The word “family” has many connotations and various meanings to people across cultures and across the world. Family may mean blood relation to one person, but to another it could be a close group of friends. To another it could mean the “nuclear family” (father, mother, their children), a “blended family” (two separate people coming together with children from different marriages) or an “adopted family” (foster child or one that is brought into the family legally). The list could go on, but these definitions will have a familiar ring to most.
Some people hear “family” and think of the Norman Rockwell paintings of the past, with the happy grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, etc, all sitting around the table with Grandma serving up the Thanksgiving turkey while Grandpa proudly waits to carve it. Others may hear “family” and think of abusive or alcoholic parents, emotional distance, and overall discord. “Family” is one of the few words in the English language that can provoke such a wide range of emotional responses.
But for our purposes here at The Great Awakening Revival, we want to look at family from a biblical perspective. Believing that the Lord reveals Himself through the written word of God, we can derive much information and find a true path to defining family. The first mention of the family unit is in Genesis 2:20-24:
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Yeshua (Jesus) reiterates this foundation for the family unit by reciting Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:4-6:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
The Apostle Paul speaks about marriage in Ephesians 5:25-32, giving instructions on how husbands and wives are to treat each other.
Nowhere in the New Testament of the Bible does it allow for polygamous marriage, living together outside the confines of marriage, or for same sex marriage. Quite the contrary, the New Testament, through the teachings of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and the Spirit-led teachings of Paul, direct the believer to honor marriage as God intended – marriage between one man and one woman, which is a reflection of the Church.