January 17, 2015

2 Chronicles 33:21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for two years.

I had never done the math before, and I’m floored. Amon was 22 when he became king and he was killed at 24, but his son Josiah was already eight at that time. That means Josiah was born when Amon was 16. No wonder there was such a disconnect from one generation to another! Procreation was seen as a strictly biological function, and in the case of royalty, was to be engaged in as early and as often as possible, with next to no thought of parenting as such, with all such duties being farmed out to staff. Even David really blew it with his children, probably because he had no model to go by. Parenting is serious business, both an incredible privilege and a high responsibility. Approached correctly it is a blast, but it is never without struggles and even heartaches as well. Just yesterday I was hearing that the current statistics for America say that less than half of all children are in intact, traditional homes, not because of the divorce rate, though that is high, but because of all the people who are having children without getting married. They are like King Amon, but without the support structure. That is tragic. America will not get back on its feet morally until it takes marriage and family seriously again. The old song that says, “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage,” seems as antiquated as the mode of transportation referenced. Today “non-traditional” marriage is being pushed on the basis of “love,” but marriage was originally never about love; rather it was (and is) about a social contract as the foundation of society. Love was and is desirable, but human love is a mighty weak foundation even for a family, much less society.

I insist on premarital counseling before I do weddings, and I always ask the couple what is the foundation of their relationship. Many of them have no answer at all, though over half either already have a child or have one on the way. (They may or may not be legally married, because in Japan a religious ceremony carries no weight. The legal aspects are taken care of very simply at a municipal office.) After I go through what I feel is a Biblical explanation of the marital relationship, they are often in awe, never having seen it that way before. It is a privilege to introduce Biblical truth into the foundation of society like that, but I can only do it one couple at a time. My prayer is that they would in turn talk about marriage with their friends, and in time with their children, so that the “yeast” would spread and cause all of society to “rise.”

Father, there have been bad marriages and bad parents throughout history, yet You have brought us through to this point. Josiah obviously benefited from being raised by people other than his father! I pray Your mercy on Your creation. Thousands are being slaughtered and women are being considered chattel, sold off as wives or concubines, in some areas, which makes America look pretty good, but the moral infection is rampant worldwide. I pray that Your children would stand firm in Your truth against the onslaught, not in their own strength but in Yours. I pray that Your Name would be acknowledged as holy, and that Your kingdom would come as Your will is done, in every part of this planet as perfectly as it is in heaven, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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