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Originally published in Creation 3(1):24–26, February 1980
How could it be possible for the Biblical Doctrine of Creation to have any effect on family life?
The answer: Creation is basic to effective and happy family life. Consider the problems with the three following families.
God has given the husband the responsibility of leadership in each family, but He has also commanded the husband to love his wife (not only sexually, but in all aspects of life) and not to be harsh to her. (Eph.6:4; Isa.38:19; Eph.5:22-33).
He might be a clot but God says the wife must submit to the husbands leadership and respect him-and that means encouraging the children to respect him, too. A wife’s submission needs to be Holy Spirit inspired and directed. It is a positive step on her part, not something she has to be forced, browbeaten or belted into. It is something she does, not something her husband makes her do. This makes the whole exercise refreshing and positive. It puts the initiative on her to undertake this submission as a spiritual exercise, not to be a wishy-washy, ever-complaining doormat with a martyr complex. By the way, an aggressive submission on the wife’s part doesn’t count. This is where the wife refuses to make the everyday decisions that are proper for her areas of responsibility. For instance, she insists that her husband must decide whether they will have chops or sausages for tea, whether to buy Willy green or blue socks. (Eph.5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
Sorry but we still haven’t got it right. Let’s put out of our minds what atheistic psychologists and educators have said, and concentrate on what God says about bringing up children. The Bible is clear that physical punishment (the rod) has a real and God-ordained place in the upbringing of children even to the saving of their souls from Hell. Positive loving, firm and God-honoring discipline is an essential factor in every family. This is summed up in the term "the nurture and admonition of the Lord". (Prov.22:6; Prov.29:15-17; Prov.23:13-14)
Where did these families go wrong? Basically the members failed to fulfill the roles that God created them to fulfill.
In family 1 the father tried to be a tyrant, but God didn’t make fathers to be tyrants and the result was unhappiness for all concerned.
In family 2 the mother tried to be the leader of the family. But God didn’t make her to be the leader. He made her so that she will only fulfill her potential (emotionally, spiritually and physically) as she submits herself to her husband.
Family 3 fell into the trap of avoiding trouble at all costs (wouldn’t you do anything at times for a quiet life?) by letting the baby dictate to the family. But God made the children to obey their parents and it is to their peril that we allow them to dictate policy.
God created each of us for a specific function within the family. Do the people in your family fit into their God-given roles?