In May of 1992, former US President George Bush Sr. shared with the nation a firmly held belief. “Government cannot solve all the problems. We may be able to make good laws, but it’s never been able to make good men. That doesn’t come from Big Brother. It comes from your family. It comes from your mother and father. And I’m talking about the moral sense that must guide us all. In the simplest terms, I’m talking about knowing what’s wrong and doing what’s right.” What the former president said is absolutely true. Civil government cannot make good people. The goodness of the human heart cannot be legislated by civil law. If only it were that easy!
God instituted marriage, and thus the family, at the very time of creation. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). God set in motion the order of continually expanding family units. By this means they would: “…Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Clearly, the earth has been filled, and mankind has certainly had dominion over the environment. But is a polluted and toxic environment that becomes more so every day, that is home to billions of self-motivated and self-seeking minds that desire dominance over others, the end that God was seeking? What happened?
The family has been under attack since creation. God’s adversary and ours hates “family” as God designed it to function. That’s because God placed loving governance within the family that ultimately has the potential to produce perfect love among mortals who will then, in the resurrection, become immortal members of God’s own family. Speaking of this governance, Paul wrote, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). We—Christ, husbands, wives, and by extension, children — each have authority over us. God the Father’s and Jesus Christ’s authority is exercised by them respectively in love—always for the benefit of those who willingly come under it. Even though Christ is subject to the Father, together they function as one in complete harmony.
Their unity and love are what we work to emulate within our own family units. This is brought about through loving governance. First, our Father, in consensus with Christ, sent Him to redeem us from among men by paying sin’s penalty for us. Christ, then, was made our head to direct us to our Father through His example and instruction. A husband then, as he emulates Christ, is to lead and guide his wife as they seek to emulate the oneness of the Father and Christ. They then teach their children to humbly be subject to them, which in turn sets a foundation for them to revere Christ and their Father. All this authority through the family points back to our Father and His Son and their oneness. Through God’s family style of governance—His children will be perfected despite Satan’s efforts.
President Bush was right, civil government cannot make good people, but rest assured, God’s family governance can and will!