What Is The Ideal Christian Family?
What Is The Ideal Christian Family? – what is christian family, christian teachings on family life,
roles of a christian family, characteristics of an ideal christian home, christian family values list, characteristics of an ideal family, ideal family life, the ideal family structure.
In this article are dealt with, The Traditional African Concept Of Marriage And Family. The Concept Of Christian Marriage / Family, Functions Of Marriage, Extended Family, Ingredients In Marital Happiness. Ideal Family Is The Lord’s Heart-Beat For His Children.
These are some of the issues raised and discussed in this subject matter in the just concluded –
CHRIST THE ANSWER MINISTRY ( CAM) INC
2017 NATIONAL CHURCH WORKERS’ CONGRESS
THEME- PERFECTING THE SAINTS
TOPIC: THE IDEAL FAMILY
TEXT: (Gen. 2:22 – 25; Ps. 12:3, 4; 1 Pt. 3:6 – 8)
READ ALSO: CAM 2017 Prophetic Declaration
At the core of ideal family or home relationships, is the union between a man and his wife. The foundational text for the entire Christian concept of marriage and family is Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh”
Doing this, requires autonomy, working at a relationship that is based on love, full of responsibilities and maturity (Eph. 5:21-28). The children of the new union, belong as much to the woman as to the man. Both parents share the equal responsibility for training them (Pr. 6:20). Given that God is at the core of their union, the couples must train their children how to live in the earth, lead them to Christ early enough and show them the way to heaven (Deut. 6:6, 7; Jn. 14:1-6).
Traditional African ideas do not always agree with this biblical concept of the relationship between a man, his wife and their children. At times, in fact, they make an ideal marriage and family impossible. For example, in many African cultures, the man does not leave his father and mother. He does not leave them spiritually and, sometimes not even physically. The husband and his wife are perceived as members of two distinct families, with each family retaining all its rights on their own child.
The parents of the woman can claim her at any time if they think that their son-in-law has behaved badly. In such a cultural background, if the woman was not well taught the word of God like Rachel and Leah (Gen. 31:14-16), she feels obliged to listen to her parents rather than to obey and stay with her husband. On the side of the man/husband’s family to which the woman is now married to the wife:
i. Is seen as, and is called a foreigner or stranger by her husband’s parents.
ii. Any visiting relative of the husband’s is more at home than the wife in her husband’s family. Worse for her, if she has not yet children or a male child.
iii. The husband’s brothers and sisters will not hesitate to remind the wife of their brother her foreign or family of origin if her behavior does not please them.
iv. The mother of the man at her visit will believe herself to have full control of her son’s home, and may attempt to run it.
v. Some traditions regard the children as the offspring of the father and not the mother. She is simple the woman who has come to give birth to children for the family. In matriarchal tradition, the children are recognized as belonging solely to the mother.
vi. The final consequences of these traditions follow from the fact that a man’s inheritance belongs solely to the members of the husband’s family and not to the wife if her husband dies; she may be left destitute. There is no concept of joint property owned by both the husband and his wife and their children would have a share based on the traditions in place. If the wife dies, her remains will be transported back to the village of her origin, to her own people for burial.
Something is ideal when it is most suitable, perfect or sound and peppery functions. Any Christian marriage/family that is most suitable or joined together by God Himself and biblically run by the two parents (husband and wife) with their children under their guide, is ideal (Gen. 2:22-25; Ps.128:3,4).
Adam had all he needed in terms of food and work to do. Yet, one thing was still lacking – “companionship” which forms the basic structure of the Christian marriage and family (Gen. 2:18; Matt. 19:6; Eph.5:24, 28, 31).
Interestingly, God Himself was there over Adam, all the beast of the field and all the birds of the air were also there under Adam, but none of them was most suitable for him (Gen. 2:18 – 20).
God demonstrated what the apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit termed, “a great ministry (Eph. 5:31, 32). When He formed the woman (wife) from the man (husband’s) rib, which is close to his heart in their creation and brought her to the man (Gen. 2:22 – 23).
The Christian marriage, therefore, involved more than just the recognition that other one’s partner is a wife or husband. It deeply involves a return to the couples original unity captured in the statement, “they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24 – 25; Eph. 5:24-33; Matt. 19:6).
