Thinking About the Family

By Greg Litmer

What is the foundational unit of society as designed and created by God? The answer to that question is the family. In Genesis 2 we read some of the specifics of the creation account given in chapter 1. Included in Genesis 2 is the beginning of the family with Eve being created as a suitable companion for Adam and the two of them being brought together and joined together by God. They were given the charge to “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen. 1:28). In this we see the formation of the basic unit of society.

It has always been true that the welfare of man on earth has risen and fallen with the recognition of the importance of that basic family unit. I say that because the emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs of every individual begin to be met in that family relationship as God designed it. It is in the home that the most important truths must be instilled. It is in the home that respect and love for God as the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler must be formulated. It is in the home that the principles of right and wrong, respect for authority, ethical standards, and personal responsibility must be taught. This truth is found in both the Old and New Testaments. Deuteronomy 6:6-7, tells us, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Ephesians 6:4 puts it so simply, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Anytime, and to the same degree, that the most important truths of life fail to be taught in the home, society as a happen in society seem to make their way into the church sooner or later. No thinking Christian can deny that the general breakdown of the family unit in our society has begun to manifest itself more frequently within the body of Christ. We are seeing more unhappy families, more unruly children with no interest in spiritual things, more abuse of different kinds, more worldliness, more divorce. We, whose responsibility it is to shine forth as lights in the world (Matt. 5:16), are in many instances allowing the world to exercise the greater influence.

What can be done? There is only one answer to the problems so many of us face in our families today. We must follow the blueprint of the architect of the family, God. He designed it. He created it. If anyone would learn how to be a better husband, provider, father, and companion, let that person turn to God’s word. All of the principles and precepts needed to function in every relationship we sustain within the family are there. Is it the desire of a woman to learn to be a godly wife, a mother, a best friend to her spouse? Then let her study God’s word and find every answer that she needs within its pages. So a son or daughter wants to be the very best son or daughter they can be, the very best person they can be? Such will not happen by following the example of the world. It will hap- pen by learning and clinging to God’s Word. David wrote in Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Too many of us today are looking in the wrong places and to the wrong sources for the answers we need to have happy families.