The Importance of Family 

February 24, 2018 | By | Reply More

mother's necklace sterling silver with 5 birthstonesThe concept of family derives from the Bible, in the Book of Genesis, right from the beginning when God created life. When God created Adam, then Eve, and they became as one flesh (Genesis 2:24), God then commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. It was always God’s intention to create life to then allow us to reproduce and form families, generations of people; legacies. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

This topic was brought to my attention most recently, and I wanted to write about it, not only to encourage myself and others about this, but also to provide reassurance and correction in a biblical sense too. Family is important in both a physical sense and a spiritual sense also. In the physical aspect, God created us to have family members so that we can take care of and support one another.

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In the Old Testament, we see that God made decisions that incorporated family members, and generations to come, rather than just the individual. For example, when God created the covenant with Abraham, His intention was to spread the promise of this covenant, not only to Abraham, but to his son, Isaac, and for all future generations to come as well. The covenant between God and Abraham was a promise that God made, to allow Abraham to become the father of many nations. Abraham and his descendants were to receive the land of Canaan also. The sign of the everlasting covenant between God and Abraham was circumcision for himself, and all his male descendants.

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:1-8).

family tree circle pendant sterling silverAnother strong example that illustrates the importance of family is through the Mosaic laws: the ten commandments. The fifth commandment, “honor thy father and thy mother” is for all to respect the natural order in the household, with the parents as the leaders, being authoritative over the children, and for the children to abide by that. The seventh commandment, “thou shalt not commit adultery” is to protect and purify marriages. From this, the foundation of the Mosaic Law is to preserve families and marriages.

Correlating this to the New Testament, we see the importance of family and marriage throughout the teachings of Jesus. In Matthew 15, Jesus reiterates the fifth commandment, of honoring thy father and thy mother. He emphasizes the importance of this commandment, when the Pharisees were trying to nitpick the behaviours of Jesus’ disciples. The Mosaic laws creates a foundation for morality in this world, and for unity within families and marriages.

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“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:1-6).

In Matthew 19, Jesus talks about marriage and divorce, stating that a man and woman shall cleave together as one flesh, and divorce is only permissible if there be fornication. God hates divorce, but we know that there are justifications for such.

“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:3-9).

monogram necklace sterling silverFollowing this along into the letters of Paul, he discusses the importance of the natural order in the household, with wives submitting to their husbands, husbands loving their wives (Ephesians 5:22-33), children obeying their parents, honoring their father and mother (Ephesians 6:1-3), parents not provoking their children to anger, but rather raising them up in the admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), and all working together to love and obey God. Families should grow together and lift each other up. If they have Christ as their leader, and all members are following Him (Ephesians 5:23), then the family will be stronger together and be there for one another.

As I mentioned earlier, family isnt just physical, it is also seen in the spiritual sense, with every believer of God representing the body of Christ. When we are born again, all believers in Jesus are spiritual brothers and sisters and together we are the church; a family unit. Jesus said in Matthew 12 that whoever does the will of God are His brother and sister and mother.

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Our spiritual family is just as, if not, more important than our physical one, for we are born of God, and we are His children. God is our Father, and we have been adopted into His family (Romans 8:15). When we are saved, it is no longer about ourselves, or our will, but rather, following and obeying God and doing His Will. Through the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, and the everlasting covenant set by God, we are all one in Christ Jesus, and have been grafted in as the spiritual Israel; we are Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:26-29).

To me, the spiritual representation of family is the strongest because my faith in God is of paramount importance to me. Overall though, family is important in both the physical and spiritual sense, because God ordained His creation to marry and reproduce, in hope that all would come to know Him, follow Him, believe in Him and be saved.

If your family members are not saved, I encourage you to pray for them and to preach the gospel to them, as you can be the shining example that represents the love and body of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Stay encouraged, stay in The Word.

God Bless

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