The Boundaries of a Nation are Drawn in the Home

The Book of Proverbs shows us the inextricable link between the home and the nation. No one was in a better position to comment on this than King Solomon of Israel. As the wisest man who ever lived, and king over Israel in its most prosperous era, he writes the Book of Proverbs with the loving heart of a father and the searching eye of a king. In reading Solomon’s God-inspired take on the home and the nation in Proverbs, the principle, “As goes the home, so goes the nation,” screams from its pages with warning and wisdom for present and coming generations. In answering the question, “What do we do to influence the nation from the home upward?” I suggest, from the book of Proverbs, that we employ “4 Essential Elements of Home Life to Influence the National Atmosphere”: Discipline, Boundaries, Training, and Spiritual Vision. If you wish to listen to the fuller sermon I preached on this, you can listen at:

For now though, I would like to focus on the second element Boundaries, because the moral, ethical, and spiritual boundaries of a nation are drawn in the home, where the next generation of citizens are trained up by their parents.
Freedom and the Millennials

This generation of Millennials is caught up in defining freedom. For many, freedom is defined as a life lived without any boundaries whatsoever. There can, however, be no such thing. The moment you remove boundaries, you rush headlong into the lap of evil. The philosophy that says freedom has no boundaries, is one that foolishly assumes the non-existence of evil. But because does evil exist, and it fights against freedom, boundaries must be in place to separate good from evil.

Even many so-called Christians desire a Christianity without boundaries—one in which they can have the social security of the Church but not the stigma of the cross and empty tomb, and the social abnormalities that come with bearing the cross and beholding the empty tomb. Yet the Founder of Christianity said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The minute truth is brought into the picture, boundaries are set up, that keep falsehood out so we can now thrive in the truth and experience freedom.

Training to Keep From Traps

With the boundaries of truth and freedom in mind, I take you back to Solomon’s advice for the home and nation. “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them,” says Proverbs 22:5. How, though, does the person in Proverbs 22:5 learn to “guard” his path and stay far from the traps along the way? The answer is in the next verse in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” For an adult to escape the traps that lie along life’s path, he had to have been “trained” as a child by his parents to keep himself “far from them.” The child is shown the path, the boundaries are marked off, and he stays safe for the rest of his life.

When you set clearly defined boundaries for your children at home, you can explain the consequences of removing or crossing them, and also the rewards of staying on the right side of the fence. You can tell them that there is success morally, ethically, and spiritually on this side of the fence, but removing the fence causes people to fall on thorns and into traps, which draw blood and ultimately take your very life. Wisely did G.K. Chesterton say, “Whenever you remove any fence always pause long enough to ask why it was put there in the first place.” Setting up boundaries in the home gives you an opportunity as a father and mother to explain why certain fences have been put up in the first place.
Removing Fences Nationally
In instructing the coming generation, Solomon continues, “Do not remove the ancient boundary which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28). If boundaries are not set at home, and children are not taught to respect and stay within them, this no-boundaries-upbringing is amplified nationally, and the command not to remove the ancient boundary is disobeyed when they are adults. In a literal sense, Proverbs 22:8 refers to land markers which were set in one generation to determine bounds of property, so that coming generations would have no squabbles over land. In moral, ethical, and spiritual senses though, when the protective fences set by fathers and mothers to protect their children are removed, the generation that removes them and the generations thereafter, pay with their lives.

“Why, or how so?” you ask. When we remove the protective fences that guarded the people of the land in times gone by, we let the lion and bear in and they wreak havoc. Solomon, the just ruler, says in Proverbs 28:15, “Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear, is a wicked ruler over a poor people.” And how did the lion and bear who now rule get in? Why, we let them in by removing the fences which would have kept them out! What do the lion and bear do? Solomon continues in Proverbs 28:16, “He is a great oppressor” who “lacks understanding.” And when the lion and the bear oppress the people, how do the people respond? Proverbs 29:2 says, “When a wicked man rules, people groan.” Are you groaning today because of lions and bears in the land who are ruling over us? Consider the cause: in the preceding one or two generations, our boundaries were removed to let lions and bears in.

The High Price of Removing Boundaries

As people groan over the many problems that face us nationally, you might ask “Where are the many problem-solvers who should rid us of our many problems—medically, socially, spiritually?” The lions and bears in the land eat our babies—the generation to come—and never allow them to grow into the citizens who would have solved our problems.

For example, consider how the nation has begun to define the boundaries of the home instead of it being the other way around. In doing so, consider how our “freedom without boundaries” lifestyle has allowed the lion and bear to rob us of coming generations. I quote, in part, Justice Anthony Kennedy from the case Planned Parenthood versus Casey:

“We conclude that the line should be drawn at viability, so that, before that time, the woman has a right to choose to terminate her pregnancy . . . A husband has no enforceable right to require a wife to advise him before she exercises her personal choices . . .”[1]
Wow! We have allowed the nation to set the boundaries in the home, between a husband and wife, even before the child comes on to the scene, no, in fact, so that the child does not come on to the scene!
When the nation begins to set the boundaries in the home, the ancient boundaries our fathers set have been removed, and safety has been compromised. What do we do?

No Better Way to Train the Next Generation
There is no better way to train the next generation than to introduce them to the person of Jesus Christ, who said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” He was speaking of knowing Him, because later on in the same Gospel of John He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). When we introduce our children to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and train them in His words and works, there is hope for the coming generations. For in lies there is hopelessness, but there is hope in the truth of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, He is the only one who can hold a home together, because He instituted marriage and the home, in the beginning. And when homes are held together by Him, so will the nation go, because He is the one who is over every nation. He is the head of the home, and the Lord of the Nations.

© Kenny Damara, 2014

[1][1] Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S, 833 (1992)

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