is not only shed abroad in your heart (Romans 5:5), but so stirs and leads you that you entertain a Christ-like love to others. Immediately as you read the New Testament, you realise this love is no dreamy, sentimental hash (I John 4:7-11); but it is holy, pure, kindly, investigative, not duped by pressure or pretence, does not seek to cut costs for quality, and is not to be compared with money or ordinary power.
In practice, in a family, at the start this love is that between the husband and wife, and not to have it in the special mode which betokens those who want to be even more than mere friends, but as one in their living, and for their children, is like not have water in a house and a garden which is exquisitely arranged. In particular, this means that since the wife is in general less physically strong, there is a special safeguarding function for the husband; moreover since she has the delicate nurturing, by the very way in which she is made, of tiny children, she needs protection in this assembly of tasks. In fact, the husband is divinely charged to love his wife as himself, and to sacrifice himself for her, in Ephesians 5:25-29; and the wife, in parallel, is asked to obey him (as also in I Peter 1:3-7), just as the husbands are to show understanding to them.
As with children, this is of course "in the Lord" (Ephesians 6), since no authority is ever given anyone except on the basis of the prior authority of the One who gives it. It indicates that what is not sin, is to be wrought; but this is no problem if the love of the husband for the wife is self-sacrificial (Ephesians 5:25)l, for this is the nature of the love of God.
There is no duplicate for love. No course can communicate it; it must be there, like muscles in the legs for athletics, before there can be any thought of developing it, in applications.
What prevents the kindly care of the mother is to be disdained; for nothing is to be compared to love. What makes the husband a tyrant is to be detested, for it is an abuse of privilege which is defined in exactly the opposite way. What makes the wife a shrew is equally outrageous, for she is to have towards her husband a meekness (I Peter 3) which has a savour of its own. This is not a depression of personality, but as in a dance, a procedural mode. It by no means removes spirited reminders, gracious expositions or kindly counsel; but a house divided against itself cannot stand, and great is the fall of it in countless thousands of families, where the children are accordingly neglected as separated or divorced parents chant their songs and indulge their lusts.
To be sure, not all divorce is evil, for sexual involvement with another is a possible ground for divorce - although it does nto require it (as in Hosea); and not all separation is evil, since though not desired, it is permitted (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Yet one looks for the culmination in kindness, and the fruit in its beauty, in a loving and gracious home where from the first, each has consulted the Lord on all things, on marriage in particular (as one does for a career, if a Christian!), and has chosen a Christian spouse, if a Christian, as is required (II Corinthians 6:14); for what a comedy it makes of the Lord, to choose to be under the authority of one going in the wrong direction, without understanding, marching towards doom, or to be in unity with one going with precision just where one is not going, with principles contrary to one's own. It is as though a horse had two legs going forward, while the other two attempted to go backwards, to say no more, thus creating stress!
Pardon and mercy are great features; but they are not another name for either rebellion or witlessness. When you drive in that fashion, you are a menace; when you marry in that way, or for false motives, you bid fair to be no less.
When Christ is indeed in you (Colossians 1:27), there is a flourishing of grace, an enrichment of beauty (II Corinthians 3:18), in an ebullient freedom (3:17); and this enables the outworking of His plan when He was first consulted, as He should be before marriage. That in turn duly leads to mutual edification for both, and a continuing devotion to be found in love, without shove or driving, in tenderness of heart and thoughtfulness of manner.
See: The Track of Truth ... Ch. 3, together with:
THE DESIRE OF THE NATIONS ... Ch.2, Epilogue
LITTLE THINGS Ch. 3 (esp. *3),
THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS Ch. 4,
DANCERS, PRANCERS, LANCERS AND ANSWERS Chs. 3, 5,
JESUS CHRIST, DEFACED, UNFAZED: BARRISTER OF BLESS Ch. 4,
THY WORD IS WONDERFUL Ch. 5
See also lbrfgi1.html above.
See Ch. 1 above,*18, Ch. 2, *12A, Ch. 5 passim.
See also on the domain of the work of spirit, esp. in man, and matters contingent:
1) Christ Jesus: the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 7
2) Little Things Ch. 5
3) It Bubbles ... Ch. 9
4) Repent or Perish Ch. 7
5) SMR pp. 348ff.
6) Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 5
7) Deliverance from Disorientation Chs. 7 and 8
8) Swift Witness 6
9) Ancient Words and Modern Events Ch. 9
10) Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13
11) History, Review and Overview Ch. 5
12) Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation.
See for example:
1) LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God;
2) The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy,