Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

The Importance of Family

In the beginning, God created man. As recorded in the Genesis account, there was not a single animal in creation that would serve as an acceptable companion for man. So, God created woman. The text reads, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:21-24).

There is a great significance to the phrase, “they shall become one flesh.” When a man and woman wed, they establish a lasting and intimate relationship. It is this relationship alone that God intends the sexual appetite to be satiated, and it serves the purpose of birthing and raising children. “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:28). “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

Thus we have the fundamental unit of any society. The family is ordained by God, and the welfare of any nation is dependent upon that institution functioning as God designed it to function. For example, it is God’s intent that children receive their spiritual instruction primarily from their parents. Moses, in his farewell address to Israel before they entered the promised land, instructed parents to teach their children the commandments of God. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). The reason for this admonition? “Lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage” (vs. 12).

God continues to require parents to raise their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (cf. Ephesians 6:4), with a special emphasis in that passage to the responsibility of fathers. To be derelict in that duty has eternal ramifications.

Our society still understands the importance of the family. Those who are discerning still understand how destructive divorce is to young hearts and minds, and how children are best served by both a mother and a father. Further, loving parents (both to one another and to the child) help the child’s development into a productive and happy adult.

What is too often forgotten, (even among Christians), is that the primary work of raising children centers in the realm of faith. We expend endless effort in assuring our children are physically healthy, protected, and educated. We teach them the social graces to make them popular and try to give them the extra niceties that we ourselves may have missed out on when we were young. But do we put the same emphasis upon teaching our children the word of God? If not, if their spiritual standing is not of first importance, then parents fail miserably in their God given duties. Families are important for so many things, but all else pales when compared to the position the family holds in God’s plan to save men.