- Why Know Jesus?
- Rightly Dividing the Word of God
- Doctrinal Declarations of Faith
- The Providence Of God
- Fall Iinto Sin and the Corrupt State of Man
- God’s Eternal Decrees
- The Trinity
- Of Apostolic Faith
- The Attributes Of God
- Christ Jesus
- Mans Will and Free Will
- Election and Predestination
- True Faith Justification and Repentance
- Adoption and Sanctification
- The Perseverance of the Saints
- Assurance of Salvation and Good Works
- Doctrinal Studies
- The History of the Pentecostal Movement
- Errant Pentecostal Doctrines And False Apostles And Prophets Introduction
- Periods And Confirmations Of God’s Revelation
- The Foundation Of The Church
- The Baptism With The Holy Spirit and The Filling of The Holy Spirit According to Scripture
- Signs Wonders Healing And Miracles For Who And By Who?
- The Apostles The Difference Between True And False
- Real and False Prophets
- The Prophets Of The New Testament
- Personal Conclusions
- CAN A CHRISTIAN BEAR ARMS AND DEFEND HIMSELF AND OTHERS
- (Italiano) E’ BIBLICO PER UN CRISTIANO USARE LEGITTIMA DIFESA PER SE E PER ALTRI?
- The Sanctity of Life and Value of Human Life
- The Importance of the Family to God
- Roles In The Family As In The Church
- The Role of Man and the Responsibilities of a Husband
- The Role of the Woman and the Responsibilities of the Wife
- Responsibilities of Father and Mother to Teach Train and Discipline their Children
- The Responsibilities of The Children in the Family
- The Letter of Paul to the Romans Introduction
- Romans Chapter One
- Romans Chapter Two
- Romans Chapter Three
- Romans Chapter Four
- Romans Chapter Five
- Romans Chapter Six
- Romans Chapter Seven
- Romans Chapter Eight
- Romans Chapter Nine
- Romans Chapter Ten
- Romans Chapter Eleven
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 1-2
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 3-11
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 12 to 20
- (Italiano) Introduzione Alla Lettera di Paolo Ai Romani
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Uno
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Due
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Tre
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Quattro
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Cinque
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sei
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sette
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Otto
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Nove
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Dieci
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 11
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 1-3
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 4-11
- (Italiano) Romani 12:12 a 20
- Mission Ministry
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The Importance of the Family to God
Now that we established the importance of the sanctity of life for God and hoping that we did renew our mind about this subject, let’s delve into the second part of the study.
The importance of the family to God.
The family is important to God because it is an institution He has created and it is one of His blessings. How much of a blessing children are was evidenced by what Jesus says about them. His disciples as much of the Hebrew culture had arrived to unfortunately believe that children were not important and that they were a nuisance, a waste of time, as most of our society believes today as well, but Jesus rearranged their thoughts. I hope He will rearrange ours as well.
Mark 10:13-14 Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”
PSALMS 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Let’s take a look at this passage. Usually when one leaves an inheritance to someone it is normally something of economic value, it could be money, land, property or other valuable things. The LORD in His word compares children to an inheritance that comes from Him. If an inheritance of economic valuables is precious and of value how much more an inheritance created in the image and likeness of God and given to us directly by God, should be all the more precious?
If an inheritance is given to us by God and is precious to Him, how shall it be considered by us?
All that is precious and important to God should be considered precious and important to us as well, or not? Here a question is in order. If someone left you an inheritance of a million dollars would it be precious to you? Certainly, is the answer! No one would dare say that a million dollars or some other earthly valuables would not be important to us. If we received such inheritances every couple of years how would we feel? Elated I presume. I do not think any of us would refuse or find ways not to receive any more of these inheritances.
So another question needs to be asked, how many believers truly would rejoice if the LORD every couple of years, for let’s say ten years, would give them children as an inheritance? Would they be accepted with the same or even greater joy as an inheritance of money? I fear to say that in the majority of cases most believers would view having children as an inheritance from God differently that how God views its value.
For God however, this type of inheritance that comes from Him, is far more precious than money, properties or earthly valuables. So it should be for us.
The fruit of the womb is a reward from God. What an honor to be rewarded by God. How much having children should make God’s people rejoice, more than receiving any other type of gift. Is it really like this today? I am afraid that for most believers it’s not at all like this.
