When it comes to family, a decision must be made to love and honor others above ourselves. It is the high road.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
Our last installment in the Baptist Faith & Message is about:
XVIII. The Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
In any society, the individual must give up certain individual rights in order to be compatible with the collective. The family is a mini-society, a picture and example of how a society should work. Being God-designed, families work when each member submits to the whole, but excels in his own forte or strength. The real trial comes in reminding each other of our responsibilities without using force, harsh words, or manipulation. We are to encourage and exhort each other in the love of Christ.
Allowing God to establish the rules for relationships (boundaries) is where most people get hung up. They just can’t see the whole picture and they don’t trust God to tell them the truth. Eve bought the lie of the Enemy to doubt God, Adam followed suit, and we have, too, in every subsequent generation. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ (God in the flesh and His Spirit in us) can help us to see that not only does God know what He is talking about, but He is trustworthy to tell us the truth.
When it comes to other people, we are not their Holy Spirit, so we set an example by the way we live and only answer their questions when we sense (via the Spirit) that they are ready to listen.
Abba, there’s a lot packed into today’s article that goes against the tide of popular opinion. May we stick to the truth of Your Word in these matters. We don’t have to accuse anyone of wrong thinking or wrong doing, but we know that we will be accused of being accusatory–just by the way we live. May our acts of faith honor You, O Lord. We trust You. We know that we will eventually wind up on Your side of life, and we know that you are walking with us all the way, so we will not fear. Your rod and Your staff comfort us. Amen.