Psalm 128 2 Timothy 3:1–7
Tremendous social changes are taking place today. We are a nation on wheels. People no longer have deep social and spiritual roots. The challenge of building a strong home, church and nation is being replaced by concern for selfish pleasures and status symbols. Conflicting schedules prevent the family from being together.
Study and discuss 2 Timothy 3:1–7. Although these warnings refer first of all to what is happening in church and society at large, show how they apply to the deterioration of the Christian homes. How are our families different than two generations ago? Show how we drift along with instead of resisting the current. In this light we do well to answer such questions as: What is a Christian family? Are the present structure, pattern of living and conscious goals of our families still Christian? How can we prevent our families from joining the long and growing list of failures?
1 – The pressing problems at our day
Try to analyze these with reference to 2 Timothy 3:1–7. Take note of the prevailing situation in your community. This will differ, depending on whether you live in the open country, a small town, the inner city or the suburbs. What should be our spiritual and social roots?
Discuss what you know about threats to strong Christian families: divorce, working wives, marriage contracted by adolescents, decay in moral standards, etc. In what sense are we putting our homes in second place today?
2 – The proposed solutions for our day
Our problem is by no means new. Decades ago people were discussing these. Already then solutions were proposed. But often the cure proposed was worse than the sickness.
Some argued for lowering the strict moral standards: approving divorce in some measure, trial marriages to see if the persons were compatible, giving sex education in schools, etc. Have these helped at all? What was the basic fallacy? In Russia the family was placed under state ideals. Mothers stayed in the working force. Children were cared for in nurseries. Is there a tendency in our country.
3 – The Biblical approach for our day
At this point discuss in some detail the message of Psalm 128. Note that its language is Old Testament. In what sense are its principles abiding?
a. The Christian family is one constituted by believers.
They fear Jehovah as God of the covenant. What is meant by fear? What is meant by being in covenant with God? How should this show itself in obedience, walking in his ways? How can we know God’s ways?
b. The Christian family receives rich promises from God.
God blesses the labor of the hands. What is the Biblical view of work? Should we always enjoy our work? How can this be cultivated? Note how happiness is promised. What is meant by this? It shall also be well with such a family. Show how relatively poor people can still be truly happy and prosperous.
c. The Christian family looks forward to children.
In what sense and why is a fruitful marriage a blessing? Should those who don’t want children enter marriage? Is a childless marriage to be regarded as incomplete?
d. The Christian family enjoys spiritual growth.
All blessings come from God. Here is no room for trust in luck or chance. Believers look forward to and see the prosperity of God’s church and kingdom. Why are Christians interested in this? How does this relate to their own personal happiness? Note also the added blessing of seeing children’s children. What is the importance of this? Show how this Psalm gives sound guidance for establishing, directing and developing a truly God-centered home, and why only such a home is a truly happy one.