priorities for the Christian family
It is stating the obvious to say that
family life is under serious threat in our nation. Sadly, it is part of
the constant erosion of biblical standards and values that characterise
our generation. One hindrance after another has been put in the way of
Christians in this area. So what are we to do?
The nub of the answer to that question is twofold. Firstly,
we are to
‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17) for
recovery of all that has been lost regarding robust family life, and to
pray for Christian families themselves that they would be emboldened to
hold fast and hold firm to the principles for family life which God has
set out in Scripture. Then, secondly,
we are to look to our own
responsibilities as Christians, in order to ensure that (the Lord
himself being our helper) we are practising these principles ourselves.
In this latter connection, here are four
areas which we need to take
with special seriousness.
The first is family worship.
Each Christian family is like a little
church in the home, where God is worshipped and adored. Whether husband
and wife are on their own or with children, family worship is an
absolute priority (daily, or both morning and evening). Ideally it will
consist of the singing of God’s praise, the reading of
God’s Word and the seeking of God’s face in prayer.
The second is family government.
This will include the cherishing and
maintaining of biblical roles for husbands (‘love your wives,
even as Christ also loved the church’) and wives
yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord’), as in
Ephesians 5; the spiritual and physical training and disciplining of
our children (as in Ephesians 6); and the making of God’s
the rule for all things in the family.
The third is family enjoyment.
By this is meant choice time together,
time for one another, the sheer pleasure of ‘doing and
being’ together as a family. Central to this will be a
weekly well-kept Lord’s Day. There is absolutely no
The fourth is family consideration.
All are precious and valuable in
the family, from the very youngest to the very oldest. Let love, care
and thoughtfulness abound (including to those in the church family
are on their own), rather than the spirit of each doing their own thing.
Such biblical family distinctives as these are intended by God to be
the most wonderful blessings for which we are to be thankful. The
potential for good from the example and testimony of Christian families
is immense – in the families themselves, in the church as a
whole, and in the nation at large.