Homefront Crumbling

[498 words]

Douglas MacArthur II (the general’s nephew) worked for the government. The Secretary of State once called his home and asked to speak with him. His wife replied, “He’s not here. He’s where he always is—weekends, nights, Saturdays, Sundays—at the office. You can reach him there.”

She had not recognized the Secretary of State’s voice or she would not have been so forthright. Nonetheless, the Secretary called MacArthur and sent him home immediately.

His comment was classic. He said, “Your home front is crumbling.”

Consider the Current Situation. Many home fronts are crumbling across our land because spouses do not spend enough time together. Between working two or three jobs, keeping children engaged in school, sports, and other activities, and having differing interests, they don’t even spend much time in the same room. 

A couple can become more like roommates than husband and wife. God instructs couples to enjoy each other, and to do this, they must continue to build their relationship (Proverbs 5:15–19). 

One said, “Marriage is given, not that two people should do one thing together, but that they should do all things together. Marriage is the total union of two personalities.”

Consider Two Precepts. In the Old Testament, we find this unusual commandment: “When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5).

To get a new marriage off on the right foot in ancient Israel, a husband was forbidden to go to war or be charged with any overnight business. Matthew Henry commented, “It is of great consequence that love be kept up between husband and wife; that they carefully avoid every thing which might make them strange one to another.”

The young man’s assignment was to “cheer up” (samach, “to brighten up”) his new bride.

In the New Testament, Peter wrote, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them…” (1 Peter 3:7). “Dwell with” is from a word (sunoikeo) found only here in the New Testament. It means “to dwell together in domestic association.” He also indicates that husbands and wives are “joint-heirs of the grace of life” (sugkleronomos). A couple is to avoid unnecessary separation.

Consider an Example. Aquila and Priscilla traveled together, worked together, and were hospitable together (Acts 18:2). They took a missionary trip together (Acts 18:18). They worshipped together and had Bible studies with others together (Acts 18:26). They assisted Paul together, risked their lives together (Romans 16:3–4). They encouraged other Christians together and had the church in their house together (1 Corinthians 16:19). They remained faithful through a lifetime together (2 Timothy 4:19). 

When we consider that Acts 18 occurred about A.D. 54 and 2 Timothy, as Paul’s last book, was written in about A.D. 66, they were “together” for a lifetime.

Allen Webster

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