The role of the family in God’s Eternal Plan and Purposes

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role of the familyThe role of the family in God’s Plan and Purpose

The role of the family in modern society and the purpose for it has almost been forgotten.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

God designed marriage and family as the most fundamental of human relationships.  Due to misunderstanding of the God given role of the family in the world today, we see families devastated by conflict and plagued by neglect and abuse.  Because of misunderstanding of the role of the family divorce has become a common word, meaning hardness and misery for many millions of its victims.

Because they don’t understand the importance of the role of the family, many men have never learned to be devoted husbands and fathers.  Many women are running away from their God-given roles because they never recognized or knew their role in the family.  Parents who have no idea how to prepare their children are often plagued by conflict with their frustrated boundary-starved children.  Others simply abandon their duty, leaving children without any preparation or provision to adequately face the challenges of society.

For many people today, the comforting and familiar phrase “Home, Sweet Home” is nothing more than an empty illusion.  There is nothing fresh or safe in a home where there is abuse, betrayal and abandonment and where there is no vision of the purpose and role of the family.

Is there a solution?  Can we avoid such tragedies in our families?  Can young couples keep the glow of love and optimism decades after making the vows of marriage?  Is there hope for recovery of terrible mistakes of the past?

The answer to all these questions is YES!  The solutions however are rarely simple.  Solidly constructed families are built according to a plan they don’t pop into existence by chance.  Only by recognizing and returning to God’s pattern for the role of the family can we begin to understand the great blessings He has prepared for us through families built on the solid rock of His Word.  Let us briefly consider some basic principles taught in the Bible about the family and the role of the family in society as a whole.

The basic purpose of God for the Family

When the refrigerator stops working, we turn to the user’s manual written by the manufacturer, who knows more about it than we do.  We read the manual to solve the problem.  When we see so many problems in families today, it only makes sense that our Creator, who wrote the “Family Instruction manual” and established the role of the family, would know more about it than we do.  We need to read the manual to find how to build and maintain good homes.  We find these instructions in the Bible.  It guides us in every aspect of service to God, including the fulfillment of our roles within the family.


The family begins with marriage.  When God created Adam and Eve, he revealed his basic plan for marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).  The divine pattern is clear.  A man engaged to a woman.  Thousands of years later, Jesus affirmed that this is still God’s plan.  He quoted this verse and added: “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).  God designed marriage as a lifelong commitment and relationship which is only terminated by the death of either the husband or the wife.  (Romans 7:1-3).

God approved of sex only within marriage.  There is nothing evil or impure about sex within a marriage approved by God (Hebrews 13:4).  Husbands and wives have the responsibility to satisfy the God given sexual desires of their companions as part of their role in the family (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).

All other sexual relationships are always and absolutely wrong.  Homosexual intercourse is absolutely forbidden by God (Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  God did not create Adam and Steve, He made a woman, Eve, as a suitable partner for Adam.  Sex before marriage, even among people who want to marry, is condemned by God (1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 8-9, Galatians 5:19).  All extra-marital sexual relations are also clearly prohibited by God in His Word and have no legitimate role in the family(Hebrews 13:4).


Couples thus united in marriage before God enjoy the privilege of having children.  Child bearing is one of the fundamental roles of the family. God commanded Adam and Eve and Noah’s sons to have children (Genesis 1:28, 9:1).  Although not all people have to get married, and not all have children, is still the basic plan of God is  that children be born into families, complete with mother and father (1 Timothy 5:14).  Nowhere in the Bible do we find authorization for a woman to have sex to conceive a child, before or without marriage.  Single parenthood, which is becoming the norm in modern society, is a departure from God’s plan and the role of the family that will lead to serious consequences for future generations.

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