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God has given us His instructions on the three primary institutions in society: the government, the Church, and the family.  This study contains a summary of God's instructions on the family.

1. Stay single or get married?   It is God's will for someone to get married     unless that person is gifted by God to stay single (I Cor 7:1,2, 6-9).  During     tough times, it is easier for the single person than the married person (I Cor     7:25-28).  It is easier for the single person to be fully involved in God's work     than the married person (I Cor 7:32-5).

2. Stay married or get divorced?  A Christian should not initiate a divorce (I     Cor 7:10-16).  Divorce is allowed in two situations: marital unfaithfulness     (Matt 19:9) and desertion by a non-Christian mate (I Cor 7:15,16).

3. Marriage and family should not draw us away from God's priorities (I Cor

1. Husbands and wives are equals before the Lord (Gal 3:28).

2. A marriage partner's body no longer belongs to himself or herself alone (I Cor     7:3-5).

3. The husband's role:  He is to be a servant-leader and a sacrificial lover (Eph     5:25-33; I Pet 3:7, 5:3; Col 3:19; I Cor 11:3; Provs 25:28).  Where there is     loveless leadership there will be a dictatorship.  Where there is leaderless     love there will be anarchy.  Where there is both leadership and love there will     be a family.

4. The wife's role:  She is to be submissive to her husband's leadership (Eph     5:22-24, 33; I Pet 3:1-6; Col 3:18; I Cor 11:3).  The Greek word translated     "submit" is a military term indicating that the one doing the submitting is     willing to put himself or herself under authority so that everything will     operates smoothly and in order.  She was created to be a "helper suitable to     him" (Gen 2:18)  She is to be "a wife of noble character" (Prov 31:10-12; Tit     2:4,5).  She is to be industrious (Prov 31:13-31).

5. Christian principles of communication in a marriage: Treat the other person     as you want to be treated (Lk 6:31; Phil 2:1-4) (Make a continual effort to
    get into your marriage partner's world.)  Be willing to forgive (Eph 4:30-32).      Attack problems and not your partner (Eph 4:29; Gal 6:1).  Look at     differences of opinion as opportunities for growth (Prov 27:17).  Seek to be     open and honest with each other (Prov 20:5, 27:5,6, 28:23).  Admit it when     you are wrong (I Jn 1:8-10; James 5:16).  Do not be defensive and put up     walls (Prov 13:10; 18:19).  Be quick to listen (James 1:19,20; Provs 10:19,     18:2, 13,15, 25:12).  Seek to build up the other person, not tear them down     (Eph 4:29; Prov 12:18, 13:3).  Seek to come to agreement (Amos 3:3; James     3:17-21).

1. What are some modern threats to the family?


2. The home is to be a place of spiritual instruction (Deut 6:6,7, 20-25;
     Ps 78:5-7; II Tim 1:5).

3. God alone can build the home (Ps 127:1)

1. Fathers' role:  Fathers are to train and instruct their children in the ways of     God and not to "exasperate them" or "embitter" them (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21).

2. Parents' role:  They are to train their children in the way they should go     (Prov 22:6) "Way he should go" – the unique way he or she was created for,     which includes love and righteousness.  "Train up" – " child left to himself     disgraces his mother (Prov 29:15b).  Without training a child will go wrong.      "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child" (Prov 22:15).  So training by parents     is essential so that a child will go the "way that he [or she] should go."     "When he is old he will not depart from it."  If he or she develops the good     character that God meant for him to develop, it will stick with him when he is     old.  Parents are to teach by example (Provs 14:26; I Tim 4:12). 

3. The role of discipline:  Children who are not disciplined will bring their     parents to shame (I Sam 3:13; I Kings 1:6; Provs 29:15, 19:18).  Parents
     who love their children will discipline them (Provs 3:11,12, 13:24).  Discipline     drives foolishness out of a child so that he brings you joy (Provs 22:15,     23:13,14, 29:17; Eccl 8:11).  What is a "rod"? (Isa 10:15, 28:27; Exod 21:20;     Lev 27:32; Ps 23:4)

4. Parents proper attitude toward their children – gratitude (Gen 33:5; Ps

5. Children's role:  They are to obey their parents (Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20).  They     are to listen to and benefit from their parents' wise advice (Provs 1:8, 5:1,     6:20).  They are to choose to learn from their parents' discipline and to     develop wise ways (Provs 3:1-6,11,12).

1. What is the difference between submission and domination, between godly     leadership and a dictatorship?
2. How should decisions be made in a godly home?
3. Does God authorize parents to spank their children?

RESOURCES: Campus Crusade for Christ Family Life conferences and materials; STRIKE THE ORIGINAL MATCH by Swindoll; COMMUNICATION, THE KEY TO MARRIAGE by Wright; DARE TO DISCIPLINE and THE STRONG-WILLED CHILD by James Dobson. THE CHRISTIAN HUSBAND by Bob Lepine; Family Life Ministries