It is interesting that as Paul writes to a local congregation, he does not merely address elders or even just men, but women and children, as well. Since he addresses both children and their parents, we can presume that Paul expects whole families – fathers, mothers, and children to come together in public worship to hear the Word. That children should be given direct and special instructions in a section of Scripture of their own, stands in sharp contrast to the Roman Empire, which treated children with callous cruelty. The world has always hated children.
There is a rule of society – that whatever it values, it accumulates; while what it dislikes, it seeks to eradicate. We seek bigger and more televisions, cars, vacations, and free time – of these, we can’t get enough. Headaches however, we take aspirin to get rid of. What are we to conclude about a society that has, in the same time period, seen the average house size double while birthrates per household cut in half? Does this not indicate, as Kevin Swanson says, “we love drywall more than we love children?”
Is there any hope for us, in the midst of a society that despises children and spurns life itself? The answer is “yes,” but only as God’s new society, the church, with new values and new loves, stands apart and against what the rest of the world values. Only as God’s church seeks to be radically different from the surrounding world, in our philosophy concerning life and family, can we find hope. Only as we seek to live Biblically and establish Biblical order in our households, can we hope to have any brilliance in our future.