Excerpts from: Home: Society’s Pacemaker
I hope you agree with me that the home is the most influential institution on earth. If it is indeed this important, I feel we should go into the real definition of a home. We could very well say family instead of home. To better emphasize what we are discussing, let us call it an immediate family or family circle. This better explains the definition of home. To some a family could include many close relatives other than the mother, father, and children.
A home begins when a man and a woman love each other and want to join in a lifetime relationship. At this point I feel it is also very important that I define love. When I say a man and woman love each other enough to want to build a lifetime together, I mean they really love each other. Defining love is a difficult task using the English language as a means of communication. We only have one word for love, while other languages, especially Greek, have several words to express the different types of love that people have in their lives. In the English language the word love is used to describe our love for nature, love for our fellowman as a whole, love for our children, love for husband or wife, or a multitude of different types of love. However, in defining our English word for the love to which I am referring, I would say, “Love is caring enough to want to unselfishly give.
I wholeheartedly believe if selfishness were expelled from all marriages and replaced by real love, our national divorce rate would not be what it is. It would be difficult for a man and woman to develop an alienation from each other if each tried to see how much he could give his mate. Of course, this must be a two-way street. All of us have seen marriages where one gave and one took. These incompatible arrangements often develop into a form of servitude, and a broken home usually results. Because selfishness, as it wears its disguise of love, often motivates marriages, it is no wonder that we have such a large national divorce rate.
Selfishness instead of real love is the reason for broken homes. To illustrate this, a basketball coach friend told me that out of the fifteen boys on his high school team, twelve were from broken homes. His school was neither in an affluent nor poverty-stricken area. It was a good representation of “middle America. As I operate the Paul Anderson Youth Home, I see the same results because in our work we usually accept the teenage boy who has problems that have usually been the consequence of a broken or dysfunctional home.
A very wealthy home or a poverty-stricken atmosphere can produce a person who places no value on property. The affluent child can adopt the attitude that all material things come easily, so he has no respect for them. On the other hand, the severely deprived person develops no respect for physical goods because he has never owned anything. Regardless of domestic origin, a child is either taught respect, love, and responsibility, or we allow Satan’s greatest tool, greed, to rule the life that we are accountable for molding.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and weekly devotional