The Sanctity of the Family
Genesis 1:27; 2:7, 2:21-22
Contemporary social planners influenced by humanistic philosophy define the family as “a group of persons living together, who care about each other.” However, Scripture confirms that the traditional definition that defines the family “as a group of persons made up of parents and their children” to be the better definition. The traditional definition may include parents, children, kindred who are connected by blood or legal adoption.
The contemporary definition of family has led to relationships that are contrary to God’s Word and to nature. To add fuel to the debate the president of the United States recently stated that marriage between same sex partners should the legalized citing the Bible and the example of Jesus for the bases for his opinion. Jesus did say to the accusers of the woman caught in the act of adultery, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” But he also told the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” In other words Jesus did not support her lifestyle. The truth taught in John 8:1-11 is that Jesus loves the sinner and is willing to forgive sin but He does not love the sin of the sinner. It is the responsibility of the Lord’s church and His people to minister to all people regardless of their lifestyle but God’s people are to share the Gospel that brings about change through faith in Jesus Christ. A serious student of the Bible, with the help of God, will have a desire to live according to God’s Word.
Let me be clear, I respect the office of the president of the United States, but I do not respect the president’s decision to support marriage between same sex partners. The Bible confirms that the traditional definition of the family provides for a healthier lifestyle and a stronger nation when God’s values are followed. I realize that there are many broken homes today. Children are suffering because of divorce and abuse. The broken home is one of life’s greatest tragedies. The victims may feel hopeless but there is hope for those who follow the counsel of God’s Word. Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. With the Lord’s help beauty can come from ashes.
Our purpose is to discuss some biblical and historical reasons for supporting the traditional definition of the family, “a group of persons made up of parents and their children” which includes parents, children, kindred who are connected by blood or legal adoption.”
I. The Biblical Origin of the Family
- The family had it origin in the very beginning of human history. It is the oldest of all institutions God placed upon the earth for the human race. Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
- At first there was only the man but then God created “an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:21-24 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Notice that woman was not made from Adam’s foot to be his slave; or from his head, to be his Lord. She was taken from his side, near his heart, which sustains an intimate relationship of loving and caring and helping.
- God is the author of the family. He is the One who brought the first man and woman together and He was the one who performed the first marriage.
- The family is the most important of all the institutions God established.
- The basic structure of the family consists of a man and a woman, united by God’s covenant and direction. This forms the unit, which God designed as the best environment into which children can be raised.
II. The Biblical Purpose of the Home
- The home provides a safe environment in which to bring up children. In the home, the spiritual values of the parents are transferred to their children.
- A Biblical definition of marriage is needed to understand what makes a home. Marriage is more than the act of legally uniting a man and woman in wedlock. A better definition, in keeping with Scripture, would be that marriage is a covenant of companionship. Eve was not only Adam’s helper she was also his companion. A companion is one who is in a close, intimate relationship with another.
- Marriage is a covenant in which vows of commitment are exchanged between the man and women and each party is responsible to God for their fulfillment. The marriage license is a legal document confirming that two people (Man and Woman) who have entered in to a “covenant of companionship” which God recognizes as marriage.
III. The Biblical Sanctity of Marriage
- Jesus approval of marriage is evident in His presence at the marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2), and in His choice to enter into the world in a home sanctified by a marriage relationship.
- God’s approval of marriage is evident by the many sanctions He designed to safeguard the home and the sanctity of the marriage relationship.
- Sexual sin constitutes the greatest threat to the marriage relationship. In the Old Testament law, sexual sins such as incest, homosexuality, adultery, and prostitution were punishable by death. Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
- Unfaithfulness to one’s marriage partner destroys the very fabric of the home. Sexual perversion (homosexuality) incest and prostitution are sins, which attack the marriage relationship. This is the reason for God’s severe judgment upon these sins.
IV. The Historical Message
- The home is the foundation of civilization and Satan’s primary target for destruction in today’s society is the home, and his most effective weapons are sexual impurity. History reveals that the Roman Empire fell not because of the attacks from her enemies but from the moral decay of its citizens and the destruction of the home.
- History reveals that no nation has ever survived obsessed with sexual immorality. If our nation is to survive, the people must return to the basic scriptural value regarding marriage and the home. If our churches are to survive, we must concentrate our efforts toward turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children toward the fathers. Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
- Church history records that our Baptist forefathers recognized the necessity of instructing children in the Bible. It was said of the Waldenses: “One thing is very remarkable, that persons so savage and rude should have so much moral cultivation. They can all read and write. They know French sufficiently for the understanding of the Bible, and singing of psalms. You can scarcely find a boy among them who cannot give an intelligent account of the faith, which they possess.” (A Concise History of Baptist, G.H. Orchard, pp. 283-284.)
Husbands must make a fresh commitment to wives, and wives to husbands. Fathers must assume their God-appointed roles as head of the home and lead their families into spiritual growth.
Churches must reinforce godly home life, and build spiritually strong families through the ministry of God Word. Churches must reassess their priorities and ask if their primary goal to use families to build a strong church? Or is their primary goal that the church needs to build strong families?
We hold the future in our hands. Success or failure depends on what we do in the family.
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867