Without a doubt, today perhaps more so than ever, the family unit is under severe attack. The Christian family, in particular, is under attack at times by so-called religious- based groups who ignore God’s plan for the family.
The foundation of the family, as Christians know it to be, was laid in the Garden of Eden. We learn this from 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.”
Dr. Ed Wheat in his book, Love Life: For Every Married Couple, says, “These twenty-two words sum up God’s entire teaching on marriage. All else that is said emphasizes or amplifies these three fundamental principles originated here, but never changes them in the slightest.”
The Life Application Study Bible (KJV) by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., says, “God gave marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve. Marriage was not just for convenience, nor was it brought about by any culture. It was instituted by God and has three basic aspects: The man leaves his parents, and in a public act, promises himself to his wife; (2) the man and woman are joined together by taking responsibility for each other’s welfare and by loving the mate above all others; (3) the two become one flesh in the intimacy and commitment of sexual union, which is reserved for marriage. Strong marriages today include all three of these aspects.”
We cannot know what the family would be like today if Adam and Eve had not, “eaten of the tree of which I (God) commanded thee, saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it…’”
We can, however, see the condition of the family today due to man’s legislation. Society, as a whole, is suffering from the lack of Bible-based leadership today. Leading from behind and destroying the sanctity of life and marriage is taking a severe toll on all families today.
The solution? Get back to the basics.
Bill Gothard, through the teachings of his Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts, lays out a premise and Bible-based plan this ministry has taught for over 30 years: Ephesians 5:22-28, 6:1-4.
(In a previous session on Biblical Submission I expanded the general teaching on this subject to include verse 5:21 which makes this passage compatible with Genesis 2:24.)
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth his own body.”
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
God’s Plan for the Family
To convert this teaching to a visual, picture an open umbrella bearing the inscription:
Obedience to God = Guaranteed Protection
Under the opened umbrella picture the following arrangement:
Eph. 5:21 Husbands and Wives
Eph. 5:25-28 Husbands
Eph. 5:22-24 Wives
Eph. 6:1-4 Children
Any time anyone gets out from under the umbrella they are out from under the line of the line of human authority and from God’s Authority.
If you were not reared in a Christian household, this might be a totally foreign concept to you; but this doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. There are many Bible-based books on the subject in Christian bookstores.
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.