A family is a group of people who belong together because of marriage or family ties, and in the Bible can be larger than the Western “nuclear family”. It is important for a Christian to take care of his or her family, both parents and children. Parents have a responsibility to love their children, care for them and teach them about God. Children have a responsibility to honor and take good care of their parents. For a Christian leader, taking care of his or her family is a prerequisite for good church leadership. But the family one belongs to must not become more important than God, and if forced to choose, one must obey God more than men and, in the worst case, leave one’s family to belong to God’s family instead. Jesus welcomes children into the kingdom of God, calls all believers “brothers” and “sisters” and teaches us to call God our “Father”.
“12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Ex 20:12)
“3Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Ps 127:3)
“3Honor widows who are truly widows. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” (1 Ti 5:3–4)
“1Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. … 18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” (Ge 7:1, 6:18)
“19For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”” (Ge 18:19)
“6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Dt 6:6–7)
“12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn 1:12–13)
“19Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 20And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”” (Lk 8:19–21)
“4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Ti 3:4–5)
“59To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”” (Lk 9:59–60)
“61Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”” (Lk 9:61–62)
“34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:34–38)
- How does the Bible define a “family”?
- Who do you count as your family?
- How do you raise your children in a Christian way?
- Is it the responsibility of the family or the church to raise children in a Christian manner?
- How do you honor your parents?
- What does it mean that God is more important than family?
- What does it mean that we are children of God?
Additional Bible Verses
Deut 14:1, Gal 4:4-7, Heb 2:11, Matt 12:50, Rom 8:15-17, Eph 1:5