The Value of Constancy At Home

     A theme appears in autobiographies of successful people: someone provided a sense of constancy for them while they were young. We know that this is the parents’ job but often things happen that keep the nuclear family from staying together. Most of the time the disruption is because one or both of the parents simply does not want to stay with the family. When this happens the children pay the price for these parental decisions. In the cases I have in mind someone provided the necessary constancy, perhaps a single parent, the grandparents or other family members. But if someone does not work diligently to provide a stable environment for the children these kids will invariably have problems. Educators recognize that students from stable homes just do better than their peers who live in other types of environments.

    The Bible provides principles that establish an environment of stability and constancy for the home. There is first the principle of leaving and cleaving: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). We know that marriage was designed by God to be permanent (Matthew 19:1-12), but try as we might, we cannot avoid the tensions placed on the home by a culture that sees marriage as a temporary arrangement. The common and popular practice of serial marriage destroys the constancy needed for a good home. The goal must be to stay together.

     There is the principle of raising children according to the Will of God (Ephesians 6:1-4). Fathers are given the responsibility of bringing up their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Children must hear that there is a right way to live (Colossians 3:17). They must learn early to obey their parents. If children do not respect the authority of their parents they will not respect any authority at all. The application of authority from parent to child must be consistent and never wrathful. It must always communicate love.

     This brings to mind a third principle: children must be able to see that love and respect is the foundation of their home. Consider Ephesians 5:33: “Let everyone of you in particular so love his wife as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” It is may be tough to do in our world but we need to work diligently to provide a loving stable environment for everyone in our homes. This constancy is a value beyond measure.