How To Raise A Godly Family

Christians are to Love Their Families and the Family of God

The believer's duty to the family of God is much like the duties of a household. Whereas the household of God basically refers to the faithful in a local church (see A Christian Should Be Active In The Church, the family of God is comprised of all Christians all around the world. The household is within a person's sphere of influence, while the family in a Christian sense is outside of that group. Another distinction between the household and the family of God is that some Christians have fallen away from participating in a local church and are disconnected from the Body of Christ. Believers also have a duty to them.

The second commandment is extremely appropriate in relation to duty to family. “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in Scripture: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” and “But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.” (James 2:8, 9 NLT) One can hardly go wrong by being kind, polite and friendly. “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.” (1 Peter 3:8)

There are always going to be differences of opinion, and different ways of understanding things. There is no benefit in arguments or debates among Christians. Paul specifically instructed Timothy, as a church leader, to teach the believers “not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” (2 Timothy 14, 16)

Proverbs 6:19 teaches that those who sow discord among brethren are offensive to God. Regardless of differences among Christians, God disapproves of divisions, and prefers that Christians “all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” In clear contrast, God favors and encourages unity. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

The Word of God gives specific instructions about how believers should conduct themselves with each other. “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Part of the ministry of reconciliation includes bringing drifting, disoriented or discouraged Christians back to God. The always-raging spiritual warfare takes its toll on believers, and everyone needs help from time to time. Romans 15:1 and 2 in The Message version of the Bible communicates well. “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, 'How can I help?'” Similarly, Galatians 6:1 teaches that those who are more spiritually mature should help to restore a fallen brother or sister, because everyone can be vulnerable at times, and all need help shouldering certain burdens.

The Word mentions that sometimes a Christian may be behaving in a disorderly way. While neglecting their responsibilities, they may resist counsel or instruction. The believer's duty is to warn or confront them with the appropriate truth from God's Word. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12, 13) 1 Thessalonians 5:14 teaches to warn or confront those Christians who are out of order. It is not necessary to be insulting, condemning or threatening, but bring to their mind the seriousness of life and try to make clear the consequences for disobedience to God. “Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:15)

There are people all around the world who have come to Jesus Christ, people of divergent backgrounds, all functioning at differing levels of spiritual maturity and involvement. All of these people are brothers and sisters in the multi-faceted family of God, the Body of Christ. The Word of God teaches that it is the believer's duty to love because the love of God never fails.

Written by: Pete Miller