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His Word ... a prophetic perspective


Family purpose and function of marriage of man and woman

What Is A Family?

        In our contemporary Western society, a family is a socially recognizable group. One obvious sign of a family is that of a common residence, housing “two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption, who reside together” (U.S. Bureau of the Census definition).
        In addition, there is usually a long term commitment of the man and the woman, a joint economic goal, other shared goals and values, a socially approved relationship, and natural and/or adopted children.

Family Function

        The primary function of a family is that of reproducing society, which also includes reproducing and perpetuating the concept of family, even among those who don’t have children.
        The historical and traditional assumption in the socially approved concept of family is that it is an institution that exists as being essential for the continuation of creating, nourishing and perpetuating life within a protective society, which goal cannot be realized without the birth, nurture, training and education of children.
        The family also ensures the survival of the family members by providing the protective aspect of the “herd” instinct in human beings which provides safety of its members by polarizing into groups. This security also promotes sharing work and property, mutual emotional support, and the birth, growth and nurturing of children.
        The head of the household is now seen as more of a shared responsibility assumed by the man and the woman, or siblings, if that’s the case. A single parent is the sole head of the household.
        Within this family unit, children have an environment in which they have favorable physical, social and emotional development within acceptable social norms. Single parent families, however, are at a tremendous disadvantage because of the lack of observable male and female gender roles by children in the family, if that is the case. The same may be said of families where siblings are the heads of the household.
        A functional family will demonstrate involvement in mutual activities, and a standard of acceptable behavior, defined and stated by the head(s) of the household. There will also be various types of conversational dialogs engaged in, some demonstrating conflict between various members of the family. However, there is usually a dedication based upon family loyalty that will override stated or demonstrated differences that may be observed.
        A healthy functional family will elevate communication to a dialog status, wherein there is a mutual exchange of ideas. The honest exchange of ideas and emotional feelings will, of course, be within the family. However, there will also be an exchange with others who are outside of the immediate family unit.
        As Mom and Dad continue to exchange dialog with each other as a man and a woman, and their sons and daughters, they will exhibit their differing gender personalities and characteristics. This gives their sons and daughters an appropriate role model to evaluate. Arguments that occur must be within the broad construct of appropriate male and female sexual gender roles of the parents accompanied by logical problem solving skills so that their children will learn to identify their own sexuality and their own independent and personal identity.
        Within this area it’s important for Mom and Dad to be Mom and Dad and for their children to be sons and daughters with mutual trust earned by each. When those involved step outside of their actual relationships to each other, for whatever reason, the result is emotional and mental chaos.
        Mom and Dad will be seen by the children as dependable in their financial and emotional support of their children. The children will not be assigned parental responsibilities. Rules will be consistently fair to all but still allow for some flexibility when needed.

Family Problems

        All functional families will go through times of dysfunction because of death in the family, loss of employment by the family head(s)/care-giver/parent(s), serious sickness, real or imagined emotional problems, and other stress-inducing factors. The functional family, however, will return to its previous normalcy after the crisis has been resolved.
        It’s important to understand that arguments will occur. However, the healthy functioning family can use those very differences of opinions to develop individual problem solving skills. The family members will learn to talk about their problems, both within and outside of the family, in an honest and open manner. They will learn to recognize boundaries and realistic expectations in problem-solving. The focus by the family unit on solutions will tend to eliminate the tendency towards blame and resentment.
        Mom and Dad will always be Mom and Dad, but they will continue to change and adapt as they must allow for flexibility in their growing children as they develop into men and women who may also some day be a Mom and Dad to their families.

What Is A Dysfunctional Family?

        A dysfunctional family is one in which the relationships between the parents and/or children are strained and unnatural. When the traditional cultural concepts of what a man is and of what a woman is, are counterfeited, then the family fails to achieve its intended societal function and purpose. This can be a contributing cause of emotional dishonesty, conflict, misbehavior, shame based relationships, and abuse. It’s by observing the role modeling of their Mom and Dad different gender parents during their formative childhood years that children learn their emotional responses and gender behavior for their own male or female selves.

