What's the big deal with family values?
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
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.
When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants all around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Byd means = the truth against the world. This is a Welsh saying that basically means~When no one stands up for the truth anymore, you must keep standing against the flow of the world. This is something we should remember and apply. If you want to, maybe you can even write out the quote and its meaning and tape it on your wall to remember it. I am.
I'm sure you have learned a little about the Hebrews and Greeks in your lifetime. We learn about a lot of the Hebrew world view in the Bible from the tribe of Israel as well as generally throughout the teaching of the law. What about the Greeks? We learn of some of their failing worldview in the OT by the practices of the heathen nations and in the NT by the worshiping of god's and other pagan practices. Both nation's worldviews effected the way they raised their children, their family values, their work, their government and the importance of education.
In Israel, the family served as the basic building block of their society. This is in stark contrast to the Greeks who basically wanted a perfect society thus throwing away the imperfect parts including children who they felt would not benefit the Greek society. So, why was the family so important to Israel? What is behind the value of children and other parts of a family?
Firstly, the Hebrews viewed children as a blessing and gift from the Lord that were entrusted to their care.
Seeing children in this way prevented them from doing some of the pagan things that other nations did such as sacrificing them to idols. Even in the example of Pharaoh commanding them to put to death all the male babies when they were born didn't cause them to even contemplate doing it because of their righteous fear of God.
Secondly, they believed that the father in the household should take an active role in the instruction of the children of the home.
This view among others set them apart from the Greeks because it showed how important the care and education of their children were in the ways of God . I will now quote from a book called, “Assumptions that effect our lives." It is talking about the importance of a father's role using Abraham as an example.
“There was something in Abraham God needed to build upon in order for a great and mighty nation to become a reality: a parental mentor, a father who would “command his children after him,” rearing a God-honoring household, which would in turn rear another, and another, and another.”
The Bible makes it clear that the mother is also a very big part of training the children, but the father is the still the leader.
Thirdly, they had an understanding that children were not the center of the home.
At first, this sounds strange until you understand my meaning. God is first with the relationship of the mother and father second and the training of children to know among other things that life does not totally revolve around them is third. Teaching the children in this way helps them respect the mother, father and God and be selfless and honor others. They were taught that there was a will higher than their own to which they must respectfully submit.
Lastly, the fourth contributing factor to the strength of the Hebrew family was the understanding that the individual of the family was but a part of something bigger than himself/herself. He/she is part of a society and nation which needs to be reformed from the inside out by the training up of the present generation to follow the principles of obedience to God and a government that rules using the laws that God made for our safety and well-being.
This week, let's trust God for our future and by seeking His grace and strength obey His laws and the people He has placed over us to care for us.