The Family As God Intended
January 07, 2007
Today, in America and the world, families are being fractured, shattered, and broken. God provides the pattern for the stable family, which is the basic building block of a decent and just society. Bernie Parsons
The Family As God Intended
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Load, KY, church of Christ on 01-07-2007
In this study of family, we will consider different relationships and responsibilities among family members. The most basic unit of the family comes from marriage.
Husbands and Wives
Below is a reference to Genesis 2:19-14.
Matthew 19:3: “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4: And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5: And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6: Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7: They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8: He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
9: And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”
It is obvious that the Lord wants people to marry for life. Only in the case of fornication did Jesus say that a follower of God could away a spouse by divorce. The apostle Paul deals with this, and other situations, in 1 Corinthians 7.
1 Corinthians 7:10: “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12: But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13: And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14: For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15: But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”
In marriage, husband and wife are to meet one another’s physical needs.
1 Corinthians 7:2: “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3: Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4: The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5: Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
Hebrews13:4: “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
The husband is to respect his wife, and show her tenderness, giving her the ingredients in her life to allow her to blossom and grow as a woman, and as his wife.
1 Peter 3:7: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
Ephesians 5:28: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29: For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32: This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33: Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Women are to reverence their husbands—which means to hold them in high regard and honor—and to follow their lead.
Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
1 Peter 3:1: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2: While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3: Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4: But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5: For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
Colossians 3:18: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
19: Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
A lot of families today are fractured, broken, or dysfunctional, because the husbands and wives do not follow the roles laid out by God, and in the Holy Scriptures.
Parents and Children
Let us next examine the relationships that God has ordained between parents and children.
Ephesians 6:1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2: Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3: That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 11:18: “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
19: And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
20: And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:”
Colossians 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21: Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
Children are to obey their parents without being argumentative or disrespectful. Parents benefit from education and life’s experience, and can pass this knowledge and experience to their children. Today, the public schools are teaching our young to be dismissive of, and disrespectful to, their parents. They wish to separate the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the elders from the younger, so that they can replace it with philosophy and socialistic political thinking. They teach the children that science is god, and that belief in God Almighty is merely superstition.
Under the Law of Moses, disobedient children were corrected, and if totally out of control, were actually killed by stoning.
Proverbs 19:18: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Proverbs 23:13: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
Proverbs 29:17: “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”
We find the same advice in the New Testament writings.
Hebrews 12:7: “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Leviticus 20:9: “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.”
Correction is not the same as uncontrolled beating. Correction is not abuse. A child cannot raise himself, and we are seeing the result of this experiment in our society today.
Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Hebrews 12:8: “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9: Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10: For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
The obedience and honor that children give their parents goes beyond just doing what they say. It also encompasses taking care of them in old age or sickness.
Mark 7:10: “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12: And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
Let us not forget the ages-old concept of extended family, another structure that the modern socialists are working hard to destroy.
Proverbs 17:6: “Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”
Grandparents have an obligation to teach righteousness to their grandchildren.
Deuteronomy 4:8: “And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9: Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
10: Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”
The older men and women are to teach the younger men and women.
Titus 2:1: “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3: The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4: That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5: To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6: Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
7: In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
Extended family members are to care for their relatives who need their help.
1 Timothy 5:4: “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.”
1 Timothy 5:16: “If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”
We see by this that a person must care for his family, even his extended family that consists of more distant relatives. We have a responsibility to care for those who are of our bloodline, just as we have a duty to care for our spiritual family in the Lord. This is God’s way, and it works.
I say to the young, remember that your parents cared for you when you were unable to care for yourself. They fed you, changed your diapers, sheltered you, protected you, and taught you. For most of us, this was done for eighteen years, and often, more. When our relatives get old and sick, and unable to care for themselves, we owe it to them to repay the debt. Feed them, change their diapers, bathe them, comfort them, and protect them.
Let me say a word about nursing homes. Sometimes we cannot avoid putting a love done into a nursing home because of medical care that we cannot give. Oftentimes, the elderly are dumped there, and left to die in such places. Many rarely see visitors, and some never have any. They are left to be lonely, after working so hard to provide for their families, to rear their children, and to productively and creatively contribute to society. Often, they are not treated with due respect, and their wishes and needs are left unmet. Often, they suffer great neglect, and sometimes even abuse.
You need to be the advocate for your elderly family members, just as they were your advocate when you could not speak for yourself, or were ignored by reason of your age.
To grandparents, uncles and aunts, and other older Christians, I charge you to teach the young members of your family the ways of the Lord.
If we follow the pattern for family that God gave us, our lives will be richer and fuller. We will be happier and more confident in our lives, and we will have an automatic support system to see us through life’s difficulties.