Sanctity of Family

RomandivorceSanctity of Family

by Bill Lockwood

The God-designed family is the basic unit of any stable society. The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, being himself the Savior of the body. … Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for it…” Earlier, he addressed himself to wives to “be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Finally, he reminded them of the basic institution of family God ordained from the beginning, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh.” (5:22-31).

As a basic building block of society the family was recognized as a “sacred” institution in the ancient Roman Empire (F.W. Farrar, The Early Days of Christianity). “Family life among the Romans had once been a sacred thing, and for 520 years divorce had been unknown among them” (p. 5).  Farrar notes that the “greatness” of the Roman “state was founded on the sanctity of family relationships.” However, just as in America, the dissolution of the entire Roman way of life was at hand as the family began to tear apart.  “[M]arriage” came to be “regarded with disfavor and disdain. Women … married in order to be divorced, and were divorced in order to marry; the noble Roman matrons counted the years not by the Consuls, but by their discarded husbands.”

Soon the entire bond of society began to dissolve. “Literature and art were infected with the prevalent degradation. Poetry sank in great measure into exaggerated satire, hollow declamation, or frivolous epigrams. Art was partly corrupted by the fondness for glare, expensiveness …and partly sank into miserable triviality, or immoral pettiness.” Finally, the welfare state totally corrupted the culture and ultimately dissolved what was left of the family. For example, just above the “slave class” the “freeborn inhabitants of the Roman Empire” were, for the most part, beggars and idler. “Despising a life of honest industry, they asked only for bread and the games of the circus, and were ready to support any Government, even the most despotic, if it would supply these needs.

They spent their mornings in lounging about the Forum, or in dancing attendance at the levees of patrons, …enjoying the polluted plays of the theater, or looking with fierce thrills of delighted horror and the bloody sports in the arena. And night they crept up to their miserable garrets [apartments] in the sixth and seventh stories of the huge ‘insulae’—lodging houses of Rome … into which drifted all that was most wretched and vile.”  So dependent was the population upon government funding that the entire populace of Imperial Rome “might be trembling lest they should be starved by the delay of an Alexandrian corn-ship …”
These crushing societal problems begin with the dissolution of the family.

The recent Obergefell decision at the Supreme Court actually redefined the family unit. Open relationships, multiple partners, temporary partners are in the wake of this pro-Sodomite dictatorship. Make no mistake. This is exactly how the pro-homosexual crowd sees the decision. We are tracking along the ruin of Rome. E.J. Graff, a leading  LGBT advocate, exults that the Court is “sending a message” which will “ever after stand for sexual choice, for cutting the link between sex and diapers.” She argues “it announces that marriage just changed shape.” Professor Ellen Willis delighted that “conferring legitimacy of marriage on homosexual relations will introduce an implicit revolt against the institution into its very heart.” This is the point.

Michelangelo Signorile, a pro-homosexual advocate, urges couples to “demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk the myth and radically alter an archaic institution.” Same-sex couples should “fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, because the most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake … is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.” (Ryan Anderson, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, 42). The most important construction site Christians will ever occupy is the family unit. Make yours a godly one. Our culture seeks to destroy it and is already celebrating over its expected demise. It is past time for Christians to take a principled stand against our overreaching federal government.  

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