Nevertheless, children are gifts given by God, gifts that have to be offered back to God as gifts dedicated to Him. It should be a great joy to have these gifts and also an awesome responsibility toward God. The literal translation from the Hebrew of PSALMS 127:3 has a double meaning, in other words, that children are an inheritance from the LORD and an inheritance for the LORD.
Going on in the analysis of this passage we see that blessing and joy of the family is to have many children. If this is true, and it is, it is a thing that brings joy to God. With many children God wants to give us joy and add joy to our life. He also blesses us with security and help through the abundance of this inheritance.
In the years to come many children who are indeed a godly heritage, born-again children of God as well, raised in the fear and admonition of the LORD, will be a fount of security and protection for the family against every enemy in every sense of the word.
Imagine a Christian family with many children, who pray for each other and act as a true Christian community. How much spiritual power and even economic power will it eventually have? Such would be a spiritual powerhouse, this is a great blessing of God. Great blessing even from a practical standpoint, as the older will help the parents with the smaller, everyone will have their work to do, chores, and this in time will render the life of the parents less difficult as they will help with the family’s responsibilities. They will learn early how to take care of children and how to be responsible men and women of God, the value of work and how to take their responsibilities. This is the image of the biblical family, how it should be, this is why a family with many children is a blessing from God.
This reality is further confirmed in the next Psalm with its descriptive Hebrew language describes the type of blessing that God sends upon the man who fears Him.
Psalms 128:1-4 Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. 2 When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD.
The wife of him who fears the LORD and walk in His ways will be as a fruitful vine, this fruit will be physical and spiritual, she will be fertile and her children will be for the family as olive trees around the family’s table. This descriptive and beautiful language has a very important and distinct meaning. We know that Israel was and still is, an agricultural land, The vine and the olive are very important for the economic resources of the nation and of the families who live there. These resources are both sources of food for the family as well as economic wealth. This passage shows us that children are to be compared with these resources, the more they will be the grater the blessing of many resources for the family, spiritual, practical and economic resources. They are wealth for a family and a blessing from God.
So beyond the importance of the family for the obvious Scriptural reasons regarding the sanctity of life and the fact that God created the family and these already should be enough, there is another very important aspect of the importance of the family, especially for believers.
The Christian’s family is a typology of the church. The church in the Bible is called the family of God, believers are children of God the Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
A Christian family has the name of Christ and we all are, all born-again believers, as the word of God says born of and adopted by God, and we are now part of the family of God, the church. The church in heaven and the church still on earth.
So the importance of the family is not only important because of the physical-spiritual aspect tied to the sanctity of life and creation, but very important because of the spiritual aspect tied to the Eternal Covenant in Christ Jesus. God is our Father, Jesus is our brother.
John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ “
Heb 2:10-13 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren;In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
From the very beginning that was the intention of God, to be in a Covenant of grace and promise not only with individuals but with entire families and descendants.
Genesis 6:18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark–you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
Genesis 17:1-4 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
Hebrews 2:14-17 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Genesis 19:12-14 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city–take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
With this passage I would like to pause to clarify something important. Even if the LORD makes covenants of grace and promises with the head of the household and indeed many blessings extend to the entire family, it is not absolutely true that every member of the family will be granted salvation automatically. Only those who by faith will embrace the Eternal Covenant in Christ will be partakers of eternal salvation. We see that this is true for example in the case of Abraham and Ishmael, Lot and his sons-in-law even Lot’s wife herself, Isaac and Esau. It is not to be taken for granted that all members of the family will be partakers of salvation. However, certainly IF (conditional clause), children are TRULY trained and raised in the ways of the LORD it will be much more probable, almost certain the salvation of our children as well as their spiritual growth, they will become partakers of the Eternal Covenant of grace in Jesus Christ and will partake of the promises of God. All the while because they belong to a Christian family they will partake of many blessings from God, blessings children in pagan families do not partake in, and their salvation will be much more probable. This is, in fact, a principle of God’s word 1 CORINTHIANS 7:14, the believer’s children will be blessed so much just by the greater possibility, very good probability they will come to the knowledge of God.
