A good question to ask about the home is, “Why did God create it?” When we look for the answer in the Bible — which tells us what God’s will for mankind is — it becomes obvious that the home is the foundation of society in every culture. It doesn’t take much effort to confirm this contention by observation. Other factors are involved, but “as goes the home, so goes humanity” is pretty much a universal truism.
Alvin Toffler’s book “Future Shock” (1970) examined the whirlwind changes of the late 20th century. His concern was the effect these changes have, if not dealt with, on both individuals and institutions in society, including the family. He noted that the “family has been called the ‘giant shock absorber’ of society” and that the “family cycle has been one of the sanity-preserving constants in human experience.”
Although some deny it, a careful reading of the early chapters of Scripture make clear that the family was planned and begun by God at the very beginning of man’s existence. Genesis 2:24, a passage quoted four times in the New Testament, gives us God’s intentions: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” He told the man and woman, as he had the other living parts of creation, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:22, 28).
There have been changes in attitude toward the family in every period of history. Some of these were and are legitimate and healthy, depending upon the situation. For example, not everyone has to be married or have children. The apostle Paul comes to mind as an example.
However, some changes in how marriage and the home are viewed are unnatural, unbiblical and unhealthy. (I’m sure this won’t set well with some readers, but homosexual relationships serve as one example.) One thing to keep in mind is that these attitudes have been present in virtually every generation and society.
The importance of the home, as well as challenges to God’s desire for families, point to the need for commitment among family members. The fabric of society as a whole will unravel if the home and family are devalued in the minds and priorities of people. To put it another way, individuals — men, women, boys and girls — will suffer without the foundation of commitment provided in the setting of the home.
Early Communist leaders set out to take people out of the home environment and place them in larger group settings (communes), believing this would benefit the state in the long run. Individuals were seen as dispensable commodities, important only to the extent they could contribute to the good of the state. This approach proved to be disastrous and was abandoned in many cases, though not all.
All of this points to the fact that if we do not keep the needs of the family and individuals in proper relationship, both will suffer, along with society in general.