SO MOVES THE CLAVIGER BEETLE
(Genesis 1:26-28 and 31 and 1:20b-24, JB; Malachi 2:15, NIV; Mark 10:6-9,
God did not stop at creating a man; he also created a woman to produce what
might be called a divine duet. In creating man and woman, God brought into
existence things which had no previous existence. The divine duet formed the
crown of creation. Humans were made in God's image, with two sexes. The
exalted nature of this relationship is shown by the fact that the two sexes
were intended to reflect the relationship between Christ and his church as
we discover in Ephesians 5:25-33. Within the bounds of a family God's love
can be reflected in a beautiful way. God created man and woman for each
other in the divinely instituted arrangement called marriage. God made the
family the foundation of the social order, and family ties are sacred and
should not be tampered with.
The small Claviger beetle moves inside the ant hill, unalarmed by the fact
that ants are one of its most ferocious enemies. The ant hill offers easy
access to life's necessities: it's warm inside and the ants stock a variety
of tasty foods. The beetle soon stops in its tracks -- it spots a
fast-approaching ant, one of the hungry predators that call this hill home.
The ant, in turn, stops when it reaches the motionless beetle. But, instead
of striking out, it strokes the beetle. A secretion then appears on the
beetle's body; and the ant eagerly consumes this and goes on its way,
leaving the visitor unmolested. These two species, the Claviger beetle and
the meadow ant, have a pleasant arrangement; biologists call it 'symbiosis'.
Though they should be enemies they live together in a mutually beneficial
way. The beetle gets a warm home with a lot to eat, and the ant has its
portable refreshment stand. We might expect the church and family to display
some of this, to work together in a sort of social symbiosis. Yet, these two
institutions haven't always gotten along so well, nor contributed to one
another's welfare as they should. In fact, I know of many church members who
have sacrificed their family life to build the life of the church. And it is
quite obvious that many churches fail to offer much to enrich their
Charles M. Sell, Family Ministry
The problem is not with the institution of marriage. The problem lies with
the individuals within that structure and their attitudes toward it. Richard
Lessor wrote, 'In the twentieth century it is not a matter of marriages
having been tried and found wanting. Marriage is deeply wanted but largely
untried.' Today in place of exerting consistent effort and determination to
make one's marriage work, the solution is to 'bail out'.
H. Norman Wright, Premarital Counseling
It does not hurt any of us to discover our idols have clay feet. Children
can tolerate easily and can genuinely grow from a recognition that their
parents occasionally make mistakes, become confused and discouraged, and
need the support of others. This may even increase the impact of that which
is truly solid about us, that which is genuinely our strength. On the other
hand there is no need to suggest that we are 'hollow men'. If this is in
fact true, it may be hard to hide anyway, but to reveal weakness of such
proportions is not to contribute to the stature of those entrusted to our
Armin Grams, Changes in Family Life
But, there is a romance appropriate for every age and stage, and it is vital
that we keep romance in marriage if it is to succeed and if we are to
achieve happiness for ourselves and our children. We must take real care,
lest 'moonlight and roses' become 'daylight and dishes'! A movie star has
been quoted as saying that 'marriage kills romance'. That ought not be and
is not true if romance is understood rightly. Someone has defined romance as
'a long story of love'. The dictionary defines it as 'a dreamy imaginative
habit of mind tending to dwell on the picturesquely unusual'. Both of these
definitions are realistically true! Romance in marriage is to be found in
the long story of love that began before marriage and found fulfilment after
marriage. It is to be found in the wonder of relationships that are
colourful, thrilling and practical. The romance of marriage includes all the
joys of marriage as well as the hazards. It is a way of life for a couple
within the bounds of responsible marriage.
T. Cecil Myers, Happiness Is Still Home Made
Every person needs a sense of personal identity or worth. But we live in a
time of great confusion and contention over the question of one's worth.
Striking workers insist they are worth more pay. Protesting demonstrators
insist they are worth a fairer stake in the economic and social scheme of
things. Teenagers insist they are worth more respect and
consideration in home and school. Parents feel that they are entitled to
more respect. The overall emphasis in much of this is upon one's rights. A
person has a certain number of rights which he can claim because he's worth
something. God begins at a different point. He begins not with our rights,
but with our duties.
Larry Christenson, The Christian Family
Gracious Father, as I share with my family day by day, grant me a much
deeper insight into what family life is all about. Help me to set aside my
selfish desires and my foolish ways so that I may place my family first and
not insist on pushing forward my ingrown plans, thus robbing other members
of the family of their due rights as part of the family.
Help me, loving Lord, to see Christ in the other members of my family.
Give me spiritual eyes to see their needs, spiritual ears to hear them
calling for help when they need it. Prevent me from being so busy with
myself that I fail to be aware of the needs other members of my family have.
Strengthen me, dear Saviour, so that I may have the courage to live
constantly for you in the family. Make me a stepping stone for my family so
that l might encourage them in the things of God. Use me to help my family
grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord.
Continue to transform this family, O heavenly Father. Mould them more and
more into your will. Build them up this day so they may reflect the life and
love of your Son our Saviour. Pour out your Spirit on this family so they
may uplift your honour and glory. Amen.
Rowland Croucher, ed., Still Waters Deep Waters (Albatross/Lion) chapter 17
Shalom! Rowland Croucher