Oh Say Can’t You See?

January 16, 2013

Oh Say Can’t You See?

            I this article I’m going to use the first words of our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.” The words are “Oh say can you see,” but I have changed the word “can” to “can’t.”   The Star Spangled Banner was a thrilling testimony to the fact that victory was in sight.  In our case we are not at the “dawn’s early light.” We are still in the dark of the night.

I would like to call to your attention something that is being tragically overlooked in our society.  You and I won’t change our society, but being aware of what is being overlooked can help change your life and the life of those around you.  That which is being overlooked is the suffering caused by our culture.

We are affected by the culture in which we live.  Ours is becoming more and more a hedonistic society. Hedonism is a way of life devoted to pleasure.  It’s a selfish pursuit of what’s best for me with little consideration for the wellbeing of others.  The quality of life of the American people is rapidly deteriorating because of this way of thinking.

Oh say can’t you see that hedonism destroys a marriage relationship?

Recently I read about a man whose marriage was destroyed because he was addicted to electronic games.  All his free time after work and on weekends was devoted to electronic games.  His wife was just his domestic slave.  She divorced him.  Marriages are falling apart at an alarming rate.  Hedonism is the leading cause.  Marriage is meant to be a partnership in which two people share life together.  When each lives for his own pleasure, there is little mutual enjoyment.  Marriage partners suffer terrible grief when one, or both of them, just take advantage of the other.

Few are seeking for a solution to this problem.  Doesn’t anyone care?  It’s a suffering that is just as intense and more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease.  Much research has been done, and money is being spent in an effort to find a solution to that dreaded disease.  May God help them.  I wonder if people would be just as diligent in seeking a solution to the suffering in marriage relationships if there was the promise of financial remuneration.

In this case we already have the solution.  It is found in the Bible in Ephesians 5:22.  “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” The only problem is that the solution demands that hedonism be abandon and replaced by taking heed to what the Bible says.

Oh say can’t you see the trauma that is caused by divorce?

Every divorce has been preceded by heartbreak and disillusion.  What began as an enchanting dream ended with broken promises and broken hearts.  Children’s lives are emotionally devastated, first by the arguing and fighting of their parents.  It’s even worse when the separation takes place.  Young boys fear to trust a girl because of memories of how their father suffered because of his mother’s unfaithfulness to him.  Young girls fear to trust a man because of the memory of how cruel their father was to their mother.  Christian couples who marry and live in obedience to God’s commands never go through the ravages of divorce.  Matthew 19:5-6,9 says, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  Many times a broken relationship can be restored if one or the other is willing to humble himself in tears and say, “I’m sorry.  It’s my fault.  I haven’t treated you right.” Many times pastoral counseling can help couples make reconciliation.

                  Oh say can’t you see that marriage is sacred?

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).  Young lady, if that young man who is seeking to win your heart doesn’t love you enough to marry you, he doesn’t deserve to have your heart.  A live in relationship has no commitments.  Proposals men often make now are no longer “Will you marry me?”    Instead they are “Will you come and live with me?” It’s just a fluid, halfhearted agreement that is not legal or binding.  There is a bond cemented by the public commitments in the words of the marriage ceremony that say, “I take thee____ to love and to hold, in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, until death do us part.” A live in relationship is most often just with the thought of getting what they can from one another, with little thought of giving.

Oh say can’t you see that living by God’s standards would contribute to relationships that are wholesome, happy and much more rewarding?

The farther we get away from them, the more sorrow and suffering and injustice we have.  Life would be so much better if we were willing to put into practice the exhortation found in Colossians 3:17-25.  “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.    Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.    Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.    Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:    And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.    But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”

Oh say can’t you see that God is able to change a vile nature and replace it with a love for righteousness, truth and our fellow men?

Ephesians 2:1-5 says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,    Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

God’s people are a peculiar people.  The Bible says that Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). God’s people love what others hate and hate what others love.  They are zealous of good works.  They are not among those who cause violence, injustice and grief.  You can be one of them by humbly confessing to God that you are a sinner and asking him to accept you as one of his children.  Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Oh say, why don’t you do it now?

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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