A Christian Family Life-Style

MEMORY SELECTION: “Above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” —Colossians 3:14

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Colossians 3:1-21

OUR subject, “Christian Family Life-Style,” is an important one, because never before has the very existence of the family as a social institution been threatened as it is in our day. Indeed the days are evil, and there is much need to turn to the Word of God.

The Apostle Paul explains the importance of love in the Christian character, telling us that it suffers long, or is manifested by the godlike characteristic of patience. He also points out that the qualities of kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, and unselfishness are all encompassed in love. Furthermore, love is good-tempered, it is guileless, and it is sincere. Perfect love rejoices in the truth, because it loves truth and righteousness. (I Cor. 13:4-6) Few families in the world are aware of the apostle’s exhortation along these lines. Far fewer difficulties would arise if these laws of God were obeyed.

Within the content of our memory selection, the apostle exhorts to holiness. If we are risen with Christ in our hearts and lives and are receiving of the Heavenly Father’s blessings, then our affections naturally turn to things above. If this be the case, our characters will reflect the spirit of holiness which comes from above, and it will be manifested to our families and neighbors. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence [evil desire], and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Col. 3:5) We are also to “put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” (vs. 8) As a further guide to seeking to know and to do the will of God, the Apostle points out that we should “lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”—vss. 9,10

Thinking people will acknowledge the fact that there is a general moral breakdown taking place in the world today. This is manifest also within the family structure where the Word of God has been set aside. Families no longer do things together, each going his own separate way. Parents, unable to keep up with the varied activities of their children, lose contact and therefore lose control over them. And many parents find it difficult to talk understandingly with their children. Children are exposed to a multitude of temptations, to say nothing of the adverse influence of television and other outside interferences. The promiscuous society within which many young people are raised today leads further and further from a basic appreciation of the underlying principles of truth and righteousness.

Some of those principles are outlined by the Apostle Paul in the selected scripture for this week’s lesson. They pertain to the family structure as it was instituted by God. Paul says: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.” (Col. 3:18-22) These principles, if heeded, would constitute the proper life-style of every Christian family. They recognize the rights of every member of the family, whether it be husbands or wives, or whether it be parents or children. Each is recognized, respected, and appreciated.

In the divine arrangement every man who comes of age has the privilege of taking for himself a wife, instituting a family and raising children—he being the responsible head and representative of that family before God and man. As head over his wife and children, the husband has the unique position of being, not only the provider and protector of his family, but even more importantly, its example and guide along the lines of Christian principles. If harmony is to be expected and the peaceable fruits of righteousness manifested, it is important that the divine natural order be recognized and adhered to. And let us note that “above all you must be loving, for love is the link of the perfect life.”—vs. 14, Moffatt

Dawn Bible Students Association
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