Christian Family Life
One of the most important passages in the Bible that has to do with the family is Genesis 2:18 (NIV) "The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’" After God created Adam, He saw that Adam would be a very lonely creature unless he had someone of his own kind to be with him.
Notice what God said about this second creature. This next creation would be "a helper" for Adam. It would not be an exact duplicate of Adam but rather someone who would complement him.
"So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man." Genesis 2:21-23 (NIV)
Notice what Genesis 2:24 (NIV) says: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Husbands and wives are no longer two individuals living in the same house. They are united, through marriage, as a special creation of their own. This does not mean that either of them loses their individual identities. It does mean that together, they become a unique entity in God’s universe.
Responsibility Of Husbands
The husband’s relationship to his wife is to reflect Christ’s relationship to His Church. This is the message of Ephesians 5:22-33 (NIV): "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior."
Marriage is not just an institution for the procreation of children. It is not just a relationship for the benefit of a man and a woman. It is to reflect a very important truth that God wants us to understand.
Husbands represent Jesus Christ in the marriage. He is to be the head of the family. And he is to love his wife and sacrifice for her. He is to help her become the best wife, mother and person that she can possibly be. In other words, he is to put her first in his life.
This is exactly what Jesus did and is still doing for His Church. He sacrificed His life on the Cross so we could have salvation. He has made Himself available to all of us to help us develop into the best that we can possibly be.
Responsibility Of Wives
Wives represent the Church in the marriage. She submits herself to her husband in the same way that the Church submits itself to Jesus. She illustrates, through her submission and respect, how we, as Christians, must submit to and respect Jesus.
In I Peter 2:13-25, the Bible tells how we, as Christians, are to be a submissive people so we can win others to Christ. Then, 1 Peter 3:1 (NIV) says: "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives," Wives, your purpose is to teach the world how we, as Christians, are to live.
Children In The Family
God wants children to be raised in a God-fearing, loving family. Children are born into the world with no understanding or knowledge of anything. Everything they learn, they learn from those around them. If the father and mother are living as God wants them to live, they will learn what God wants them to learn. They will grow up to be God-fearing and loving, just like their parents.
When we bring children into the world, we are accepting a great responsibility. The eternal destiny of our children lies in our hands. If we have not tired to teach them to be God-fearing and loving children, we will be held accountable by God. If we have not tried to bring them into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we just may be condemning them to hell.
This is why Ephesians 6:4 (Living Bible) says: "And now a word to you parents. Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice." It is our responsibility to bring our children into the Kingdom of God. We are to lead our children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Yes, sometimes we do our best and our children still don’t follow what we tried to teach them. But then the responsibility lies in their hands, not ours. This is why Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV) says: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’--which is the first commandment with a promise—‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’"
The Bible does not command us to have children. You may choose not to have them and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you do have children, you must accept the serious responsibility that comes with them.
Christian Husbands and Wives all across America are not receiving the blessings that God has for their marriages because they do not understand nor accept the simple truth found in Ephesians 5. The concept in this passage is very simple. It is: live for each other using the Chain of Command that God has given us.
A properly functioning Chain of Command is very important in every organization. This is true in informal as well as formal organizations. Without a properly functioning Chain of Command, there will always be chaos. There is always more than one way to accomplish a task or solve a problem. But a group will only be successful if they agree to use only one method. People will follow the originator of the method they think will work. This informally creates a Chain of Command.
God established Chains of Command throughout His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth. For instance, it is written in Jude 1:9 (NIV): "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" Here, "the devil" refers to Satan who was formerly Lucifer. Even though Michael knew that Satan was a fallen angel, he also knew that Lucifer had been of a higher rank than he was. This is why Michael, an archangel, did not rebuke Satan himself, but rather said: "The Lord rebuke you.."
We find that God established the same hierarchy, or Chain of Command here on the earth. In Exodus 18, there were many judges established to rule the people, but Moses was the chief judge. When God established the Temple organization, there were many priests but He designated that there was only one High Priest.
God also gave us a Chain of Command for marriages because He knew what would work. "The husband is to be the head of the family." God also gave both the husband and wife specific roles to make this Chain of Command work. Read the article Husband and Wife Relationships to more fully understand this.
God’s Design For The Family
We simply need to understand and accept that God established the family relationship in a specific way because He knew that this is what would bring the greatest blessing to the family.
1. So that his creation would not lonely.
2. So that the world could see how we are to relate to God through Jesus Christ.
3. So that we could receive the greatest blessings possible.
4. So that we could bring children into the world and into the Kingdom of God.
In the sidebar, you will find other articles dealing with the family. Take time to read them. They will help you in your journey to developing the type of family that God designed you to have.