In the world that focuses on individuals and personal development primarily, the word ‘family’ has several clinical meanings and perceptions. These days we talk of family bonds and relations but hardly ever about family values and familial life. A modern man’s outlook towards his family is different to that of the country man’s. In fact, the familial values and life of Christians have also changed in the last couple of decades. With so many broken up families, it is not surprising that the younger generation has become agnostic and skeptic about everything from faith and love to family and marriage.
What does the Bible teach us about family? It is high time for the Church to focus more on the teachings of the importance of leading a loving family life than on the teachings of Grace and love amongst the individuals. It is the families that develop a better society while individuals build a nation. If the family members turn out as individuals spewing out poison, and the family bonds develop a hatred for one another, then such families are hazardous for their children’s personal development.
The Word of God speaks openly of how to lead a good family life and the role of the parents and the children towards one another. Let us look at the following verses to find out their significant message:
Genesis 2: 24 “… shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife.”
For every Christian marriage, this verse becomes the central focus and basis. The covenant of marriage makes the husband and wife become ‘one flesh.’ It is at the altar where they become a new family. So, a healthy marriage is significantly necessary for a happy family and blessed children. Today, broken up marriages are not taken into factor for the bringing up of their children. Children are keen observers from their early age. They can sense tension among the parents, and it affects their perception of family life. In fact, it is the parents who can either destroy or build up exemplary family life.
Genesis 18: 19 “… for he will direct his children to keep the way of the Lord.”
A look at this complete verse will make one understand as to how a family is to led and brought up. It is the Almighty God himself who testifies about Abraham in this verse. Abraham, who is the ‘Father of the believers’, lived a life following God’s voice. His faith in God was unshakable as he gave his family into God’s hands to be blessed by Him. While God had decided to destroy the city of Sodom, we see a pleading Abraham whose intercession is on behalf of the strangers. God reveals his plans to his saints and blesses their family.
But, you have to decide to lead your children and your household to the ways of God. That is the way for Christian family life in this modern world.
Joshua 24: 15 “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Make this verse as the decision-making prayer for your family. Stick this verse in your living room for everyone to see it as your family motto. Teach your children of the verse significance. Let this verse become the foundation for your family!
It was Joshua, the young warrior who became Israel’s leader to guide them to the Promised Land Canaan. He believed in the might of God than in his men or his army. When the covenant of God was being renewed and read out loud reminding the Israelites of their salvation from bondage and slavery, Joshua puts an ultimatum in front of his people. Joshua asks of the Israel to make a decision on that day itself and not delay. They cannot have two masters. They can either follow the idols or follow the living God.
You need to throw away your materialistic idols of this world and follow in the path of God.
Genesis 1: 28 “Be Fruitful and Multiply.”
To the created world and the first parents, the Sovereign God commands them to be fruitful and blesses them abundantly. When your marriage is strong and Godly, your children will be blessed as well. God shall bless you with children and their children. Become a testimony to your family and neighborhood as well.
Psalms 127: 3 “…The Fruit of the Womb a Reward.”
It is regrettable that in this world many have failed to acknowledge this verse and understand the worth of life in simple terms. Today, cursing one’s child has become common in families. The governments aid the act of killing the unborn and encouraged by the liberals in America and Europe. It is labeled as ‘Abortion’ in clinical terms without any human sentiments and conscience.
For a developed society, the better upbringing of family is taken into account by aborting the unwanted and unborn child. But, the Bible says that it is a reward to be blessed with child. The God who provides for the wild flowers and the birds in the air surely can provide for you and your children. He will bless your children with the best of the things. Bless your children and pray for them always. Do not look down upon them as unwanted burdens.
Psalms 128: 3 “Your Wife will be Like a Fruitful Vine.”
When you decide to serve the Lord, your God, there is no lack of things in your life. In your difficult days, God provides for your household. In times of well-being, your family is there for you to share with you your joy and sorrows equally. Psalm 128 is the song of the blessed man. He is a man who has the Grace of God upon his life. And his wife is likened to that of the vine which shows blessing and anointing. The prayer of the mother for her children never goes unanswered by God. Lead your family as one unit by sharing and caring for each other.
Psalms 128: 3 “Your Children Like Olive Shoots.”
The life of a righteous is not an easy one on this earth, but it is the most exciting one because God teaches such people of things that many are unaware of. Who else but only a Christian can proudly say that in our sorrows we have joy; in our shortcomings, we have redemption; in our troubles, we have God as our anchor; and even in death, we have Christ, Our Hope.
The Psalmist knew this secret reveals the truth that the heritage of the righteous is his children. They are likened to olive shoots which shows excellence and fruitfulness. Such a man is a proud father who will be respected even when he grows old.
Proverbs 22: 6 “Train up a Child in the Way He should be.”
This next verse is a valuable lesson to the parents on how to bring up their children as disciplined and independent individuals. These days modern researchers abhor strictness in children’s lives and advise against disciplining them in their adolescence. But, the Bible says that a disciplined young man becomes an exemplary family man.
What you learn from your parents will remain throughout in your life. If your family environment is virus infected of vices, it is time to refresh it and nurture your children in Christian love, kindness, and spirit. You cannot take your wealth and fame to heaven, but you can make sure that your children reach the right place.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor Your Father and Mother.”
It is one of the 10 Commandments of God which is barely practiced in the modern era. We have a generation who turn their backs on their parents as soon as they become the legal age of 18. The Word of God commands not just respect and love for one’s parents but honor!
In another verse, Paul commands children to be obedient to their parents. Despite their shortcomings and faults, one should not forget that they are after all your parents. He who loves and honors his parents is blessed and to him is the gift of life. Remember that your parents loved you and that’s why you even exist today. Do not rebuke them, dishonor them, or disobey them.
Jesus Christ gave His life for our redemption from sins following His Father’s command. Follow the path laid out by Jesus.
Job 1: 1 “This Man was Blameless and Upright.”
Finally, a look upon the life of Job about whom God certified as a ‘blameless’ man. He had wealth, fame, family, respect, honor, and love. He would pray for his children and offer sacrifices for them. His children were not as dedicated to God as him, but God protected them for their father’s sake. In his afflictions and loss, he blamed everything but God. When God blessed him, Job got the double of everything.
Like Job, pray for your children no matter how successful they become. Unlike Job, make sure your children love and follow God as you do.
With these verses, may your family life turn out to be a blessing from today!