This world is fallen and broken. Everything in it is affected by sin, and homes are not exempted from that. However, when Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day, in him God reconciled all things to himself as the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:20, including the family. In this article we will be looking at a societal home, the state and safety of marriage in Namibia, and a Christian home. We will unpack the details of the role of the Christian home in more detail in more articles, from the role of a Father to that of children. Please keep an eye on our blog. What we are getting in this article is just a tip of the iceberg.
A societal home
For clarification purposes, a societal home refers to the general worldview concerning the structure of a home or a family in the society around us. Before we get to how the society views the home, one ought to first understand that the world we live in is affected by sin, and every element of man is affected. Consequently, a distorted view of the home is expected. As a result, people build their homes as it fits them and not as it fits God’s plan of a family. Below are brief foundational highlights of the societal home in Namibia today and Africa in general.
The first one we’ll look at is cohabitation. The society has come up with a way of building a family whereby unmarried partners live together under one roof as if they were married and the children are raised in such an environment. This idea contradicts God’s plan for family and tarnishes the picture of the relationship of Christ and the church, as portrayed by Paul in his letter to Ephesians 5:22-33. Cohabitation is a relationship with no covenant whatsoever. Many Africans, young and old, are falling into this broken norm and sinful category which has always been a taboo in our culture, but today it has become acceptable.
Secondly, child target is another societal view of a family structure. There is another idea that is going on in our society whereby young people only want children because they feel they are getting old soon and their chances of having children is running out. This does not only promote adultery like in cohabitation, but it brings confusion into the children’s lives. These children are raised in two different homes, one week at the father’s house and two weeks at the mother’s house. As a result, the number of teenage pregnancy and kids born out of wedlock increase significantly. The point here is that, this is not God’s order for family but it is a broken and a sinful order.
The state and safety of marriage in Namibia
Dissolved marriages have become like fashion in our society today. According to Confidente Newspaper, “Statistics by Judiciary provided to Confidente on request show that about 2 864 Namibians approached the High Court at Oshakati and Windhoek to relieve them of their marriage bonds between 2018 and 2019. Of those, 2 159 divorces were processed and finalised and 705 were still pending finalisation. The statistics further show that 87 spouses later made a u-turn on their divorces and withdrew their divorce applications.” (Kandjungu, 2020).
This shows that the view of marriage in our society is distorted and we should not expect these homes to live to the glory of God. We begin again to see that God and his purpose for marriage is thrown out of the window. Society’s motto seems to be, “Let God’s will perish and sin flourish”.
In relation to this, there is a certain body in Namibia that is working on the “Divorce Law reform”. One of the suggested changes they would like to make is, “The bill would also simplify the divorce procedure in cases where the spouses have no real dispute about their divorce or the terms of the divorce. Divorce cases would still be dealt with by the High Court. But the court would be able to finalise divorces without seeing either spouse in person if there were no concerns about the fair division of property or the well-being of any children involved.” (DIVORCE LAW REFORM, 2005).
In short, what this law reform suggest is simply this: to make divorce easy, or to put it bluntly, let it be made easy for man to separate what God has joined together. Let the will of God perish and sin flourish. Our society is broken and that is why it should not surprise us when they come up with a devilish slogan on marriage which says “Till divorce do us part”. Divorce destroys people’s lives, because whenever it happens it hurts both parties including the children. I remember one of my lecturers at Bible College giving an illustration of divorce, and I really found it helpful. He said “Divorce is like separating two papers that have been glued together for five days, by hand.” Those two papers aren’t meant to be separated. Divorce in its nature attempts to accuse God of unfaithfulness since it represents his relationship with the church. It is a mockery towards God. “By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar” Romans 3:4. God is forever and always faithful.
The Christian home
Contrary to society, Christians are called to live differently and to be the Light of this dark world. One way to achieve this is by living out our Christian life at home and not only at church. Living out our Christian life at home is very crucial and good exercise because we are living it out every day of our lives.
As Christians are living in this broken society, (the society that nullifies the Glory of God and applauds sin) they should do so contrary to the world and in conformity to God’s plan. We should uplift God’s glory and crucify sin.
- Fathers, should lead their homes as Christ leads the church and love their wives the same way our dear Lord Jesus loves them. They should do everything they can to protect their family for that is their first and foremost ministry. They should spiritually guide their family and consistently escort their household to the feet of the cross. They should regularly pray for their wives and children. It is a husband’s responsibility by the power of the gospel that is in him to make sure that his marriage stands and that divorce is not an option in any way. A man in Africa is a boss, but in Christ he is a servant. Be different, be a Christian man. Let God be glorified and sin be crucified.
- Mothers have roles to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. The mother in a society today seeks pride and wants to be independent by fighting to have similar roles as man in marriage. They are working hard to bring the best out of themselves. They are busy pushing for feminism. Christian mothers are different; they are now in Christ. Christ their redeemer has called them to be humble and work out their salvation by becoming more and more like Him and by being a faithful helper to their husbands. Let God be glorified and sin crucified.
- Children have the role of being radical Christians. In today’s society, many young people find their identity in how attractive and desirable they are. As a result, they would do anything to achieve this – from the way they dress to the places they go to socialize. But a Christian youth is different. Their identity is in Christ. They are a new creation – loved by God. They do not need any approval from sinful men when the holy God has saved and adopted them. Their identity is not in their education, ethnicity, and color of their skin or tribe. Their identity is not even in their status, but in Christ. Young people are looking for satisfaction from clubbing, alcohol, drugs, smoking, sex, and all other things. When one does not engage in such activities, then they are labelled as boring and missing out. That is Satan’s lie, true satisfaction is found in Christ alone, “If anyone thirsts let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38. The book of John is full of passages that show us that only Jesus can satisfy and anything else is temporal.
Sin has caused damage to the world and to our families. The society has its own approach regarding family e.g. cohabitation, child target and divorce. We have seen how broken and God dishonoring that is. However, through the Lord Jesus Christ, God has reconciled everything to himself. Therefore, Christian homes; fathers, mothers, and children have a role to play in the society they find themselves – the role to live a life that is honoring to God and worthy of their calling.
DIVORCE LAW REFORM (2005).
Kandjungu, M., 2020. Over 2000 Namibians divorce, Windhoek: Confidente.