The Family as the Foundation of God’s People
Read Genesis 2:20-25; 18:16-19
“I have chosen him so that he may command his children”
From the very beginning of creation marriage and the family was designed to be the foundation of society. After God created Adam, he evaluated his creation by stating that it was not good for man to be alone. Adam was incomplete. This went beyond just his inability to care for the garden. Adam needed someone to complete him in order that he might fully fulfill his purpose in reflecting the image of God’s. Adam, by himself, could not fully reflect the image of God for the simple reason that God is a triune God who lives in eternal community and Adam was alone. To fulfill his creative purpose Adam needed a companion, one with whom he also could live in community. So God created Eve. In doing so, God established marriage to be the foundation upon which his image is reflected, and all society was built. The marriage institute was not created by humanity, it was created by God himself to reflect his eternal nature. Therefore, it is not surprising that, in our sin and attempt to throw off the constraints of God, we are now seeking to undermine the sanctity of marriage as a divine institution involving one man and one woman.
As a reflection of his image, marriage is the foundation upon which God builds the community of his people. When God anointed Abraham to be the father of a great nation, he again brought the focus upon the family as the foundation. In Genesis 18:19 we discover that the focus of God’s selection of Abraham was not upon his position as a leader of a nation, but his position as the head of the family. As the head of his family, he was responsible to instruct his family to “keep the way of the Lord.” The idea behind this phrase is that Abraham would lead his “household after him” in a lifestyle and conduct conforming to the law of God and fidelity to him. As Abraham leads in family in obedience, they will enjoy all the blessings which God promised to him. This obedience and blessing is contrasted by the sins of those in Sodom, who not only embraced sexual perversion but even taught it to their children (19:4) and, as a result, faced the severe judgment of God.
In a society that has embraced and promoted sexual perversion, we need to lead our family in the law of God, for this is the heart of worship. This involves the recognition that the redemptive plan of God is centered on the family and our first responsibility is to be spiritual leaders in the home. As Paul points out in 1 Timothy 3:4, if we are not leading our family in obedience and worship then we are not qualified to lead the church. The redemptive work of God, and our participation in it, begins with the family and ends in the world in which we live.
This is why our worship and our service for God begins in the family, for that is our first responsibility. As parents our response and obedience to God is to be lived out first within the family and then within the world. The Covid crisis has given us the unique opportunity to refocus our attention upon our worship together as a family. It provides us the opportunity to reboot our spiritual focus and again prioritize our spiritual growth as a family. Instead of seeing the dispersing of the church as a hinderance to our spirituality, it is opening new avenues for us to discover what it means to worship and serve God as a family and in so doing we rediscover the full intent of God’s redemptive plan.