The most influential part of an individual’s life begins within the family. The family is where we all start, where we learn, grow and become the people we are today. God created us to have relationships and to be part of a family. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18) These days families have shifted severely far away from the Biblical truth concerning family. The reason for this is the evil one attacks our small spiritual unit, sewing corruptness between bonds that causes divorce, absent parents, and a preoccupation with worldly things such as homosexuality. The devil’s work is always present.
The family is of Divine origin and extremely important. God created man in His image and when we consider the Trinitarian companionship we see evidence of this origin. In designing the family He also created unique roles for each individual of the family unit. The Bible calls for the marriage relationship to be characterized by mutual and voluntary submission in mutual respect and trust. “…submitting to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21) The husband is to lead his family as Christ leads the Church. He is to love his wife, be committed to her, and never denying her affection. The wife is to follow her husband and be his support, respecting his position as head. The two become one and lead their children in a loving Christian home. Parents are the ones who are responsible for teaching and training their children, not the government. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them” (Psalm 127:3-5) Children are a blessing and a gift, but they are also under our charge. Children are one of our first ministries we are responsible for as a growing family unit. The example we set as a child of God’s grace will shape the way our children understand His grace. While we must educate them and equip them with the knowledge of Christ, we must also show grace when they fail to exert that knowledge.
However, there comes a point when children do not abide by “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8) and we need to correct their path. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15) As parents we must be just like God when he disciplines His children. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6) We do not strike them out of anger, but love and desire for them to be obedient, just like our Father in heaven. Through trials and our guiding hand, the next generation become strong.
Parenting is no easy task and neither is maintaining a family despite the roles we play. Luckily, God has given us an instruction manual for guidance on these daunting tasks. The Bible gives God’s plan for achieving a loving and godly people within family life. Christians are held to take very seriously the Word of God as it relates to raising a family. We must work to improve our own families and not concern ourselves with those outside of the Church.