Thinking Biblically about … family
Family is often something we take for granted. Almost all of us are part of a family of some form. Typically, we consider this to mean either our parents and siblings, or a partner and children of our own. Family is understood in the Western world as the ‘nuclear’ family, though we may also have extended family members and more distant relatives we see less regularly. In one way or another, our families are important to us. They are our main source of practical and emotional support in our early years and often a major one in our later years. However, the way we live may not reflect this importance and critical decisions can be made without regard for this reality – with huge implications.
How can the Bible inform our approach to family? In the Bible, we see how God intended the extended family to be the basic unit of society, a source of lifelong economic provision and support, the foundation of welfare and the primary source of personal and religious identity. Although our lives and society are very different today, the wider family still plays a critical role both personally and publically. In a broken and hurting world, though, most families fall some way short of God’s ideal, and this is why local churches provide an alternative place of belonging and support for many people.
In accordance with s 6(5) of the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Act 2017, this communication was authorised by Michael Kellahan of Sydney for Freedom for Faith.