Family According to God’s Plan

God created the universe. Just the part that we as humans can see and perceive reveals perfect divine wisdom. From the order in the countless solar systems to the balanced equilibrium in the smallest cycles on earth, everything teaches us about God’s glory. All systems within themselves and among themselves harmonize perfectly as long as they are subject to God’s will.

This harmony is not an end in itself. Rather, it serves first to glorify God, and then it serves the respective system to the greatest possible advantage and to guarantee the continuity within it. But this harmony ends abruptly as soon as the will of man disturbs God’s order – the natural state.

Marriage and family are also a divine creation. And God, according to His character, has an ideal way for the family as well – a way that takes into account all the general conditions and individual characteristics of the people involved. We find the description and guidance for this in the Word of God.

God established marriage in paradise, and it should also be a paradise on earth. But how often people disregard the divine order. Life then bears very little resemblance to paradise and often seems like the forecourt of hell for those involved. To prevent this, God’s will should be followed from the beginning.

The Bible shows us a beautiful way in Ephesians 5:22 to 6:4. It is true: You look for egalitarianism and permissive parenting there in vain. 

But how precious life is for a wife when she is loved by her husband as deeply as Christ loves the church. Every day she experiences his care and pure, selfless love – not simply romantic words and vows of love,  but practical actions. Again and again he surprises her by understanding her desires and fulfilling them without her voicing them. He has time for her and her thoughts, worries, and fears, as well as patience and encouragement time and time again.

And on the other hand, the husband experiences his wife as a valuable complement and support. She recognizes his task and position and does not try to dominate him. Together they go through life, and each contributes their strengths and abilities. Yes, the husband’s love is so strong that he accepts and is pleased that his wife can do and understand many things better than he himself does.

When children are given to such a marriage, they experience love and care from their parents right from the beginning. It is natural for them that the family puts God’s will and His work first (Matthew 6:33). This is because they witness their parents loving God and seeking His presence and will (John 14:21). They experience God’s blessing, guidance, and preservation. At first, it is still unconscious. But the older the children become, the more clearly they experience God in everyday life.

Humility and obedience, like love and trust, belong to the divine order of the family. Children observe how their parents live out the commandment “honor your father and mother” toward their grandparents (Ephesians 6:2). Just as they experience it with their own parents, so they will probably live it out later with regard to their own parents. If their father and mother speak contemptuously about their grandparents, have no time for them, and perhaps push them out of their lives, this behavior will affect them years later.

Children learn obedience by example in their immediate family circle – obedience to God and also to each other through experience and practice, not through fear or punishment. The Bible teaches us how important our obedience is to God. Therefore, it should also be a high priority for parents.

One idea in this current time for families is the idolization of children. It can already start before children arrive. Once they are born, they are treated like kings. Life in the family, perhaps even in the wider family environment, becomes secondary to the perceived needs of the children. The will of the child is the command. Although the parents may mean well, they spoil the children’s lives. This enviroment does not develop capable and empathetic adults, but tyrants, people who are not prepared for real life.

But which way does the Bible teach us? The center and head of every family is God. Father and mother serve this Lord. And they honor their parents. In doing so, they open the gate for God’s blessing and their parents’ blessing. Can we really have happy families without this blessing? If God gives children to the family, they experience proper love and care from the beginning. However, their crib is not a throne, and their utterances are not an expression of wisdom. The family is the place where they grow up, learn, and become strong, the place where they are morally and spiritually formed according to the biblical order. They learn to deal with “no” and disappointments, to choose the good, and grow and mature.

God knows what makes you and me truly happy. He wants us to be in harmony with our life purpose and glorify God with our lives. Then He will provide never-ending blessings and full satisfaction. Joyful gratitude will carry our lives, and we will leave behind a trail of blessings.

Hermann Vogt

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