Word of the Day
Just what is the family? What comprises family relationships? What human group qualifies to be called a “family”?
The Bible has much to say about our relationships. In fact if you look at the Ten Commandments, they are all about relationships. The first Four are about our relationship with Creator God and the next six are about human relationships. These Six begin with the relationship of children with the parents and then the others deal with relationships within society.
God has much interest in our relationships in life. Of course it all boils down to the way we treat each other within the social order.
While the modern cry is that the “traditional” family is all about “religion”, especially Christianity(which is anathema today), if we search history we find that the family has been in place since the beginning of time, even in the most pagan of societies. While it is true that the family unit was established by the Creator God, pagan societies throughout recorded history have had and protected the family unit. Their pagan laws strictly promoted and protected this most valuable human and social unit. Even pagans understood that the family unit was the most important relationship known to man and was what their culture was built around.
And now in these modern times the courts have sought to “re-define” the family unit to be whatever they say it is. What they don’t understand is that it was not the courts that defined family in the first place and it was never theirs to redefine.
Scripture clearly teaches that the Creator God established the home and family by giving to Adam, the first man, Eve, the first woman, and God blessed their union and told them to “…replenish the earth, and subdue it…”(Gen.1:28).
And again, even pagan societies picked up on this and formed themselves around this most vital of unions.
But, from the beginning, the family has had serious problems. The very first recorded murder was when one brother became jealous and so angry that he slew his own brother(Gen.4:1-8). And if we follow history as recorded in Scripture, we find family problems to be so prevalent and overwhelming that these problems touched and brought sorrow to almost every family.
Beginning with Abram and his nephew, Lot, we find dissension invading this unit. Their herdsmen were bickering over water and grazing rights, so Abram suggested they split and go their separate ways(Gen.13:5-12). Within his own family, later Abram(soon to be called “Abraham”) found trouble. While God had promised him a son, Abram and his wife Sarai got restless and decided to “help” God by Abram having a child by Sarai’s slave woman, Hagar. And the trouble created by this idea permeates all world attention to this day(Gen.16:1-4).
And from there it was almost like a snowball rolling down the mountainside. The further it went the larger it got and the faster the speed. We find that Eli had trouble with his two sons(I Sam.4:1-22). Samuel had the same trouble with his sons(I Sam.8:1-5), which lead to Israel demanding a king to rule over them. And in doing so, the nation turned its collective back on their God.
We find David, the greatest king of the nation having trouble within his family. After committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband, Uriah killed in battle it was downhill all the way. Rape, incest, murder, rebellion and insurrection swept through his family.
Is this the reason God instituted the home and family, to bring about sin and trouble within this basic human unit? Did God perform that first marriage just so the human race would have one problem after another? Is it true, that even today with the traditional family falling apart because of sin, that God established the home just to burden us down with all this? Did God just want to lay all this burden upon us, and so He created marriage, home and family?
Of course not! That was never the thought in His mind as He blessed that first union between man and woman. It was our sin that created all the trouble, and it is still that same sin that invades our midst as a family, causing jealousy, rebellion, all sorts of addictions, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, divorce, run-away kids, gangs, abortions, unfaithful spouses, single-parent families, kids being raised without mothers or fathers, overwhelming anger–the list, as they say, is endless. But, the problem has never been God nor His thought for the family. The trouble, as Linus in the Peanut’s cartoon once said, is that we have found the problem and it are us! And sadly, the family unit within the church is falling victim to the serious problems at the same rate as those outside the church!
The New Testament has much to say about marriage, the family and the home. The ideal family unit, according to God, is one where the husband and father assumes his rightful role as the loving leader in the home. He loves his wife as Christ loved the Church, he loves his kids and teaches them the ways of the Lord, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He uses his hands to provide the resources with which to meet his families’ needs, giving them shelter, food, clothing and the security his family needs to be a functioning unit that honors the Creator God, All real responsibility lies on his shoulders to build a home around which his family is content and fruitful(Eph. 5:21-33).
The wife learns to love her husband, to submit to him as the head of the home, and to build a home structure around which her family is comfortable and safe from all the hazards that tries to threaten her family. She loves her children and does all that she can to instill the virtues of God into their lives
The children, being taught by their parents, choose to be obedient and submissive in order that the family unit portrays the ideal which God laid down from the beginning(Eph.6:1-3).
When the family unit is structured around the commandments and instructions of God, there is more contentment and happiness that we can ever imagine. But, more than that, this family unit honors God and is a testimony to what He can really do through a home that is built on Him and His Word. And isn’t that what the home really is all about? Isn’t that the home that you want, that I want, that the church strives to teach and to thrive upon? Isn’t this family unit the kind which will glorify God and magnify the Church, the Body of Christ and the Building of God?