Absent, irresponsible and ungodly fathers/ husbands, worldly, non-submitting wives/mothers and wayward, disobedient children is generally the state of the family today. Many of us men are spoilt, entertainment driven, gadget acquiring over-grown children. Gone are the days when men were the spiritual fortresses of their homes, churches and nations. The women on the other hand are generally known for either their slanderous, malicious speech, their immoral behavior, dressing (or lack of), or simply their career advancement (nothing wrong with it) rather than their godly character and faithfulness to whatever God has called them to. The effect are children who are a product of television and social media and families in disarray. Whenever Christians let the world tell them how they should do what God instituted, the results are disastrous.
The world teaches that parents have succeeded as long as their child has all the right papers and certificates even if that child lives like the devil himself. It further tells us that you are successful if you own the material things of the world; for example, it common for parents to encourage their daughters to accept marriages proposals from a man on the basis of the man’s wealth regardless of how scandalous the guy is. As a result we have a lot of families that are thriving financially and can afford the best money can buy, yet their lives are ungodly and far from God. I am not in any way suggesting that being wealthy and having the best things is sinful, but there is a difference between having things and things having you.
The Lord through Moses instructed the children before entering the Promised Land on how they should live, and in the sixth chapter, he gives them principals for families.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Duet 6:4-9
Remember there is only one true God.
Knowing that they are entering a land where the people had gods for everything, the Lord reminds them that He is God who is everything, he is God all by himself. Therefore, God should be number one and main priority. The worship of other gods is ongoing, and we equally have plenty of gods usurping the almighty God’s place in our lives. You have the entertainment god (movies, sports, music, and games), the education god, the relationship god, the material things god, etc. Hear, O People, the Lord our God, the Lord is one!
Love the Lord like no other.
We are naturally a self-centered people so that life easily becomes about us. This is so evident in our relationships. We have believed the lie that other people exist for us and our happiness. And we have falsely believed that we are the center and focus of the world, taking the place of God. People who get in a relationship convince themselves that life would be better if they just ran away to some far place just the two of them and live happily ever after. Just as husband and wife convince themselves that if their spouse simply loved or cared for them they would be happy. The Lord says we should have one focus and priority in life--to passionately and whole heartedly love the Lord. Any time I am more committed, focused and dedicated to something else other than God, I have an idol.
Teach and obey the word of God.
The third principle of a biblical family is that they will be teaching and obeying the Word of God. Every Christian home should be a “Bible school” in the sense that they study the Bible and live it out. The Christians home should be an embassy of God’s kingdom as it were. Everything done in that home is guided by the principles of the Word of God.
Beware of the dangers of prosperity.
The last thing God warned the children of Israel is to be weary that they do not let God’s blessings lead them away from God. The dangers of loving the gift more than the giver is ever so real as the Lord prospers us. Examples of families who loved the Lord in times of little and forsake him in times of plenty are way too many.
I cannot remember who said it or how exactly they said it, but it was something like, the kingdom of darkness should be terrified of your family when you wake up because you are a family fulfilling God’s purpose for the family.