God”s Word for Families

May always brings thoughts of home to me. Mother’s Day is the centerpiece of the celebration. May is graduation month for many. Students leave home for college or begin a vocation at this point. When I pastored I tried to set aside a six-week span from the beginning of May until Father’s Day to have a family emphasis. We addressed singleness, senior living and everything in between. 

The circumstances surrounding family life have drastically changed but the basic needs have not. There has never been a time in our culture when the nuclear family was under attack like today. Marriage has been redefined by the Supreme Court to include same-sex couples. Cohabitation is acceptable to many. Divorce continues to plague us. Yet the very foundation of our future existence as a society depends on the recovery of a biblical ethic for the family. 

Valentine’s Day 2018 was marred by a mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 people. Finger pointing immediately began. Some blamed law enforcement agencies for their lack of response to warning signs. There were calls for stricter gun laws. Others said mental illness played a part in the tragedy. School officials were under scrutiny for their handling of the student’s disciplinary problems. Finally, someone pointed out that the unfortunate home life of the shooter was the real underlying cause. We may never know all of the factors behind this heartbreaking incident. We can be certain that a strong home life can prevent much deviant behavior and provide a nurturing environment. God’s plan for the home is the hope for a well-adjusted coming generation. 

In Christian circles, marriage and family conferences are abundant. Sometimes neophytes without life experience or a scriptural basis write books on the family. We have one true guide for all things family, the Bible. Scripture gives us the answers to life’s hardest questions. Someone has said the Bible is the mind of God deposited in a book, delivered to the church to be dispensed in the world. When we listen to the Word of God, we hear a clear voice speaking into our current needs.

There is no quick fix. There is no panacea. We are all flawed people. Only a life that is committed to Jesus Christ can begin to experience the blessings God intended for the home. I have long been an advocate of family worship. Just as an individual believer must have a personal devotional time daily, the family needs regular family worship time. This worship time is the foundational element of family discipleship.

Regardless of whether you are single, widowed, an empty-nester or have a house full of kids, home is still where the heart is. Life’s guidebook, the Bible, gives us clear direction in every area of relationships. Only Jesus can produce joy in your life. Our spouse or children are not to be our fulfillment. God’s presence can enable us to have the type of home we all desire. By following the biblical principles in those family relationships you see God move in lives.

Let’s do something about it. The SBTC Family App for your phone that can assist you. There are also many online resources for families at sbtexas.com. The hope of the next generation is today. Join me in redoubling our efforts to strengthen our homes. Pray for a revival of family worship as described in Deuteronomy 6. Let’s let God have his rightful place in our homes.

Executive Director Emeritus
Jim Richards
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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