There are, however, some people who make a doctrine and promise of God regarding the salvation of family because of some passages we find in ScriptureACTS 16:29-31. However, it’s not so, those cases were those cases only, a promise uniquely given to that family, not to everybody unconditionally. As we said regarding the proper interpretation of Scripture, that we cannot generalize all Scripture and apply it to everybody all the time. There is another caseACTS 10:44-48 but even in this Scripture those of the household of Cornelius were those who heard the word and believed it, it is not talking of those who did not hear it, did not understand it or were not yet born.
There is a principle in Scripture found in Proverbs that is a promise in itself, but it is a conditional promise, it is valid only if a person does it and does it properly and not as many believers today think they keep it or that they are doing it, in reality though they neglect to truly do it the way God desires and commands in His word, they do it their way thinking God will reward them. If it is not done the way God instructs us to do it it loses its validity.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
As I said the condition of the promise is IF you train up a child in the SCRIPTURAL and TRUE WAYS of God, then he will not depart from them, IF the ways of the world are taught, the wrong ways, then they will not depart from the wrong ones either. Often many believers sincerely think that because they bring their children to church, because their children go to Sunday school at church, because they belong to the youth group at church, that this means they have trained up their children in the way they should go, that these are the true ways of God in which they must be brought up. No! It is not like this at all! All these things previously mentioned are good, they are not however training up a child in God’s Scriptural ways. I repeat, Scripturally it is the parents’ responsibility, better yet the father’s primary responsibility, to train up a child in God’s ways, the church is only to aid and support the parents but not to take their place in the Biblical training of their children.
We shall see better how this is to be worked out later on ahead in our study.
However, parents do not be deceived your children know when you are hypocrites, if you do not practice what you preach. Do you do Bible studies in your family? No, right? You are too busy to do them, you are too tired, too occupied, you have to watch the game on TV? You will lose your children if you do not take the time to train them yourselves in the way of the Lord. Unfortunately, the problem usually is that even the parents often are Biblically ignorant and lacking sound Biblical education even because it is sadly lacking in the church as well. When in your church have they ever taught parents what you are studying here?
Having then established this, in other words that not every member of the family might be saved, we see however that God’s will and desire is to form the family, especially the Christian family to be the principal recipient of His Eternal Covenant, His promises and His blessings.
The Christian family is a type of church in itself as well as being part of the local and universal church as well. The family then has to be church in all ways, being part of the universal body of Christ as well as the local church, being a specific and unique cell of the local family of God.
This means that the LORD sees the family as a very specific nucleus of His church, an assembly of believers. This means that a family needs to be structured and governed just like the church. In fact, a pastor, elder or any one who retains a ministerial position in the church is disqualified from that position if their family is not in order and submitted to God’s authority and the authority of the head of the household.
This is a prerequisite of all those who aspire to retain positions of service and authority in the church. So the training camp for these positions are in the family.
1 Timothy 3:4-5 (if a man desires the position of a bishop, must be) one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);
1 Timothy 3:11-12 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Titus 1:5-6 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you– 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
These are the prerequisites that often are not respected and observed in the church today, this causes much damage to the church, much more than one can imagine, this is because if the family is not in order and not well governed even the church will not be well governed and the testimony of these persons will bring blasphemy and damage to God’s name, also the word says
1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
So we see that the right and correct governing and training of the family is of primary importance and priority to God. These are principles for every Christian because as we have said the family being church in itself requires that the family be governed as the Scripture directs the church. If the family will not be governed the same way, very grave consequences will arise, consequences the LORD Himself will inflict. One example of these is found in
1 Samuel 3:12-13 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.
So what caused God’s severe discipline and correction? The sins of Eli’s sons? Yes, but the lack of restraining, correction and training that Eli was supposed to have exercised in their life.
So, until now we have seen that at the foundation of the importance of the family there are:
1) The importance to God about life and sanctity of life.
2) The family is a blessing from God and children are His inheritance and reward.
3) The family is a part of God’s covenant of grace and salvation, blessings and promises as it is a type of church, it is church, the body of Christ as a unit, where the father is the pastor, teacher and the mother as well as teacher and spiritual caretakers of the children, teaching them the word of God and those who keep watch over the spiritual and material providence of their children, hopefully getting the help and support of the local church in this awesome task and responsibility. We notice here the symbioses between God, church and family.
