What is a Biblical Family Structure?
The weather was right. The food was delicious. The company was delightful. These and much more provided for my family and me a wonderful Christmas vacation. I had a blast spending time with Amy’s family and it’s amazing that even in rest and relaxation times, God is not too busy to impress upon us biblical lessons.
Two of my nephews, Isaac and Brayden, are about the same age. Since they were young, I have always been mindful not to make one think I favor one more than the other. This philosophy carried into my gift-giving habits. I can’t remember the last time I gave them different gifts! And this Christmas was no different when I gave both of them a Nerf gun (it would be boring and downright torturous to have just one gun). In just a few moments, Nerf darts were flying everywhere!
While we were lovingly shooting darts at each other, I simply mentioned that it would be great to have a bigger Nerf gun to shoot others with. At that word, Isaac yelled, “I have one!”
He ran to the back room and from underneath the bed came this monster of a gun. Then as if someone took the wind out of his sails, Isaac sadly said, “But it doesn’t work.”
This was Isaac’s Christmas gift from last year. It has stayed under a bed at his grandparents’ house, unused. No one was there to help him put it together.
You see, my sister-in-law, Jeni, is a single mom striving to rear three children for the Lord. Though her past is marred with sin, her present is lived for Christ, and her future is as bright as the promises of God! There’s no father in the home to do the simplest of things, such as putting together a cool Nerf gun.
A few times while we were home, I tried my best to provide my nephew with some instruction and since Isaac received the Lord a few weeks ago, there’s no doubt he can navigate life with the help of the Holy Spirit. And yet, no matter what I do, there is a void in this family’s life.
God’s design and purpose for the home is found in Genesis 2. The Bible clearly declares that “a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” The human foundation of the home is the husband and wife, not a husband “or” wife. Allow me to further say that it is not just the man and a woman. Marriage is a commitment that has far-reaching effects, among which are the lives of our children.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I have a heart for single parents. I want to see them spiritually succeed as individuals and as they develop in their children the mind of Christ. But it’s an uphill battle. It’s a battle that can only be won by the grace and power of our Almighty God!
At the same time, having a mom and a dad doesn’t necessarily guarantee a child’s spiritual, social, emotional, and mental well-being. There have been many backslidden, and in some cases unsaved, children that have come out of two-parent, church going homes. So let me offer some suggestions to parents today.
Daily Seek the Lord
The Bible admonishes us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God wants us to come to Him everyday to replenish our needs, restore our spirits, and reenergize us for the battle. Don’t expect your children to seek the Lord if you’re not doing it yourself.
Nurture and Admonish Your Children
Ephesians 6:4 can’t be any clearer but may I encourage you about this fact? In the process of nurturing and especially admonishing your children, don’t provoke them to wrath! We provoke them through unkept promises, inconsistency, hypocrisy, and a lack of love and compassion.
Praise and Thank God Publicly
This does two things: it shows them that God is a real, working Person in our everyday lives and it teaches them to acknowledge and thank God for His work in their lives. If you secretly worship God in the confines of your home, you will produce a Christian that will simply follow your example. We don’t need any more “secret service” Christians!
Discipline To Obey the Lord and to Benefit the Child
I have seen way too many parents who want to make a public spectacle of discipline. We must not discipline our children to impress others. Was it embarrassment that led you to discipline your child?
These suggestions are most effective when both parents practice them. This will always be a challenge to single parents but God’s grace can see them through. Let’s be supportive both publicly and in prayer for single parents.
For those of us blessed to have a biblical family structure, we have no excuse. Obey His Word today and see God do the impossible in the life of your family!