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The home or family is the basic unit of all society. Strong families are important for the success of society and the success of the Church. When you have a society as we have now, that doesn't recognize the family, that society will eventually fall apart.

And when you have a particular church that doesn't recognize the family or the importance of the home life, you will have an unsuccessful church.

Now the definition of family is "a group of persons of common ancestry, a group of persons living under one roof and usually under one head; a group of things related by common characteristics and properties; and the basic unit of society, having as its nucleus two adults cooperating in the care and rearing of their own or adopted children."

But I would like to look at the biblical concept of the family. "But I will establish My covenant (promise, pledge) with you, and you shall come into the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you" (Gen. 6:18).

The Family is the Vehicle
Notice that the family is the vehicle through which God communicates to man. Also, in Old Testament times, before the patriots died, they would bless their children (especially the eldest son) as we saw in Genesis 49. So it was through the family that righteousness and godly principles were taught and spiritual inheritances were passed on to future generations.

As you read through the Bible concerning the family, you'll find that the family is God-ordained. It is a unit of society that has parental headship and parental discipline.

Scripture further supports that the purpose of the family is for the establishment and development of God-centered relationships and fellowship, godly character, natural and spiritual reproduction, natural and spiritual dominion, and God-appointed ministry and functions.

So if you want a contemporary working definition of the family, you could say that it is the God-ordained basic unit of society that has parental headship and discipline and is established for the purpose of enjoying a common life through working, caring, sharing, serving, and ministering to God, others, and itself.

What Do You Have Time For?
When you look at the working relationship of the family, you can begin to understand now why you don't have time for all those "friends." What time you do have, you have to put into strengthening the family relationship. Even if it's just you, your spouse, and one child, it still takes time, because the people in your family are changing all the time, and you have to be willing to change with them.

The main thing you need to realize is that you can't change your mate or your children. You have to accept them the way they are and pray for them. Most Christians pray for their families, but then they don't accept their family members the way they are. So their prayers don't work.

For example, a mother can be constantly asking God to work with her child, to point things out to him and deal with him - and then keep voiding her prayers by refusing to accept that child where he is and allow him to grow from there.

You see, you have to let God do the changing. You can't do it yourself. Commit it to God through prayer and then leave it to Him to work out.

Source: Establishing Godly Relationships Through Marriage & Family
by Deborah L. Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Word of Faith Publications

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