So, if these things are true, and we see from Scripture that they are, it is of primary importance for the parents and in a special way, for the fathers to be those who provide economically for their children but those even more importantly who provide for the spiritual training and education of their children.
The role of the head of the household, in other words of the man, however, unfortunately in the society and culture in which we live, it is also possible that of a woman being a single mother with children, is not only of being biological parents and economic providers. The especially important role, with the support of the local church is to be the primary evangelists, teachers and pastors of the family. As we said, and we will continuously say throughout this study, it is the primary responsibility of the man, the father, the husband. However, let us see what the word of God teaches us in regard to these roles and their functions.
God commands us in His word to evangelize and to make disciples of all nation teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded us to do. Right?
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
So where can we better begin to make disciples and teach them the word of God if not in our own family? How do we begin to do this? In the same way that the church evangelizes and makes disciples of other non believers, with added functions however.
In a certain way it should be easier to evangelize and make disciples of our own children because we live together with them and spend most of our life with them. This becomes the preferred method described in Scripture, in other words of God, to make disciples. We see this to be true in the Gospels and even on the teachings of the OT regarding the making of disciples, the prescribed method is for the teacher and the disciple to live their life together. The NT method is parallel with the OT method. From Jesus’ life and His method of teaching we see this to be true and if we have read the Gospels we can see that Jesus taught with the prescribed method found in the OT. Where do we find that model?
Deuteronomy 6:1-8 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you--‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
In this passage we see divine principles of teaching the way God gave to His people to how to make disciples. These are the principles that Jesus obeyed to make disciples in His life. So I believe then that these are valid principles for us in the church and family today.
In fact, I firmly believe that it is exactly the lack of this type of teaching today, that leads the Christians’ children to abandon the faith and to live a life filled with compromises with the world and society and sin, this will lead them to demonstrate less and less the spiritual characteristics that should characterize the Christian family. The lack of this type of disciple-making and teaching leads children not to depart from the ways of the world.
How do we put in practice this teaching? All that God wants taught to do what with it? To put into practice that which gets taught in regard to the Christian life that we find in the word of God. These are ALL the commandments, statutes and decrees that the LORD has ordered to teach and put into practice.
The first important principle is to put into practice what is taught in the word of God in every day living. We teach our children demonstrating them in action what we teach in theory. This is what Jesus did, He preached and taught the word and also lived it and practiced before everybody.
Let’s look at some of the characteristics of Jesus’ practical teaching and how they relate to us.
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
John 5:19-20 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
John 14:12 Verily, verily I say to you: whoever believes in me will also do the works I do; in fact even greater works they will do, because I go to the Father.
Jesus taught the word of God and practiced the word, obeyed it and did it. In these passages we have read we see just a few principles that we can learn to make disciples in our family and the church.
1)We must go about doing good to all, especially do good to our brothers and sisters in Christ and our family, doing good things in the physical realm but especially in the spiritual.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
This passage definitely is speaking about all provisions not only in the physical sense but also in the spiritual.
2) We have to give practical example of what to do while we as children of God submit to the word of God and all it commands us to do as we obey it. This will lead our children to do what the father does and tells them to do as the children see the father do it, so that not only we speak the truth we live it. The children see the father (parents) do the things that need to be done, the father (parents) give the example of how the word of God is obeyed and lived.
3) Who follows Jesus, in other words who is His disciple, will use the same methods and will do the same things Jesus has done, in essence to make it easier to understand, this means being obedient to the word of God and be faithful to God in all things.
1 John 2:5-6 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
When we teach our children we make them disciples with the word of God and we put it into practice before them, we are exercising them to fear God in the way He wants to be feared, not with a unhealthy fear or terror rather with a healthy fear, fear that leads to respect and reverence which demonstrates itself in love. This is the respect that is born from the realization that God has saved us, that He teaches us and corrects us because He loves us.
1 John 4:16-19 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
The security that the love of God for us leads us in the love of God and in loving God and His commandments. This truth is expressed also in the passage of Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
This is confirmed also in
John 14:21-22 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
John 14:22-24 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
John also confirms Jesus’ words
1 John 5:1-3 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
This is what needs to be taught to our children, this kind of fear of God is the beginning of all knowledge and wisdom.
Deuteronomy 6:2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.
Proverbs 9:10-11 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.
