“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” -Genesis 4:7
Even with the design being right, we still have to deal with the problem of sin. From the beginning of time, sin has created all sorts of problems in the family. Genesis records one of Adam and Eve’s clashes, when Eve disobeyed and ate the “forbidden fruit.” Adam also took a bite, and when the Lord asked him about it he replied. “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” So Adam blames Eve and God. Imagine the tension this created. Conflict is bound to happen within the family because we live so close together.
Next we see Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain got very jealous and angry at his brother Abel. The Lord warned Cain to guard his heart, “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Sadly Cain did not master it, and he murdered his brother Abel (see story in Genesis 3:6-8).
Murder and domestic violence of all sorts is becoming increasingly more common. In every nation we hear reports of rage and brutality. How many times have our own newspapers recorded horrible events?
Violence was never God’s intention for the family. The family is our introduction into the world. A place where we are intended to learn about giving and receiving love, support, and mutual respect. Family is our main classroom for education in life-skills. If things like violence, verbal abuse, rage and bitterness are a regular part of the family experience, then these are the things our children will learn. If we attempt to teach right principles without living them, our life always speaks louder.
It is important to note that forgiveness is not the whole answer when domestic violence is present. If you or someone you know is being battered, with sub-lethal or lethal force, you will need to consider some other steps. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to become the punching bag for another human being’s rage problems.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned…” -Romans 5:12
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5:21