The fact that the Founding Fathers of our Nation looked to the Bible as the guiding source in the formation of the government of the United States is undeniable. The Holy Scriptures are quoted over and over again as a basis for our constitution and the Bill of Rights. Each tenant of our national doctrine was crafted to support a truth which parallels the written Word of Almighty God as He alone governs in the affairs of men. The morals, integrity and values of our Founding Fathers and the painstaking service they performed for our country are wholly based on their Christian beliefs.
When it became necessary to identify the fundamental rights which would protect each American from the tyranny of a world bent on breaching those God given freedoms, the first 10 Amendments were authored and adopted with prayerful consideration. Today we hold these 10 amendments to be the foundation of our personal covenant with the government and continue to count them as the Bill of Rights for each citizen of our nation.
It is vital to every relationship for those enjoined to know what is expected of them and what they can of a right expect of others. This is true of every relationship - whether a nation, a fraternity, an expedition or a family …
Rights accompany Relationships
Today we will continue to discover and discuss the Basic Bible Blueprint for Family Relationships - specifically the Family Bill of Rights. Before we get go further allow me for the sake of our American Heritage to share in brief the First 10 Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. This Bill or Rights lists the expectations in the relationship each citizen has with the government of our great nation. These rights were meant to rule!
The 1st Amendment – Free Speech and Freedom of Religion
Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Religion not freedom from religion
The 2nd Amendment – Right to Bear Arms
The right to arm, protect, assemble and defend ourselves from encroachment, enslavement and tyranny. Not the limited right to utilize a gun for the purposes of hunting providing the government is agrees.
The 3rd Amendment – Consent to Quarter
Protects against the government forcibly commandeering personal property for civil or military use either unlawfully or without consent.
The 4th Amendment – Illegal or Unreasonable Search & Seizure
The right to feel secure in persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures. (JEOP)
The 5th Amendment – Self Incrimination & Double Jeopardy
Guarantees the right to due process of law and against compelled self incrimination and against double jeopardy while demanding just compensation.
The 6th Amendment – Speedy Trial Faced by Accusers & Rights of Venue and Counsel
Grants the right of an accused to a speedy and public trial in the state or district where the crime was alleged to have been committed and then to be faced by their accusers with rights of counsel and redress.
The 7th Amendment – Trial by Jury
Preserves the right to a trial by jury.
The 8th Amendment – Excessive Bail/Fines & Cruel or Unusual Punishment
Protects citizens against excessive bail and excessive fines as well as exemption from any cruel and/or unusual punishment.
The 9th Amendment – Retention of Un-Enumerated Rights
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.
The 10th Amendment – Reserved Rights & Powers
The government of the United States derives its power and authority from the States and the people through the Constitution – not the other way around. Government is meant to serve the people not vice versa.
Rights are important to any relationship. Rights are not only a personal or political matter but first a Bible matter. God determines what is right in a relationship, especially a God-ordained relationship like that of the family.
God ordained the family and He determined each role, every rule and the reasonable rights for family relationships. When family breaks down it is almost certain that someone, or more than one, is not following the rules and thereby is infringing on the rights of others in the relationship.
One of the greatest threats to building and maintaining healthy family relationships is the dysfunctional husband and father. Society’s downplay of this primary leadership role has brought disrespect and disregard to the whole idea of the Bible’s Basic Blueprint for Family Relationships.
I dare say that the biggest problem with marriage in America is men. Now I did not say that the biggest problem in your marriage was a man. That may or may not be true. However, when we look at any persistent problem with a group oriented adventure we must first look to its leadership. This principle gives rise to the second biggest problem with family being the woman and the greatest problems the traditional family unit encounters are usually caused by, tolerated by or made worse by the parents, not the children … not all problems for certain, but most.
A Husband and Father is ordained to his role by God’s design. It is a calling and a grace. God, not the family, has determined that the husband and father roles are the primary providers of 2 Critical Elements Necessary for Healthy Family Relationships:
The wealth of scriptures contained in both the Old and the New Testaments overwhelmingly confirm the fact that families do well or do poorly based solely on these two critical factors – love and leadership.
Every family member has a God-given right and need to be loved and to be led by someone who loves them. Family leadership is the most critical need in America and the world today. Healthy families are the result of healthy leadership and unhealthy families are most often the results of a lack of demonstrated Fatherly love and Godly leadership.
Leadership is so much more than simply telling others what to do. The leadership which is motivated by love is first modeled and then mentored. Fathers, parents – don’t be afraid … love enough to lead your family!
The husband and father in the family not only has a role to play, which should be played according to God’s rules, but he also has rights himself. As we heard earlier, rights accompany relationships. What God-given rights does a husband reasonably possess? The husband has a God-given right to expect his wife to respect him, support his decisions and render unto him what the KJV of the Bible says is his “due benevolence”. The due benevolence spoken of herein is perhaps better understood as “affection”. And by the way, this is a mutual right enjoyed by both spouses.
1 Corinthians 7
3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
This is an all important part of the marriage relationship and it is critical to the covenant – so critical in fact that sex is the only right God reserves blessing exclusively in marriage. Sex is not just a rite of marriage but a fundamental marriage right and God’s only covenant gift.
Furthermore the wife has an unqualified right to be not only the number one and only one in her husband’s love life but she also has the right to be one with her husband. This is the picture God painted of marriage when He first presented Eve to Adam. Adam said and Jesus later repeated in:
7 ’For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
8 ’and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
This oneness grants rights of access and rights of address. The wife is an always welcomed voice whose grace is given to strengthen, stabilize and support the family. The Bible says she is the weaker but also often portrays her as the wiser of the two. She has a right to be heard as a welcomed and wise counselor to her family.
When it comes to family we each have the God-given right to expect others to play their role and do their part. Brothers and sisters have the God-given right to be loved, respected and cared about by their siblings. These family relationships were designed by God to last an eternity.
As well, Mothers will always carry their children close to their hearts and ponder the words spoken by them and about them by others. For this they deserve and have every right to be honored by their children.
Children, you have a right to be loved, nurtured, vigilantly guarded, patiently guided, gently corrected, completely forgiven, increasingly trusted and ultimately released and respected to follow the will of God for your own life as you begin to raise your family. You see parents: We are not raising children, we are raising adults – we have only their childhood years to deposit in them that which they will need to build their healthy family.
Allow me to close with a passage from Colossians as we continue to consider the Basic Bible Blueprint for Family Relationships and our Family Bill of Rights in light of God’s Word.
Colossians 3 NKJV
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.