The Family – Established By God

How God & The Bible Describe the Family

God’s plan for the family is that the husband be subject to Christ; the wife be in subjection to the husband; and the children be in subjection to the parents. The husband is not to rule over his wife as an absolute dictator, but he does have the authority to make decisions on matters affecting the family.

A Message for Husbands

Ephesians 5:25 tells us: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. In Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19 and I Peter 3:7, we are told that the husband is to treat and love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. When this principle is violated, there is a tendency for the remainder of God’s plan for the family to also break down.

The wife will start to lose her respect for her husband’s position as a leader and will rebel against his authority. The children will notice this attitude and will themselves become rebellious. Friction in the family is generated when any one of God’s divine principles are violated – particularly when the husband fails to genuinely love his wife and provide clear leadership in the family.

A Message for Wives

Colossians 3:18 tells us: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. When the husband has not placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and therefore does not live his life according to God’s Word, this will place hardship on the wife and children. H

However, the wife should submit to the desires of her husband as long as they do not involve clear violations of God’s will. For example, is it proper for her to attend church with her husband, even though that particular church does not preach the Bible. There will be a certain sense of frustration, but the husband will see that his wife is submissive by her meek and quiet spirit, and God can use this to win her husband to Christ.

Abusive Situations

In circumstances where the wife is forbidden to attend a good, Bible-believing church, she must be careful to continue her own devotional life and to listen to Gospel preaching either on television or the radio for her personal spiritual growth.

A word of caution should be noted if the husband’s demands are clearly in violation of God’s laws, such as telling his wife to take something from work that belongs to her employer, then the wife should explain to her husband that this violates a clear Bible principle and she cannot submit to this particular request. The wife’s response and attitude toward her husband is very critical in determining whether or not her husband will eventually accept Christ as his personal Savior.

When God’s principles are followed, such as the father under the authority of Christ; the wife under the authority of the husband; the children under the authority of the parents; and they are living their lives according to God’s Word, we will always find a happy, strong and stable family. The Bible tells us in Psalm 127:1: Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.

Marriage – The Foundation of the Family

God intends for two people who marry to find their love grows deeper and sweeter all through the years. No matter what the burdens and responsibilities, no matter what the tests and trials, no matter whether in youth, in middle age or in old age, God intends for the love of a man and his wife to be sweeter and stronger with the passing of each day and each year. Moreover, God guarantees, in His Holy Word, this will be true if we follow specific guidelines laid down in the Bible.

God has sanctified the marriage relationship because:

  • Marriage was instituted by God (Genesis 2:21-24).
  • Marriage was, and is to be, monogamous; God gave Adam only one wife–“one wife for one lifetime.”
  • The husband and wife are to be unified physically and spiritually (Matthew 19:6).
  • The husband is to be the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23).
  • Marriage is to be heterosexual; a homosexual marriage does not have a case in the light of biblical revelation.

We read about the first marriage in Genesis 2:21-24, where we find,

… God brought her unto the man … Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

God performed the first marriage; He sanctified and blessed the first home and the first family.

“The man is to ‘leave his father and his mother.’ This would normally imply leaving them physically and emotionally to become literally, ‘glued to his wife.'” (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Volume 1, P. 19).

First Requirements – Christians Marry Christians

The first requirement is both the individuals who marry should be Christians. A Christian has no right to marry a non-Christian. I Corinthians 7:39 tells us a Christian has a right to marry …only in the Lord.” II Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…. It is wrong for a Christian to marry someone who is not a Christian. Thus it is dangerous for a Christian to date someone who is not a Christian because the Christian may fall in love with the non-Christian and violate the Bible’s clear commandment not to marry such a person.

Proverbs 19:14 tells us, . . .and a prudent wife is from the Lord. Christians should not only be determined to marry another Christian, but should also earnestly seek the Lord’s guidance as to whom to marry even among other Christians. Genesis chapter 24 gives us the beautiful story of how Abraham had his spiritual and prayerful servant search out for Isaac a wife who would be “of the Lord.”

Surely this kind of Christian would be one who reads the Bible and prays daily and who is totally committed to putting Christ-in first place in life, not second place or in tenth place or in last place in life.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…. The marriage and home is to be sweet and strong. It should also include regular, active church attendance.

Providing For the Family

The passage in reference is I Timothy 5:8:

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

To understand the intent of this passage you should understand the context of the previous verses (1-7). By examining these verses it is clear that Paul is giving instructions regarding the responsibilities of the church to various individuals, i.e., elders (verses 1,2) and widows (verses 3,4,5).

The subject of the care for widows was important to the early church since there was no social security system to aid widows at that time. The families, that is, the children or descendants of verse 4, were to bear the burden of caring for the widows of the church.

The widow who was blameless in meeting the spiritual requirements was to be cared for by her own family. For a believer (family) not to provide (Greek word = Look out for beforehand) for his own house (including a widow) would be worse than in infidel, for even they recognized their obligations to widows. (Liberty Bible Commentary, Vol. II, p. 637.)

Today we see the government social agencies providing the needs of the elderly (widows) that the families and the churches originally were held responsible to provide. However, this does not alleviate the Christian from his responsibility to labor in order to provide for those of his family. To fail in this obligation is to deny the faith and to be worse than one with no faith at all. To the sin of slothfulness is added by hypocrisy because the man is claiming to be a follower of Christ. (Criswell Study Bible, p. 1416.)

The subject of providing for one’s own family involves not only the financial support, but also the protection needed by a family. The protection would involve physical as well as moral and spiritual matters.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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