Many know of brother Claiborne’s teaching on controversial issues and textual lessons at Freed-Hardeman College. Some may not realize he also taught “Marriage and the Family” for fourteen years at Freed-Hardeman College. He comes from a family of twelve children. His Christian wife, Molly, passed away in 2002. They had been married for over fifty years. They have two sons, Doron and Danny, who are faithful to the church and their families. I often remember brother Claiborne speaking excitedly of the grandchildren. In fact, the paperback version of this book includes pictures of his grandchildren on the cover. So, brother Claiborne has lived and knows the principles that make a sound family and has taught these principles to others.
The main element that makes this book on the family superior to others is Winford Claiborne’s respect for both the authority and all sufficiency of the Scriptures. He realizes that the family was not created by politicians, educators, committees, or focus groups. Who better to teach us the proper functioning of the family then the Creator of the family? Where else can we go to learn the principles of successful family then the Bible in which God taught the proper roles and functions of the family? So a book that calls us back to God’s pattern for the home is worth consideration. There are destructive books on the family with supposed “experts” with perverted ideas on how the family ought to operate. Restoring God’s Pattern for the Home reveals some of those who would destroy the family as God has designed it. Brother Claiborne then speaks from his knowledge of the Scriptures, family experience, and keen mind to expose the utter folly of the bizarre ideas that some have for the family.
The book discusses God’s pattern for the home, for husbands, and wives. It discusses the relationship of the church and the home. It also discusses the fact that marriage is for mature adults, not the immature. Too many people enter into marriage too flippantly which is reflected in the statistics on divorce and broken homes. As my father often says “Love is blind, but marriage is the eye opener.” Every couple considering marriage should seek a qualified premarital counselor who is a Christian.
Some in the church think it is unnecessary to have lessons on the home. These speak from ignorance and not from examination of the condition of families among the brotherhood. We need strong lessons on God’s pattern for the family from pulpits, class lecterns, college campuses, and in the home. My father recommends for every Christian married couple to attend the Brecheen-Faulkner Marriage Enrichment Seminar whenever possible. This is good advice. My wife and I have been able to attend the seminar (not to mention taking Marriage and the Family at Freed-Hardeman University as taught by Mike Cravens). I made the same suggestion to a married man and he stated that he did not need any marriage enrichment. I, jokingly, suggested that maybe he should get a second opinion from his wife. We all can use teaching or reminding on the fundamentals relating to the family.
Winford Claiborne delivers a regular radio address on the International Gospel Hour. There is also a web site www.gospelhour.net that contain sermon texts and audio lessons. Tell your friends about the program and the web site.
Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 11, No. 4, April 2004, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.