This was a good discussion that Russell started over on another BLOG and I think it would be a good topic here. My goal for this blog is to begin "a dialog on reforming children's ministry and equipping parents - for the glory of Christ and the joy of our children"
I think the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 offers a helpful article on the Family. See also a brief explanation by Southern Seminary faculty member William Cutrer.
XVIII. The Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
What Are the Essential Marks of a Healthy Family?
- Family Devotions-regular times where the family joins together in the worship and enjoyment of God
- Biblical understanding of manhood and womanhood.
- Consistent preaching of the Gospel (parents presenting and explaining the gospel to their children as well as themselves)
- Diligent training in the Word of God (IAW Deuteronomy 6, 2Ti 3:15)
- Involvement (meaningful membership) in the local church
- Biblical parenting: modeling Christ, instruction and correction
- Correction aimed to shepherd the heart. (Ted Tripp's book is helpful here for us.) Not merely external obedience but a heart that submits to authority as an act of worship to God.
- Love - The healthy family will be marked by love for one another. Christian love is essential for parenting and family life. Some passages in comment section.
Will The Next Generation Treasure Christ?