Family Is A Historical Concept

        Throughout the history of mankind the pre-eminence of families in reproducing society is so obvious and detailed so as to make observations about it unnecessary. Much has changed historically, however, so the descriptions of a contemporary Western family in today’s society must reflect what we live today.
        The biggest change we see is, arguably, that the head of the household is now seen as more of a shared responsibility assumed by the man and the woman. Also the accelerated divorce rate prevalent today, with the average American marriage lasting a mere seven years, the primary cause probably being the “no-fault” concept. This high divorce rate effectively undermines the purpose of the primary function of the concept of family in creating, nourishing and perpetuating life within a protective society.

A Decline In Historical Values

        This has resulted in a weakening of the institution of marriage, with attendant losses in moral, spiritual and personal and public health areas. The devastating effect upon children, who grow up to be Moms and Dads themselves, is full of twisted pyschologial convolutions and undesirable manifestations in aberrent behavior that further promote undesirable and unhealthy social practices.
        The rather pathetic attempt to prevent divorce by simply not getting married and then pretending that everything is “just fine” for birthing and rearing children is self-defeating. One cannot really fool one’s conscience, can they? The same may be said of the practice of mass abortions.
        This irresponsible behavior has also opened up the door for politicians to jump on the “theory of same-sex marriages” in order to garner votes for themselves in order to continue to “follow the money.”
        The question these slimey chameleon-like power wannabees must ask themselves is:
“Just what kind of societal values do I really want to practice, preserve and perpetuate for myself and my children and their children and their children?”
        This is also a question concerned, mature and responsible citizens and voters must ask themselves, isn’t it?

The Family Of God

        John 1:12-13
        12 But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
        13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

        The relationship of the disciple of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father is sealed by sonship (Romans 8:14,19), adoption (Romans 8:15,23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5) and marriage (John 3:29; Revelation 19:7,9; 21:2,9; 22:17) into His family.
        God is our heavenly Father, Jesus is our elder brother and believers are brothers and sisters.
        That makes disciples, i.e., learners, followers, supporters and imitators of Jesus Christ family members.
        In the New Testament, the new family members, both Jew and gentiles grafted into the true Israel met daily, primarily in homes, and centered their activities around prayer, teaching of God’s truth and a shared meal.
        Meetings in the homes engendered a sense of family, and the new converts soon found that their new lifestyle, free of idolatry, incest, adultery and pagan practices and beliefs was liberating. In this liberating spiritual climate, there was a conscious awareness of acknowledging and worshipping Jesus as the Son of the true and living God and the one true Shepherd to whom they were accountable, instead of their lifeless images and idols.

        Hebrews 10:24-25:
        24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
        25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

        “Consider one another” ... consider what? “to provoke unto love and to good works:” Why do we assemble together? “... exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” The focus is upon “one another.”

        1 Corinthians 14:26:
         Let all things be done unto edifying.

        We edify “one another” according to scriptural values, not the traditions of men.

