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Back To The Original Design

Man has never been able to better the plan given by God in the beginning. God gave us the family unit as the template of how man was to exist on the earth. As simple as its structure was given...a man married to a woman, they in turn having children - no other plan has resulted in man’s happiness. Although many alternatives are now legal, they often fall short of bringing the lasting happiness that only God can supply. For those seeking to follow the original plan however, many misconceptions fueled by the media has made even their attempts seem futile. Since the beginning, Satan has sought in so many different ways to change this basic pattern, and now we are at a point in earth’s history when the family unit can be one of the most dysfunctional units. Many are uncertain about how a family should function. It is true that the roles of each within the family is clearly given by God, yet man has sought to modify and improve on the instruction, much to his unhappiness. The modern ways of living has brought with it a false sense of joy based on material prosperity for some but unhappiness for many. Anyone who is truly honest, will admit that true happiness is only found when doing things God’s way.

We are reminded of the plan God has for man as shown to ancient Israel and remains true for modern Israel - those who call upon the name of the Lord in spirit and in truth. “In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” (White, E.G. Ministry of Healing p. 183)

As a family lives and seek to engage in country living the divine way, it becomes clear and obvious that no other pattern would work for smooth running of that home but the one given by God. The statement : “In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored.” (White, E.G. Prophet and Kings p. 678) is now better understood. The family unit as a divine institution would be restored at the end and as God’s people return to the rural areas to live, they make such restoration possible. An examination of the divine pattern however, quickly reveals that the modern concept of a family is not after the divine order. Many a marriage arrangement is entered into for reasons that are not in accordance with heaven’s way and thus many a marriage start off with challenges that become obstacles to the smooth running of any household. It should always be kept in mind that with God all things are possible and thus restoration even to a marriage relationship and family life is possible under His guidance.

The decision to engage in country living therefore is far reaching in its effects, for
even the customary functions of the home may be challenged. The parents may find it difficult to maintain their traditional jobs that catered to a two-income household and still develop their country living space. Other issues that are often part of the package would be, if there are children involved, whether the parents have city-based jobs or if there is indebtedness. The traditional life of increasing debt while having jobs to pay off such debt and funding the children’s education until they could pay their way...taking out mortgages for a vehicle and a house...using a credit card freely...having the continuous demand for a certain level of income that could maintain the bills generated...the continuous consumption of pre-packaged food and fast food...the need for a maid or nanny to help out in the house...all the trimmings that go with the modern life. All these issues are challenged when one attempts to engage in country living God’s way. The family unit has to unlearn and spend much prayerful time learning God’s way of living. This does not happen in a short time but as daily decisions are made the process begins and looking back one can often trace how God has patiently worked out His will and brought changes one may not think possible. A personal example may help here. Being a housewife was never in my future plans, as my career was a lucrative one that fitted in nicely to the life schedule of my family. However, when we began to learn of what was expected of us in relation to our children and each other, we realized that it was only possible if I stayed at home and homeschooled my children. It amazed us that once we accepted God’s way He began to clear the path... our debts, our mortgage, our monthly utility bills, our credit card...leaving us free to obey Him.

Yes, the complete decision to engage in country living is one that propels your life in a different direction. An opposite direction to the one that the world often encourages. The ways of the world and the ways of Christ are indeed opposite. However, many are caught trying to straddle both worlds. Somehow, living in this world and not being of this world is a difficult thing to work out in practical life. Letting go of all the traditional expectations and mile-markers and simply following God’s direction for life, leads to many changes. Change can be a good thing, if done in obedience to God. The only recommendation that I could make to those interested in getting a view of what type of changes I am referring to, is to read the book, ‘The Adventist Home’ written by E.G. White. Prayerfully consider the picture painted of a family after God’s order. It is a life journey that I am still on and one in which I am continually learning of His will. May your country living space open the way for the restoration of your family life into one that heaven approves.

Written by:
Nicole Belfast

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