A Theology of the Family
Perhaps one of the most significant issues we can address today is that of the home and the family. I don’t need to shock you with startling statistics about the failure of so many families in our world today. Many of the indicators of family failure are rising; many of the indicators of family health are declining. Many influential voices in our culture are promoting things that endanger the traditional family. Leaders in business, government, athletics, media, entertainment, and education all promote ideas that weaken the family. If we listen to these voices and fall under their influence, our families will be in big trouble.
So what we need to do is review and make sure we are following biblical principles that guide family life. This summer, that’s what we’ll be doing—taking another look at the biblical principles that we must apply to our families. The entire biblical pattern for family life is under attack these days, and we need to reaffirm our commitment to operating our families according to biblical principles.
What I want to do, in part, is to display a biblical picture of the Christian family. Christians need to understand the biblical picture of the family so we can more accurately conform our families to the biblical expectation. We should all aspire to follow the biblical pattern and to reject a worldly pattern of the family. Young people especially need to make a commitment to following the biblical picture before they get married and start a family, even before they start dating or looking for a mate.
Today I want to consider the theology of the Christian family. That is, I want to look at the broad principles from the Bible that should guide our understanding of the home and family. We need to set a good foundation before building on top of it, and the foundation for the family is the biblical teaching—the theology—of the family. If we fail to understand and apply these foundational issues, nothing else we believe about the family will matter.
And the foundation is always the Bible and what it teaches. The Bible is the ultimate authority. God has spoken on this topic, and we are obligated to understand and apply God’s wisdom to our families. The world hates what God has said about the family; the world rejects God’s ways; it hates what God loves. But as Christians, we must seek to guide our families by biblical principles, not by worldly error.