3.2 FUNCTIONS OF MARRIAGE
i. Marriage satisfies personal needs for affection, status and companionship (Gen. 2:23, 24; Pro.5:18, 19).
ii. Marriage accords status to couples and their children (Heb.13:4; Ps.128:3-5).
iii. Marriage legalizes or gives acceptance of the child in the society, regulates line of decent and clarifies division of labour among sexes (Phil.3:4,5; rom. 9:7 – 9; Matt. 1:1 – 16; 1 Pt. 3:7).
iv. Marriage regulates sexuality among close family members and extra marital affairs (Lev. 18:5- 20; Pro.6:29; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10).
v. Marriage lays the foundation of the family (Gen. 2:24; 1:28; 24:67).
The stress on the marriage and family of two people and on leaving one’s parents does not mean that God does not have a place and plan for the care of extended family. This is clear from His condemnation of rejection or neglect of parents (Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:3; Deut. 27:16; 1 tim.5:4). Respect your in-laws and help them in agreement with your spouse (Eph. 5:21).
For marriage and family to be ideal, the following factors are paramount:
i. Positive communication skill: Is paramount (Pr. 15:1, 2; 1 Pt.3:9)
ii. Submission/Love: Submission of the wife to the husband as the head of the family and the love of the husband to his wife as his own body (Eph. 5:22 – 28).
iii. Companionship: There is a part of one’s marriage that is not sex. It is understanding, patience, tolerance, appreciation, tenderness, generosity. Add them up and you will have a good companion. (1 Pt 3:7-9). Go out together, pray together, plan together, play together, and chat on phone even when you are in the house. In the bible, women at the time do what men do. They rear flocks, feed animals. Men cook. Jacob and Abraham cooked and served it to others (Gen. 25:29; 18:7, 8). We did not marry for what we want to achieve but what we want to be for each other – Companion. Fulfill that, love each other and you will have ideal family (Gen. 2:18).
iv. Competence in Role Performance: Individuals who perform their marital roles competently will make their partners happy. What are the traditional roles of couples to each other and to the family? Discuss. The world is fast deviating from the traditional motherhood and fatherhood roles where the woman stays at home to nurture the child and do the household chores, and the man goes out to work and bring in the needful. What we have today is shared earning and shared parenting. Mutual love, respect, understanding and support are the secrets of a successful marriage/ideal family (Eph. 5:28. 29, 33; 1 Pt. 3:8).
v. A Giving and Caring heart: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Giving and caring are two sides of the coin in marriage and family. To enhance joy in a family, couples should be determined to give to each other without expecting anything in return, while the other couple reciprocates the partner’s gesture no matter how little, would make love thrive in the family (Gen. 30:16, 17).
vi. Leaving and Cleaving (Gen. 2:24): God expects the couples to leave their intimate friends, concerned people, caring parents even your caring pastor, unless in a complex situation would you go to the pastor for guidance, why? It is because your husband is the head of the union (Eph 5:23, 24). There would be no genuine cleaving without genuine leaving (Gen. 2:24).
vii. Openness: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). Secrecy, hypocrisy, insincerity and fear must be avoided in a Christian marriage: There must be openness in finances, the care for your people and personal issues etc (Eph.4:25).
viii. Sex: “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife” (1 Cor. 7:4). Sex in marriage is ideal. Satisfy each other sexually and agree when not to, is the NT standard (1 Cor. 7:5). Satisfy, enjoy and protect your partner sexually. (Pro.5:15-20). It would settle issues and always renew relationships among couples.
ix. Offspring: When a child is not forth coming in marriage, the Christian couples should seek counsel for adoption of a child/children rather than keeping malice against each other and nursing divorce (Matt. 19:6; Ex.2:6-10). However, raising children can cause problem as the case of Isaac and Rebecca (Gen. 27:6-17, 41), Jacob, Joseph and his other children (Gen. 37:3, 4). Couples should learn to jointly take decisions that affect their children. It is wickedness for the wife or the husband to divide and divert the hearts of the children to himself and to herself against the other partner for whatsoever reason. Jointly raise the children in the fear of the Lord (Pro. 6:20).
READ ALSO: By This Time Tomorrow
Ideal family is the Lord’s heart-beat for His children. Keeping to it requires autonomy, working at relationship that is based on love with full responsibility and maturity. THANK YOU.
The Head Quarter church of Christ The Answer Ministry is located at Nyanya, Abuja, FCT, by MOPOL Checkpoint, opposite POWA Plaza, Nyanya. For further information call, + 234 8036485202, +234 8062988094.