Proverbs 1:7-9 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; 9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.
Proverbs 8: 13a The fear of the LORD is to hate evil
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
These passages as we have seen previously are parallel passages between Deuteronomy 6:2 and Proverbs 9:10-11 and Proverbs 10:27. We find this promise confirmed also in the Ten Commandments in
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
The Fifth Commandment is also mentioned by Paul in the New Testament
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
The subject of honoring and obeying parents will be studied when we will talk of the roles in the family and the various responsibilities. At this point it is essential to understand that the principle to teach the children is to honor and love and fear the LORD as He is our Father. So there is a deep spiritual parallelism and a connection between parents and children and children of God and the LORD.
At this stage I also want to open a parenthesis about the subject of the commandment or decree that God gave first to Adam and Eve and then to Noah and his sons, to be fruitful and multiply.
Some people to justify their position of being contrary to pro-create and to justify their use of contraceptives use the excuse saying that God only gave this commandment because the earth in both of those cases had to be re-populated and therefore it was a decree given only and exclusively for those two periods. So now that the earth is greatly populated this decree is no longer valid today.
Their theory is false and it is destroyed by Scripture as we see that the desire and will of God for His people is always to be fruitful and multiply. We see this also at the base of
Deuteronomy 6:3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you–‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’
We have seen and see throughout many passages of Scripture that God’s desire and will is that His people be fruitful and multiply, and we have seen that it is a blessing from God. God always desires to create life and that we make disciples, adding children to His family, the church.
It is surely a great opportunity for the church (and the Christian family) to evangelize and make disciples of their own children. We do not then have to go very far to evangelize and make disciples as we can effectively begin to do so within our own family.
Jesus said to begin making disciples first in Jerusalem, there is a principle here, this means to begin in their case with their own, the Jews, the people closest to them, in relation to kin, so if we think about it there is a principle we have to adopt as well, we must begin to make disciples, to evangelize in the closest sphere of influence we have, which is our family. This makes sense, is we neglect our family to go and evangelize and make disciples elsewhere we do not really understand or exhibit God’s love properly. The first and foremost responsibility is toward the family, our children. To place the emphasis of evangelism and disciple-making outside the family, we risk (and it is happening) that we will lose our children to the world.
Uselessly the church tries to make disciples elsewhere when it cannot even make disciples within their own family, in their own house. I say uselessly because God wants that we evangelize, however, we must as our first responsibility begin and bring to pass this work in our own family first. This is the primary responsibility of all who have children. God will not be pleased if we attempt to evangelize or make disciples outside the family while neglecting and losing our own children. I believe that when we are in a sure position that our children are walking with God THEN we can begin to look outside the family. I do not believe that God will reward people who do not put their ALL in taking care of their family before they go and “love” other souls into the kingdom when they cannot love their own enough to spend the time on them. I believe this is whole the principle of
1 Timothy 5: 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
We had already established that it was love for God and His love for us upon which, God wants our relationship to be based with Him. In this passage the LORD is commanding us to love Him with all the parts of our being and by consequence all the parts of our life. For love toward God that His commandments will remain in our heart see also PSALMS 119: 9-11andLUKE 10:27.
Parents must make God known to their children through their love for God and their obedience to God’s word teaching them diligently to their children, teach them all of the word of God in theory and practice.
What does it mean to teach our children diligently God’s word? Let’s examine these words shall we?!
In Hebrew the word is Wªshinantaam from the word shanan its meaning is to point; intensively, to pierce figuratively, to inculcate: to teach or impress with repetitions and admonitions
This is the instructions to renew the mind with the word of God, only like this we can be transformed and not conform to the ways of the world and only like this we will learn what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of GodROMANS 12:1-2.
It is obvious then that the LORD in His word confirms the meaning of this word as He explains in a practical way how we inculcate, teach diligently our children the word of God. Reading this passage we see that this is exactly the methodology of teaching used by Jesus.
The first part is theory, teachings, parables, typologies every day for the entire day, Jesus taught continuously and assiduously all day long. The second part is practical and part of ourselves, our daily living. To have them tied to our hand means to practice them, to have them as frontlets between our eyes means always to have our eyes upon the word of God, not to take away our gaze from it, to meditate them.
