Did you know that the first institution of God was the family unit. God created Adam, then Eve. They lived in a marital relationship and had babies. Before Eve was tricked into eating the forbidden fruit, her relationship with Adam was beautiful.
The Bible has a lot to say about families. There are instructions from God for each family member. Women were designed to be help-mates to their husbands. The husband is to lead his family spiritually. He is to provide for the financial needs for the family. If he is lazy, the Bible says that he is worse than an infidel.
I know there are situations where the man cannot work, or he cannot provide the main income for the family, due to the inability to work. I have seen men who cannot work, take on the role of homeschooling their children. This provides a special bond between the dad and the children that normally would not be there. This is a different kind of situation though, than, let's say a man who leaves his family for another woman, and doesn't give any support to his first wife and his children. We call these men 'Dead-beat Dads'. This is one step toward the breakdown of the family unit.
How would you feel if you were a child, and your dad left home because he loved another woman? What if you never saw your dad again? What if you needed clothing and a place to sleep, and your dad wasn't interested anymore in taking care of you because you were no longer in his life?
Moms and dads provide security for their children. God intended men to be gentle with their wives and children. As children grow up and develop, they need to receive love and care from both parents. Even if there was a valid reason why the parents had to separate, they can still love and fully care for their children.
What are some of the problems that cause the breakdown of the family unit? One of them, is due to the fact that many no longer 'fear the Lord'. Many do not believe God's word, nor do they take Him seriously. As a result, instead of taking the step of marriage, many just live together, without taking marriage vows. That way, if they don't get along, they can just leave. So, what are the problems for us, in all this?
Today, single women are getting pregnant everywhere. Older single women as well as younger ones find themselves carrying a child, yet, the father does not feel the weight of the responsibility of taking care of his girl friend and his child (or children, if she is carrying more than one baby). In the woman's mind, she has two options, and both of them are dismal. One is, to have the baby murdered through having an abortion. The other is to remain pregnant and give birth to the baby, and either put the baby up for adoption (the best option) or try to raise the baby by herself. Do you see the problem here?
The answer to women getting pregnant out of wedlock is costly. Do you know why this is such a difficult problem? It is not because we are overpopulated (that is not true. We have a lot of space still on earth for people to inhabit). It is not some fatalistic experience when a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock. God did not design men and women to live together outside of a marriage relationship! That is where the problem lies.
Throughout the Bible, God addresses the marriage situation. There are boundaries in marriage. There are boundaries all around us, whether we want to acknowledge them or not. A man and woman who are called to be married to each other are commanded to serve each other, respect each other, and love each other. The man (husband) is supposed to love his wife in the same way Jesus loves the church. His love has to be sacrificial for his wife. God did not intend for married people to commit adultery.
Ladies, if you are living with a man outside of a marriage relationship, you are in disobedience to God's command. Your man may have been lying to you to get you to live with him. Don't buy it. Any man who chooses to live outside of a marriage relationship is not a man you want to be married to. He is not respectful and will not take care of you the way God intends.
Now, for a little bit of honesty. Marriage is really hard. It is a lot of hard work. People do not get married and live 'happily ever after' even if the script says they do. Both the bride and the groom will sin against each other in the marriage, once the wedding is over. But there is hope. Our hope is in God.
We can hope in God, because God loves us enough to have sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, who never sinned while He lived on earth. We sin against each other. We sin against God. We deserve to be punished for our sins. But Jesus took our punishment. He took God's wrath (fierce anger) upon Himself, when He died a terrible, bloody, humiliating death by crucifixion, around 2,000 years ago.
We can hope in God, and we can love our spouses, because of God's love in our hearts. God designed the marriage relationship to be made of a man (husband) and a woman (wife). This relationship is so serious, that if a husband is not treating his wife properly, God's word says that this man's prayers will be hindered.
The man and the woman are told to 'multiply' or procreate. In other words, they are to have babies. But they must take care of their babies. Babies grow up into adults, and if they are not trained properly, they will live their lives in ignorance. Children left to themselves do not do well.
In America today, we prize our happiness. If we are not happy in a situation, we get out of it. We look for ease, entertainment, comfort, convenience and happiness. We have not been trained to do the hard things in life. When a marriage is hard, we get out of it. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible give us the authority to leave a relationship when it is hard? Does the Bible say it is ok for us to find another marriage partner if we aren't happy in our current marriage?
The Bible calls us to complete abandonment of ourselves to the Lord. We are not our own. We do not have special 'rights' that get violated and result in our being able to get out of the hard things. We can do the hard things, because God has given us the grace to do them. But if we hold onto our selfishness and pride, God will not help us.
We do not get to call the shots. God's rules and commandments are for our own good as well as being a mirror for us to look at our own hearts. Jesus tells us that even looking with lustful intent on another person in a sexual way (a person whom we are not married to), is the same as committing adultery.
Are you going to argue with God? The breakdown of the family unit serves no one well. Generally speaking, when people live in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, people suffer. Mothers have to go to work to provide for their families. Some mothers opt to kill their babies before they are born. Many dads are nowhere to be found. Many men father several children and have no idea. Their sexual relationship with women is casual and self-serving. Children will grow up being 'left to themselves'. No one is there to teach them how to do spiritual warfare. No one is even there to teach them the simple things in life, like how to cross a street safely, or how to tie their shoelaces. No one is there, because the family unit is out of order. Plus, the Bible says that immoral people are under God's wrath.
In some families, drugs are used on a daily basis. Some parents steal to provide for their families. There are even some people who would sell their children in the Black Market, or use them in Satanic Ritual Abuse.
The breakdown of the family will eventually cause the society to crumble. Much of this started when the 10 Commandments were removed from our school walls and other governmentally owned buildings. Many today have no idea that immoral people are under God's righteous wrath.
So, what is the answer? Anything that can be used to build strong, healthy marriages. We need to be envisioned for our marriages. We need to pray for our spouses. We need to be proactive in building our families. We need to realize that we cannot have something just because we want it. God is more concerned with our spiritual development than He is with our need to be 'happy'.
Of course, it is possible that people do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior yet. They will find that they cannot be free from their selfishness. But if anyone turns to God, and puts their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin, God will save that person. Not only will their sins be forgiven, but they will receive a new power to be free from sin.
There are a couple of books that can help us understand our relationships with God and other people. Once we apply the Biblical principles in our lives, we can be changed. We can develop good relationships with other people. We can love our husband or our wives better. We can establish homes that will be permanent and secure.
Years ago, I was at a conference, and one of the classes being taught was called, When Sinners Say 'I Do'. After this class was taught, people went home and took the teachings from this and marriages were saved. Now this class that was taught is in book format.
Another book I found interesting is called, When Helping Hurts. Sometimes, we mean well in helping people, but we are actually keeping them from helping themselves by doing for them what they can already do for themselves. This leads to a broken society. People's relationships with God are broken. People's relationships with other people are broken. Even their own relationship with themselves is broken. The whole social structure around them is broken. It all goes back to the breakdown of the family unit again.
One more book I highly recommend is 'Relationships; A Mess Worth Making'. The key is to get our relationship with God right, then as God's love is poured into our hearts, we will love others and will be willing to do the hard work involved in developing good relationships.