What is a Christian Family?
A family is a unit ordained by God with the sole purpose of developing full-court followers of Christ. The goal of a family is oneness. The family was created by God in the beginning, the book of Genesis.
What Does a Christian Family Look Like?
Too often, we step into marriage and we have no idea what we’re doing. We have no training on how to create a Christian family. That’s why we look to the training manual, the Bible.
Founded on love
For example, the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received. Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” And love—that’s the fuel of the family, is it not?
Together in unity
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” In the family, we see in Ephesians 4 and in your life and mine, oneness is the key. God is all about oneness. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. That’s the Trinity. Three in one, one in three, and there’s oneness.
Modeling a healthy marriage
In marriage, the Bible says in Genesis 2:24, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one.” Oneness. I would argue in the family we have to move toward unity that only comes through acknowledging, “Hey, God. You’re God and I’m not.”
As children, hopefully we see our parents modeling unity, modeling oneness. Then we see that model and we go out when it’s time to leave and form our own families. Then you have this beautiful aspect of multiplication going on.
Respecting each other
Then in Ephesians 5:21, the Bible says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The whole gist of Christianity, the whole gist of following the Lord, is the point I made earlier. God is God, and we aren’t. God, you’re the authority in my life and I submit my life to you. That plays out primarily in our relationship with God, but secondarily in our earthly relationships.
Structure of a Christian Family
God is the founder
Genesis 2:24 (NASB/ESV) states: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, the two shall become one flesh.” God founded the family in the beginning.
Father is the CEO
Now before you stop reading, let me emphasize that the husband and wife are equal in form, but different in function.
The Bible says in the book of Ephesians that we’re to submit one to another. Ephesians 5:21 (NIV) says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
In areas where my spouse is strong, I submit. In areas where I’m stronger, she submits. Yet, the final decision rests on my shoulders. I’m not superior, but I’ve been given leadership responsibility.
Too many men have abdicated that role because we don’t want the responsibility or the accountability. You’re the spiritual leader. Lead out in prayer. Lead out in going to church. Lead out in reiterating the supernatural structure of the family.
Don’t play soft! Don’t apologize! Don’t play defense or sit back on your heels. Be the man God created you to be.
Because in marriage when a husband and wife have sexual intercourse, you’ve got the male aspects of God and the female aspects of God joining together. That’s why sex is saved for the marriage bed.
Also, kids see the oneness, they see the male and the female qualities of God, and they see the oneness. And they, in turn, want to replicate that in their own lives and in their own families.
Mother is the president
Ephesians 4:22 says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also should wives submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Those are heavy verses. They say that the man, the husband, is like the CEO. The wife, the woman, is like the president. The man is the leader. Again, let me state—equal in form, but each unique in their own function and abilities.
Kids are shareholders
Ephesians 6:1–3 (NIV) reads, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”
Our children need to know who’s in charge. Kids need boundaries. They need attention, but not so much attention they’re smothered. Children need to learn from their mistakes. The Christian family is their safe place to return to if they’ve fallen.
Here’s my definition of parenting:
Parenting is teaching (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)
and training (Proverbs 22:6)
your children to leave. (Genesis 2:24)
God’s Way or Culture’s Way
This is God’s way for the Christian family. This is not the culture’s way. This is not what popularity says is the way.
If you look at our culture, our culture is telling us, for example, if you’re a guy and you feel like a girl, you can use the women’s restroom. Or, if you’re a woman and you have a desire for other women, you can get married and then you can adopt a child.
Our culture is really clueless when it comes to understanding the structure of the family. We’ve tried to tweak the family, we’ve tried to redefine the family.
Yet God’s way is very clear.
Defining Your Family Mission
Does your family have a mission statement? Each person in your family should know their role. And these can change as your family grows.
Think about creating a mission statement for your family. Make sure everyone knows where they fit in your corporate structure.
Ensure they know who is ultimately in charge: Jesus Christ. Following God’s corporate structure for a Christian family is the only way to succeed in life.
If you’re looking for the way to live life by modeling God’s example for a healthy Christian family dynamic, turn to the Bible. Whether you’re single or part of a larger family unit, look to His Word for instruction. It’s the ultimate authority on living victoriously.
We invite you to visit us at Fellowship Church, in person or online. Let’s grow in the Lord and build strong Christian families together.