Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of your house: your children like olive plants round about your table.…
Apart from the plain teachings of Holy Scripture -
I. THE MIND OF GOD IS EVIDENT IN REGARD TO FAMILY LIFE FROM THE NUMERICAL EQUALITY OF MEN AND WOMEN. It is not alone that God, in the beginning, gave one woman to be the wife of one man; but his will is still expressed by the equality which seems perpetual and universal in the numbers of each sex that are born. The histories of patriarchs and kings who departed from this monogamic law are recorded, not for imitation, but for warning. No blessing ever resulted from it, but everywhere and always misery, discord, and strife. So it always has been, and so it ever must be. Family life, in the true sense of the term, was impossible in the crowded harems of men like David, Solomon, and so many more. It is possible only where God's primeval law is obeyed.
II. FROM THE FACT OF PARENTAL LOVE, ESPECIALLY THE DEEP SELF-SACRIFICING MOTHER-LOVE, into which it is God's will that children should be born. This is to be the beautiful and wholesome atmosphere of the home as it generally is. The children bring the love for them along with them.
III. THE PRESERVATION OF THE FAMILY INSTITUTION. What other institution, civil, ecclesiastical, political, has not had its day and disappeared? But not this.
IV. THE TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE OF THE HOME UPON THE CHILDREN. It is not alone their physical existence that they owe to their parents; but their mental, moral, and spiritual characteristics are, though not absolutely, yet almost entirely, dependent upon their parents. No child can escape the influence of its home.
V. HOW BLESSED ARE, AS A RULE, THE RESULTS OF THIS DIVINE ARRANGEMENT! What a vast proportion of the whole sum of human happiness springs from it! The very word "home' has a magic power in the hearts of most men. It summons up memories of delight. Our Lord himself portrays heaven itself to us as "my Father's house" - his home.
VI. ITS SUPREME PURPOSE. (Malachi 2:15.) Can any one conceive of a more effectual and more beneficent and gracious method whereby the kingdom of God should be set up in the world? The Divine wisdom and love are conspicuous therein. - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.