Author: Pastor Steven T. Cook
As God created all things, He also instituted the family. We will consider in this study what His plans are for the family. After all, if He established it, He would be the best source of information on how the family should function.
1.Read Genesis 1:27-28 and 2:21-24. Describe the family God began here. What members of the family are listed?
One wit pointed out that we find, at creation, God created one man and one woman: He didn’t make Adam, Eve and Sue just in case. Nor was it Adam, Eve and Sam just in case.
How does this picture of family compare with the world’s understanding of family? Compare this with the definitions allowed by the “White House Conference on Families” mentioned in this month’s World View. What did God say about the first family in Gen. 1:31?
2.The first member of a family we meet is the husband/father. He has many responsibilities or duties in his position. What is he to do according to Deut. 6:4-7?
How much of this is commonly done in today’s family? Consider why this is as it is. What does the preceding presuppose about the family’s head?
Read Psalm 128 for insights into what he is to be like. In Job 1:5 we find another aspect of the responsibilities of the family head. Read I Tim. 2:8 to see another duty he has. How can these be brought back into our family lives today?
3.Within the family, the husband/father is to be a teacher and example. He is also to be a provider. Read Gen. 3:19 and I Thess. 4:11-12. What do these say about supporting the family?
How do they address the multitude of “easy money” programs and contests that are becoming ever more a part of our culture?
The easy money doesn’t solve any problems. Underlying views remain as they were, and the problems just have more areas in which to show themselves. (In Washington state, a million dollar lottery winner -collecting $40,000 per year was recently captured while robbing a grocery store.)
God also has directions for the head of the house in his relationships with other members of the household. Read Eph. 5:23, 25 and discuss what his relationship to his wife is to be like. How is this different from what we see around us in the world? Which attitude, God’s or the world’s, provides better relationship possibilities? Explain your answer.
4.Turning to the father’s relationship with his children, we find a two-fold aspect. The first is found in Prov. 22:6. This ties in with what we saw earlier in Deut. 6. At the same time, Eph. 6:4 (which read), is to be followed. What is the problem so many people find in this area?
Why is it so difficult to balance these two points? There has to be balance between instruction and discipline. For discipline to work there must be some form of chastisement. The Word of God does not support abuse, nor does it agree with those who say any corporal punishment is abuse. In fact, God would call us abusers if we fail to properly instruct and discipline our children.
5.As these men become the elders of their communities. God has another word of advice for them. See Titus 2:2. What kind of life-style does this picture?
What implications does this have for our lives before old age?
6.We now come to the second person in the family – the wife/mother. To know why she is needed in the family, reread Gen. 2:20-22. Her place in the family is further described by God in Gen. 3:16.
To better understand the idea of “rule” as used here, please read Gen. 4:7 where the same root is used. (The root word in Hebrew is “mashal” in both these verses.) Their interrelationship is again set forth in Eph. 5:33. In what ways does this conflict with the world’s view of such relationships?
(Should you want to do further study later, read the book of Ruth -4 chapters – and discuss the relationship between Boaz and Ruth, as they meet and learn about each other).
7.Other characteristics of the wife/mother are given in Titus 2:3-5. What responsibilities are listed here? How are these to be fulfilled?
Describe the kind of woman set forth here and how she fits into today’s world. A further development on this theme is found in Prov. 31:10-31. List the personal traits of this ideal woman.
Why are we given such a description? Although it is unlikely anyone could do all this, it surely gives us a goal toward which we might grow with the Lord’s help.