One of the greatest challenges we are facing in our times is the disappearance of the nuclear family. With the rise of the social justice movement and the LGBTQ+ movement, we are witnessing the disintegration of the nuclear family, as well as a Christ-centered community. I want to share with you the significance of the family for our times from God’s Word: Eph 5:22-33.
1. Family is at the Core of a Christ-centered Community and culture. Because it is where the perfect love between Christ and the Church is best reflected Because it is where a Paideia, a Christ-centered culture, is passed down from parents to children. Family is where heaven and earth meets, where God’s love is reflected, both horizontally in husband and wife, and vertically and chronologically in parent-children relationship.
2. Family is where men learn biblical manhood (sacrificial love), and women learn biblical womanhood (nurturing support). What does a woman need? Women desire to be loved. Prov 30:21: “Under three things the earth trembles…and one of those is, “an unloved woman when she gets a husband…” What does a man need? The entire Proverbs ends with this: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” A woman who can nourishingly support him.
3. Family is where children are truly discipled. So the parents disciple their children, so goes the spiritual, social, moral, intellectual, and physical formation of the children, and so goes the fate of a civilization. A nation where family is centered in faithful discipleship of children by the parents has a strong future. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French diplomat in the early 1800’s, noted in Democracy in America, that the strength of American democracy comes from its families, where parents read the Bible to their children every day.
4. Family is where a beautiful Christ-centered tradition is formed. Where wisdom and virtue is both transferred and shared in a way God’s truth, goodness, and beauty is shared not only in real time, but in our memory.