        1 Corinthians 14:26-33:
        How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

        In the phrase “when ye come together,” the word “when” is hotan in the Greek. Strong’s Definition is: “whenever (implying hypothesis or more or less uncertainty); also caus. (conjunctionally) inasmuch as.” It’s variously translated in the KJV: “as long (soon) as, that, + till, when (-soever), while.”
        Thayer’s Definition of hotan: “when, whenever, as long as, as soon as.”
        The phrase “ye come together” is one word in the Greek, sunerchomai. Strong’s defines it as: “to convene, depart in company with, associate with, or (specifically) cohabit (conjugally).” It’s variously translated in the KJV as: “accompany, assemble (with), come (together), come (company, go) with, resort.”
        Paul is saying to the Corinthians that on those occasions whenever you happen to meet together, then “every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”
        There is no planned meeting at a certain time, on a certain day, for a certain reason. He is saying that whenever you happen to meet together, that the charisma descension gifts of the Holy Spirit will become operative in the lives of those believers who are in attendance.
        That could easily be those two or three who happen to meet at a restaurant, or at a mall, or drop by to say hello, or any number of places.
        The eternal purpose of God was being realized in these various local assemblies, polarized in unity around the truth of God, bound together in love, reproducing in image and likeness of Jesus, and fellowshipping in the true sense of the word. They shared what they had with those who didn’t have. They socialized through meeting daily. (Eventually, with the passage of time, the newness and excitement of their new found faith faded and they began to meet once a week.) They supported outright those who needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, transportation and loving family relationships. Apostles and prophets were raising up elders and deacons in those local assemblies. Evangelists were being sent out. The dynamism of wholesome growth and expansion was set in motion.
        I’ve emphasized in my writings that local ekklesias of God are composed of Christian families, i.e., those who are disciples of Jesus Christ, learning of Him, following Him, supporting Him and recognizing Him as the only true Shepherd to whom they are accountable. These Christian families simply meet together as a family, as the Holy Spirit leads, not on some regulated basis, in order to focus on “one anothering.” Focusing on one another and recognizing Jesus as their only spiritual head will automatically prompt worship of Him as stated in scripture. No “worship leaders” or one man band pseudo-“pastors.” Just Christian families meeting together as a family, focused on “one anothering” and recognizing and being lead by the Holy Spirit of Jesus. Glory!
        I said elsewhere on this web site:

        “A biblical home ekklesia is a local assembly of the saints, gathered together as a representation of the totality of the ekklesia of God. It’s composed of children and teenagers and mature adults and people from all walks of life, and represents in a micro-fashion, the very body of Jesus Christ Himself. As such each and every individual is valuable, useful and precious to God. Each one has the Holy Spirit of God, Who Himself has the nine gifts of the Spirit and manifests them through whoever He chooses. There is no, in fact, there cannot be, a building set aside for the purpose of the local bodies of Christ meeting there. The New Testament is vividly clear that the saints met in each others’ homes. Communion was not a cracker and a sip of wine. It was a full meal, and the well off among those assemblies also provided daily baskets of food and other necessities to the poor among them. In these groups there are young and old and in between. Basically, there were two groups who served the entire assembly: the elders/pastors (shepherds)/bishops (overseers) (these are all the same function in the Greek—to function in the capacity of one of them was to function in the capacity of all of them) and deacons, the younger persons who served because of their relationship with God and also because older folks (the elders/shepherds/overseers) needed young muscles to do the physical stuff. Everyone—each and every person there was a participator—even the meek and the weak and those past their peak—they were encouraged to speak up and “be” constituents of the body of Christ and the more vocal persons had to learn to restrain themselves.”
        I have described in some detail what the purpose and function of a family is. I have also touched lightly upon a description of the causes that makes a dysfunctional family. If those who name the name of Christ will compare their lifestyle in Christ with those parameters, I feel that it will help to orient yourself as to where you really are in the kingdom of God. And how much of a contribution you and those with whom you have to do are making towards helping to achieve God’s eternal purpose.
        If a member of the family of God finds they are lacking the true functionality and purpose for which they were created, then how is it possible for them to favorably influence those with whom they have to do who don’t know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour?
        House churches may or may not be the solution. When the saints attempt to bring the institutional church system into their living rooms they are simply perpetuating the system. Do you invite your family over and then arrange chairs all lined up to face a podium so someone can lecture them for an hour or two? And not permit honest, open dialog about the issues of life? Much less, of spiritual truths and practices? Of course not! (If you do, you got a real problem!) And then give them a thimble full of grape juice and a stale cracker and tell them that’s dinner? Get real, please! Is that how families gather together and fellowship and love each other? And then collect a pseudo-tithe to pay their rent and utilities and to provide the hosts with an income? While the fatherless, widows, strangers in the land and those who are truly, truly, truly childlike servants of Jesus Christ go begging for the basic necessities of life?
        Do you really want to nourish, reproduce and perpetuate the concept of an institution, organization or a corporation instead of that of family? More precisely, your choice is to reproduce a true family of God or a dysfunctional family, isn’t it?
        Don’t the unsaved in this world reproduce enough dysfunctional families?
        I have to re-state a question to ask yourself:
“Just what kind of societal values do I really want to practice, preserve and perpetuate for myself and my children and their children and their children?”

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