To write them upon the doorposts of our house and upon our gates means to be surrounded by God’s word in our home environment, today all this should be increasingly easier to do as there are many resources and technology that can help us do this. This language used by the LORD in this passage is really symbolism that we find also in other Scripture passages that are important and that show us the importance of always having the word of God before us, meditate upon it and have our eyes always upon it, in other words surround ourselves with it.
Proverbs 6:20-23 My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. 21 Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
Proverbs 7:1-4 My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your nearest kin,
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Once more in some of these passages we see the emphasis on the fact that it is the responsibility of the parents to teach the children the word of God, with the help and support of the church, but not to dump all the responsibility of the training of children upon the church and its “programs”.
If our children will follow the LORD or not it will be determined if the parents will have inculcated the word of God in them and trained the children in the fear and admonition of the Lord or not. We and our children will obtain true spiritual success and prosperity, not always but sometimes even economic prosperity, by the meditation and the practice and obedience of the word of God that is taught.
Joshua 1:8-9 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
This is the primary responsibility of the Christian family, to be fruitful and multiply for how many children God will give as an inheritance and as a reward Himself, without interference on the part of man. Then to make disciples of our children with the prescribed method of God, forming thus a church-family. The Lord this way adds the family to His church while the family itself forms a church the body of Christ.
The family is under the authority of God in the church but also church in itself, The father and husband has to be under the authority of God and His word and the local church, but the family in itself is also under the spiritual authority of the head of the household as he, or she in some extreme cases, is called to be the pastor, teacher, prophet and evangelist in his own family. This is the blueprint of the Christian family.
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Ephesians 5:22-29 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
These passages we will look into greater detail further ahead in our study regarding the various roles in the family, suffice to say I have mentioned them now to establish the proper relation regarding spiritual authority in relation to God and consequently for the family to compare the members of the family and the church. However, the channels of spiritual authority are necessary to establish the roles and responsibilities because without having established the proper channels of spiritual authority the roles and responsibilities given by God cannot be well realized and much confusion and chaos as well as disobedience to God’s word will ensue.
We have seen how important the family is from the sanctity of life’s point of view, created in the image and likeness of God.
We have established the importance of the family as an institution God has designed and created from the beginning of mankind, created also to be part of the body of Christ the church. The family being in itself a type of church in the relationship there is between God and the family. The family is a type of church in every sense but it must not live as church by itself, it needs to be part of the local church as well.
We have established that God wants to bless the family with His grace and His promises through His eternal covenant in Christ. The LORD wants that the family is structured in the order of roles and authority with which the church is structured and the functions of the family should be a reflection of ecclesiastical ones
We established that the primary responsibilities for Biblical teaching and training in the word of God, the behavior, correction and discipline of the children is of the parents, first of all the father, secondarily the mother, third in line the local church, it’s not the other way around as many think it to be.
To establish the importance of the hierarchy of the authority that is present in the church as it must be in the family, brings us to have to learn who are the proper channels of authority, their order and their roles and functions in the family and what is their own responsibility before God.
The head of the Church and the family is the LORD, It is He and His word that are always the first and absolute authority upon which all else is supposed to be based. As in the church there is an order of authority there is one also in the family, it’s designed to be in the same order as it is in the church. We need to clarify immediately something the order of authority in the church and in the family is an order of role assigned by God and not a role of personal superiority.
In other words, a pastor and the elders in a church are not superior as persons to the rest of the community, they are all of equal value before God.
Having said this however, the church has to respect the authority God has given as a role to the pastors and elders who are also under submission to respect the authority of the word of God and consequently also the others are to be under submission to the authority of the church offices and roles, when they are submitted to the authority of the word of God.
This principle is valid in the family as well and it is basic for the teaching regarding the roles and the submission to them. All have to submit to God and His word, this would be the ideal situation or let’s say the ideal of spiritual maturity.
The one who has the role and figure of authority, however, has to be one who does not have a spirit of a dictator but with the counsel of the word of God and together with the other servants of the church and in the love of Christ and as the guidance of the Holy Spirit instructs and when necessary rebukes lovingly and sometimes even severely if the situation demands it.
We will see therefore that what is true in the rules for the order, the government and the edification of the church is the same for the family. The first role of authority figure on the scale of the family is the husband/father. Let’s examine the role and the responsibilities of this figure and what the word of God says they are.