Forty years ago, Time magazine warned that the crisis in the family has implications that extend far beyond the walls of the home. In a Dec. 28, 1970, article, Time quoted the founder of the American Institute of Family Relations as saying, “No society has ever survived after its family life deteriorated” (emphasis mine).
Look around today! Wouldn’t you say that institute founder knew what he was talking about? Family breakdown is having disastrous effects—and they are going to get far worse.
Remember what Mr. Armstrong wrote: “The very foundation of any stable civilization is the solid family structure. … Nothing in this material world is as important as a happy home life with father, mother and well-taught happy children—a close-knit family.”
The fact that the physical family is an exact type of the God Family should inspire us all to forsake the filth of this world and strengthen our families!
Every father should study the example of God the Father to see how to lead his family. God says to His children, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). When He begets a child, He commits Himself to fulfilling His responsibility toward that child! If you study this scripture in the original Greek language, you will see it is written for maximum emphasis. There are five negatives. Though a good literal translation isn’t really possible, in essence God is saying, “I will never, never, never, never, never forsake you!” What a wonderful Father!
God honors His children. Think about when a physical father is watching his young child learn to walk. The baby is bound to stumble and fall. The father doesn’t focus on the stumbles. He looks at when the child takes a step! As soon as the child steps, that really excites him! The same is true of God the Father. He is moved and stirred when He sees His children take spiritual steps, and begin to walk and live and act like Him! That kindles within Him strong feelings of love.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, He tells His people that He will never allow them to suffer a trial greater than they can bear. Yes, He does allow trials at times. He does chasten and correct His children (e.g. Deuteronomy 8:5; Hebrews 12:5-11). But He knows His children so intimately that He knows exactly where to draw the line in a trial that will develop their character! That is a promise that reveals His great depth of understanding about you and love for all His children.
The parable of the prodigal son, recorded in Luke 15, also shows that love. The son rebelled against his father and fled to the world. He soon realized that his life had become a wreck. He recognized just how good he had lived under his father. He decided to turn things around, and he returned to his father in a repentant state. How did the father in this parable respond? Exactly the way God the Father responds when one of His children repents: He hugged and kissed his son! He was full of joy! He truly celebrated his son’s return.
Yes, God is a loving Father. He’s not like a father—He is the ultimate Father! And He’s perfect. He said, If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more do I, in whom there is no evil? (Matthew 7:11).
God gave His own Son to pay for our sins so that, when we repent and accept that sacrifice, God can open up His Family to us!
He gives us incredible honor. We all must learn to honor Him back, as Jesus Christ did. As Christ told us in Matthew 18:1-4, in order to enter God’s Kingdom we must humble ourselves as little children. That means seeing God, and honoring Him, as our Father!