So what about the Christian advantage? Is there one for the family?
Life is like dropping a pebble into a pool of water. At birth, all ripples are concentrated in the center. As a person matures, the rings of social interaction and influence circle outward. For the Christian advantage to be truly advantageous, every ring must be advanced by the values of the Christian life.
It is the purpose of this page to focus on one of the outer center rings. Is there a Christian advantage for the family?
Consider this sample answer to one of the questions addressed on this topic.
How do I deal with intrusive in-laws?
Few things are more divisive in a relationship than conflict over family. It takes time and much dedication to blend two families into one. God knew this and addressed this difficulty in the second chapter of the very first book of the Bible. In Genesis 2:24 God said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” From this passage, we can draw three very important pieces of advice for couples and their in-laws - leave, unite and become.
1. “leave” - Within this one small word, God summed up so many important principles. The word “leave” means to physically move out. If you are old enough to join in marriage, you are old enough to provide for the needs of your own family. Living with your parents or relatives is a very bad idea.
The word “leave” also means taking yourself out from under the authority of your parents. Scripture has always taught that children should honor their parents and, no matter how old you get, that command will never change. However, while living in your parents' home, the word honor also includes obedience to their authority. For the sake of your marriage and your sanity, you must move out and you must move out from under.
Parents often try to hang on to their children by holding on to the influence they have over them. To do this, they may use a domineering personality, make their child feel guilty or even hold money over their head. To fully obey the words of Genesis 2:24, a couple should avoid all things that giveparents authority within their relationship. This is especially true for the husband. Because God has called the man to be the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:22-24), he has also called him into a position of authority. Whenever parents on either side of the family are allowed to undermine the husband’s authority within his own home, their actions effectively emasculate the man. Being employed by parents is also a bad idea.
2. “united” - Outside of your own salvation experience, no other relationship in life is more sacred than the union that is formed in marriage. Children are not called to become one flesh with their parents. In fact, parenthood was designed by God to lead to eventual separation. Marriage, on the other hand, was designed by God to lead to a life-long union.
Sadly, some parents become so jealous of their child’s mate that they actually encourage divorce by their actions or their words. They may do this very subtly or they may even do it without being fully aware of their actions. However it happens, when the union between child and parent is stronger than the union between husband and wife, the relationship is destined for certain problems.
3. “become” - The heart of Genesis 2:24 is the goal of becoming “one flesh”. These small words carry a great amount of importance and a multiplicity of applications.
Becoming one flesh means sexual unity. Some issues are so private that only on very rare occasions should anyone except your “one flesh” partner be aware of them. Although post-marital sexual advice from parents may occasionally be necessary, it should only be sought after much prayer and consideration of how they will deal with such information. Few things can undermine trust more quickly than criticizing your sex life to others, especially to parents who are already undermining your relationship in other ways.
The result of the “one flesh” relationship is children. Children are meant to be raised by the ones who brought them into the world. Although grandparents can be a convenient source of childcare, they can also become an easy excuse for neglect of your own parental duties. By placing your child under the regular care of grandparents or other family members, you are undermining the authority of your own home. Childcare providers have every right to exercise some level of authority over the children they are watching. For every piece of authority you give to them, you also subtract a piece of the authority that God intended for you to have. Grandparents can be a wonderful source of parental support but they must only be that, a support. Inform your parents of your standards and parental techniques. If they are unable or unwilling to support your approach, do not leave your children in their care. Your children were not given to your parents. They were given to you and your “one flesh” partner. Obey the principles of Genesis 2:24.
Still got questions? Take a look at the book “Marital Bliss-ters” by Sonny Childs
If this article was helpful, then you may also be interested in the following topic regarding the family:
"'Cause I Deserve It!"
"Greatest New Year's Resolution"
"Home or Hallway?"
"How can family life show us God's realm?"
"How important are the marriage vows to God?"
"If I Only Had a Heart"
"A Kingdom Divided"
"Lost spark in marriage?"
"Precious Memories, Christmas Joy"
"We One!" Marriage Challenge: "Marriage Memo 1"
"Marriage Memo 2"
"Why is it Important for the man to be the provider?"
"Why is it important for boys to be shown how to become men?"
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