Article 103-4 – Family

Biblical Principles for Living

103-4.1 The family was divinely ordained by God at creation and is basic in God’s dealings with man. God’s revealed pattern for the family is the marriage of one man and one woman and includes their children and others who may reside with them. Each marriage establishes a new family.1

103-4.2 The foundation for right relationships in the family is submission one to another out of reverence for Christ.2 The husband is the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church.3 As such, he should fear the Lord; love, nurture, and encourage his family; provide materially for them; take the lead in burden bearing and problem solving; and through godly living and prayer give them wise and effective spiritual leadership.4 He is to love his wife and live with her in a compassionate and understanding way.5 The wife should fear the Lord,6 submit to and respect her husband as the church is to submit to Christ,7 and demonstrate loving and diligent concern for her household.8

103-4.3 The biblical pattern for a married couple is to have children and to manage the home.9 Some may elect not to have children for valid reasons. Other couples may choose to adopt children. Adoption is a God-honoring way to demonstrate unconditional love by building families and bringing up children in a loving and godly home.10 Some couples may be providentially prevented from having children. In each of these cases the church must not be judgmental.11 Where married couples choose to use artificial birth control, great care must be exercised to use only those forms which clearly do not cause an abortion.12

103-4.4 When more than one income seems necessary and added employment is considered, the couple must carefully evaluate the impact on their relationship and children.13 The decision should be made only after prayer, interaction, counsel,14 and mutual consent.15

103-4.5 Within the church there exist family units that require special attention and mercy from the church. With prayer, loving support, wise counsel, and God’s abundant grace these families can be nurtured.16 The church should gladly and unwaveringly supply comfort, encouragement, affirmation, and deep fellowship for all family units.

103-4.6 Children are gifts and blessings from God.17 The family is the primary setting in which to nurture children in the faith. Great care is to be exercised by parents, and by fathers in particular, to build Christian families and lead them in worship.18 The father is not to exasperate his children,19 but to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.20

103-4.7 The instruction and guidance of children is the duty of parents.21 Fathers are primarily responsible for exercising leadership in the maturing of children,22 and preparing them for service in the church and for living all of life for the glory of God.23 Mothers share with husbands the bringing up of children.24 The Scriptures also encourage grandparents to assist in the training and instruction of their grandchildren.25

103-4.8 Children are to obey their parents in respect and love.26 As long as they live, sons and daughters are to honor their parents with loving concern and material care.27

103-4.9 Christian homes are manifestations of the kingdom of God and each believing family member is an ambassador of the King, to call lost men, women, and children to reconciliation.28 We should open our homes in vigorous and sustained hospitality to the unsaved as well as to the saved.29 Genuine compassion and Christian service will involve taking carefully measured risks,30 but such risks are never a legitimate excuse for cold-heartedness.

1 Gen.2:23, 24; Mat. 19:4-6
2 Eph. 5:21
3 1 Cor. 11:2, 3
4 Pro.4:1-4, 10, 20-23; Eph.5:22-33; 1 Tim.5:8
5 1 Pet.3:7; Eph.5:25
6 Pro.31:30
7 Eph.5:22; 1 Pet. 3:1
8 Pro.31:27
9 Gen.1:27, 28; 1 Tim.5:14; Tit.2:3-5
10 Esther 2:7; Psa. 68:4-6; Eph. 1:4, 5
11 Rom.14:1-23; 1 Cor.7:1, 7, 8
12 Exo.20:13
13 1 Tim.5:8
14 Pro.11:14; 15:22
15 1 Pet.3:1-9
16 Psa.10:14; Rom.15:1, 2; Gal.6:10
17 Gen.4:1; 33:5; Psa.113:9; 127:3-5
18 Josh.24:15
19 Eph.6:4; Col.3:21
20 Pro.22:6; 29:15; Eph.6:4; Col.3:21
21 Deu.5:28, 29; 6:1-9
22 Isa.38:19; Eph.6:4; Col.3:21
23 1 Tim.3:4, 5, 12; Col. 3:17,23
24 Pro.1:8; 6:20
25 Deu.4:9; Psa.78:4-7; 2 Tim.1:5
26 Exo.20:12; Eph.6:1-3
27 Mark 7:9-13; 1 Tim.5:4, 8
28 2 Cor.5:18-21
29 Pro.11:30; Gal.6:10; Heb.13:2; 1 Pet.4:7-11
30 Mat.25:14-30

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