BROKEN HEARTS, BROKEN SOCIETY
Pro 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
The center of our being
Our text describes the human heart as being the very centre of our spiritual being as it is similarly the central organ for physical life. It is the root cause of all things pertaining to us. The context is the things, which affect our lives. It is the seat of intellectual thought, morals and emotions. It is from the heart where our worldview is moulded.
The condition of our heart determines our character. It represents who we are and how we respond to the various circumstances of life. Our personality, soul, mind and vital actions are connected to the heart.
The issues of life
The condition of the heart is described as the cause and our response to the issues of life is the effect. A good or bad tree for example will determine the quality of its fruit. Our text gives a powerful explanation of the state of society. The issues of life speak about humanity’s interpersonal transacting amongst each other and responses to the circumstances of life. It determines how we respond one to another.
It points to the very spiritual condition of our nation. How do we resolve disagreements and conflict? The manner in which our society deals with differences of opinions. How do we view self in context to others?
A Broken Society
This is the best way to characterize our nation. We are broken because we break. We break people and things of value. We respond to disagreements through violence. We burn libraries and schools and we destroy the very infrastructure today, which we need again tomorrow. The victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse are the people that society is supposed to be protecting.
It is not uncommon for women to tolerate the abuse they are receiving because it is such a common practice in South African society. A Wikipedia article states that in a study by the World Health Organization, it was found that more than 60 000 women and children were victims of domestic violence in South Africa as of the date of this post.
Our society is filled with broken men who are the major perpetrators of these violent atrocities. We break instead of protecting and preserving. Society is not safer because of its men, but it is at peril. The issue is brokenhearted men. Men, who at some stage in their life experiences, had their hearts broken by someone. This is an underlying curse within our society as per Mal 4:6 which says, “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
South Africa has a fatherhood problem
The disconnect between fathers and children is the core issue. Hearts are being broken because of this curse. The curse of rejection is the major stronghold produced by this root cause. It is within this father-child relationship where restoration is needed. The breakdown is within the family structure. Children grow up in single-parent homes without a father figure. Our society has been indoctrinated by the lie that men are not needed in the nurturing and upbringing of children. Their input is only required for the fertilisation process.
Scripture gives clear instructions on the role of fathers within the family structure, which we will now examine:
- Exo 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
- As per Malachi 4:6 we know that there is a curse upon the earth when the hearts of the fathers are disconnected from children
- Pro 17:6 says that “Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.” The text explains that the identity and value of children are rooted within a relationship with their fathers for up to three generations.
- The principle of fatherhood link us to our relationship with God the Father. Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
- Pro 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;
- Pro 4:1-4 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding; 2 For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law. 3 When I was my father’s son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.
- Pro 23:22 Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.
- Pro 30:17 The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.
- Gen 18:19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
The above scriptures, even though not extensive, are a summary of the fundamental teaching in God’s word of the fundamental role a father plays in the upbringing of children as per God’s plan.
The need is thus obvious. We need to return to biblical principles if we are to see a revival and restoration within our nation. We need men’s hearts to turn to God their creator. I wish to challenge men who are not born-again yet. Let us confess our sins and repent, turn to Jesus Christ and take responsibility for the role God designed for you us as men.
That is all I have for you today. The above topic is complex and needs multiple posts and discussions to cover all elements of the outflows we see within our society. Please feel free to leave a comment and I will respond as soon as I can.
R v Staden