When catastrophe strikes, especially in a large scale, investigations tend to reveal certain problem areas that, if addressed prior to the event, would have dramatically changed the effects of the disaster. When earthquakes strike and houses crumble, often times the building codes were not met. Such was the case in 1999 in Izmit, Turkey.
Nearly 50,000 people died as a result of a massive earthquake striking the heart of the city. The large number of casualties sparked massive investigations into how this could possibly have happened. They had building codes and specifications for this very reason. Were the codes inefficient? The data compiled after examining the scene was clear. The codes were right...the construction was not.
Investigators found that most buildings did not meet the design requirements and so were not built to withstand a catastrophe. Contractors routinely ignored earthquake specifications. Typically, inappropriate materials were used and many of the buildings were knowingly built on active fault lines and in high risk areas. And sadly, many of the buildings were not designed by experts, but rather according to what others were doing.
This was a recipe for disaster. And disaster happened.
God has blessed me with two beautiful daughters, yet every time we left the hospital with our newborn, no one gave us an owner's manual. I guess they just thought we knew what to do. But, what about the design specs and the proper codes necessary in raising the child adequately so as to withstand life's hardships? Isn't there a book for that?
Yes, there is. And, believe it or not, it's a simple plan...make sure the foundation is upon "The Rock" and not on "shifting sand."
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 states this:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Later on in Chapter 11, this same "building code" is repeated, but this time with a promise attached. Verse 21 says,
"So that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth."
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus,
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
There is no "new and improved version." These truths were good then, and they are perfect now. If God thought that we as parents had no influence on our kids and future generations, then why did He inspire so many and so often to write these simple instructions?
Love God, and love your children enough to share God with them.
The foundation of our nation is our families. I believe the ever increasing implosion of our family structure in this country, and more importantly, in the church, is a direct result of our failing as parents to pass down our faith to the next generations. The simple instruction...the building code...is to love God and pass down to our children the truth of who God is, what He has done through His Son, Jesus Christ, and what He has promised to do.
If we do that, our family structure stays in tact. When the ground underneath shakes, the foundation stands strong. And when the investigations are over and the results are in, the research will show true that it was because the family was built according to code and, as a result, they were able to withstand life's struggles.
John Adams, signer of The Constitution and 2nd President of the United States, said,
"Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
I believe if we as parents would follow God's design and pass along the truths of our God to our children, then our families would be strengthened. And if our families are strengthened, I firmly believe our nation would be dramatically stronger. This republic was founded upon Godly principles, the solid "rock" foundation that has kept us strong and secure through so many trials. It is no wonder that the slow fade into uncertainty for our nation follows along the same path of the slow fade of destruction in our families. When morality becomes relative,when it becomes a choice, our foundation as a society becomes "inadequate."
The design is clear. The building codes are simple. If we follow them, completely, then our days will be long. God's plan was for us as parents to take the personal responsibility to pass down from one generation to the next that simple truth. It isn't the government's role, nor is it the church's role. It is ours and ours alone. Your children depend upon you, and my children depend upon me. Our grandchildren depend upon our children.
When catastrophe strikes, will your structure be "built to code?"
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