God’s design for the family reaches back into the creation found in Genesis 1-2. A man was to be the husband of one wife and was to leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two were to become one flesh. God wanted the family to be a harmonious unit where love for God and neighbors are instilled into each family member (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
In the Old Testament, the father had a high position in the family. His word was law. Along with the honor of the position as head of the family, the father was expected to assume certain responsibilities. 1) The father was responsible for the spiritual well-being of the individual members of the family. 2) Socially, the father’s responsibility was to see that no one took advantage of any member of his family. 3) Economically, the father was to provide for the needs of the various members of his family. The Apostle Paul rebuked those who considered themselves Christians, but did not look after the needs of their families (I Timothy 5:8).
Being a part of the family of God, Christians should appreciate God as their Father. He knows all about His children, even numbering the hairs on their heads (Matthew 10:30). He protects His children and rescues them when they get into trouble (Isaiah 63:15-16). He teaches them the way they should go (Hosea 11:1-3) and supplies all of our needs (Matthew 6:33). In turn, the Father expects honor from His children. Jesus sought to instill reverence and honor in the disciples when He taught them to pray (Matthew 6:9-10).
For one to be brought into the family of God, one most be “born again” (John 3:3-5). This body of believers is known as the ‘church,’ or referred to as the “household of God” (Ephesians 2:19) and the “household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Believers should constantly encourage one another, because from encouragement comes joy and hope in times of trouble.
We are called to live in the hope of eternal life. Eternal life begins when we believe what God has done through Jesus Christ and we join His family.
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God. Become a Prayer Partner with Expressions of Faith by contacting us at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. God bless!