Family ties are the foundation of a stable society. The Bible clearly states their composition and responsibilities.
Relationships between people have come to a head in today’s society. It’s a free for all. Anything can have sex with anything goes. There are no governing rules other than what society sets, and even then, individuals can justify anything. Science, philosophy, and observation or experience cannot answer. There’s no solid base for society establishing the rules it does for family ties.
When it comes to the Bible, only religion has a say. And today, religion is so fragmented it too has conflicting views of the Bible. Its voice is a whisper when it comes to explaining what is Biblical and what is not.
The result, from the human side and from the religious side, we are ingesting confusion. Opposing points of view, whether secular or biblical, supported by expert opinions or scholarly interpretations and commentaries on Bible passages.
We are going to approach this subject from the perspective of Godview (see last week’s post). How and when did God establish people and procreation relationships? Why did He establish interpersonal rapport this way? What configuration did God give to humans for family ties? For God-given knowledge and understanding, we start with the examples and rules He set in motion, that’s the root and trunk. We do not start by analyzing what a particular verse or word means, those are the twigs. This paragraph is possibly the most important of this post. We want a Godview, not a worldview, and certainly not a personalview.
Here’s what God unequivocally established in the beginning. This is the trunk of family ties.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
This verse is the tale of two families. First, a father and a mother with a son. Second, the son leaving the family home and the inauguration of a new family with a husband and wife… and kids to come. That’s the root of family ties.
Here are two, what might be considered strange questions: What genders were the father and mother? Is this original family configuration still valid?
First question, answer: The father and mother are male and female (vs. 4). The Explanation and Sam’s personalview are not saying this. Christ, Godview, stated this fact, quoting Genesis.
Second question, answer: The marriage-family configuration of a male and female, husband and wife, is still valid today (vs. 5-6). Christ, Himself said it, pointing the Pharisees right back to Creation. If you believe in Christ, His Existence, His Words, then you believe in a family composed of a male and female. We can add God’s injunction to this couple that they were to procreate. Giving birth to children is the prerogative of a male and female in a marriage union. That’s Biblical family ties.
This is Godview. In Genesis and according to Christ’s Word, this male-female couple based family relationship is the established command. In a moment, I’ll explain WHY this configuration is so important to God.
But first, let’s answer the objections. Or rather, let Christ answer the Pharisees’ objection. They invoked Moses’ writing of divorcement. They’re telling Christ, what God said in Genesis 1 is not valid anymore! Christ gives the answer. Because of the hardness of your hearts, Christ permitted (see G2010 in Matthew 19:8 at UnlockBibleMeaning.com for the meaning), but it was not so from the start.
Do you see Christ answering by going to the trunk of the tree,’…at the beginning…’ He is referring the Pharisees back to Genesis and the context of MARRIAGE, that’s the Godview. In verse 6, ‘… what God has JOINED TOGETHER,’ that’s ‘God blessed them,’ let no man put asunder. That’s as inseparable as it gets.
After establishing the Godview, Christ confirms there is a command about divorce in the Old Testament law (Deuteronomy 24.1), because of the HARDNESS of YOUR HEARTS, BUT in the beginning, it was NOT intended that way. God gave a command concerning the ending of a marriage, nothing to do with the composition of the couple or the original family ties. Only because of the state of the couple’s hardened hearts. The Explanation has written extensively about hardness of heart.
What is interesting in this passage is God established commandments because of the hardness of their hearts. Not because God wanted to. This is another subject, here’s the resume. Christ said there are only two great commandments: Love God, Love neighbor, all the other commandments elaborate on those two. WHY are there only two and not 200 or 2000? Because when hardness of heart is replaced with putting those commandments in your heart, no other commandments will be necessary for Godly family ties.
When you understand that loving God and neighbor is a male and female forming a married couple with children creating family ties, then we won’t need any other commandments. Until then, we do need other commandments. And God gave them at Mount Sinai.
I hope we all agree the Ten Commandments came from God. Various commandments refer to marriage and family.
- Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
- You shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter.
- Honour your father and your mother.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.
Five of the ten commandments point directly to maintaining the integrity of the family. All the elements of a family, husband, wife and children are clearly indicated in the Ten Commandments. Think about it, yes, devotion to God is the number one theme, but number two is honorability of the family unit.
Does the Bible support this? In every way. On an animal level, sex coupling is necessary to grow the population. Yes, there is some mating, but it is rare and is no comparison to family ties. On a human level, that’s the only way to grow the population, but sex is a pleasurable binding force and healthy as well. Read about the benefits of marriage here. Not only do parents benefit but the parental example sets the right family ties for children who likewise, benefit.
The Old Testament is full of commands to preserve gender, sexual relations, marriage and family ties. They are unmistakable because of the hardness of their and OUR hearts. We are going to look at just a few and draw out the practical Bible wisdom for us in our 21st century.
Prior to marriage there is a fundamental axiom which a lot of young people miss. This example refers to war. Go beyond that and see what it’s telling us.
10 When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God has delivered them into your hands, and you have taken them captive,
11 And see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire unto her, that you would have her to your wife;
12 Then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that you shall go in to her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
14 And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go whither she will; but you shall not sell her at all for money, you shall not make merchandise of her, because you have humbled her.
Outwardly, this sounds horrible, but keep in mind the hardness of their heart. The point of this example is the need for reflection before you marry. Her hair, make-up (nails) and dressy clothing are not the focus of attention, they diminish her beauty. Thirty days with a person living in close quarters gives you a serious chance to know what the woman is like on the inside, what’s on her mind and whether you are compatible. That’s the principle evoked here.
How many couples today can talk and exchange ideas, converse, disagree, even bicker intimately and maintain their closeness and love? Then it was a matter of 30 days, now it’s a matter of taking the time, however long that is, before marriage to get to know your future partner. That’s the art and heart of dating and developing family ties that are going to last, not be put asunder.
Old Testament: Marriage, Divorce, Gender, Sex
Here are some commands from Leviticus 18 focused on maintaining proper family ties. When you understand Godview, the Genesis 1 and 2 approach to family ties, you do not need this list of do-nots. This list is for those with hard hearts.
In France, but in all nations, as I write, cases of rape, killings of wives, and particularly incest are being revealed. In the USA, “1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are known to be victims of child sexual abuse, most of them being victimized by a blood relative. During one year, 16% of children between the ages of 14-17 were sexually victimized. Family ties are being ruined, the younger generations are traumatized and we play the fiddle while Rome burns. It is sad to say, but today activating the hardness of heart, instead of suppressing it, seems to be the name of the game.
God’s commands are to preserve family ties from wrong sexual interplay of any type other than that between the husband and wife. Leviticus 18 is very explicit.
- No philandering between children and their mother or father (6-7). That’s no incest.
- Sister, stepmother, and stepsister (8-9, 11)
- Grandchildren (10)
- Uncles and aunts (13-14)
- Daughter-in-law and sister-in-law (15-16)
- A kinswoman or any of their family (17-18)
- Neighbor’s wife is repeated (20)
- Man and man (22)
- Man or woman and an animal (23, the verse adds, this is confusion)
None of the above practices reflect family ties as God established them from the beginning to this day, as we’ll see below. Please read about proper sexual relations in marriage and the role of women, and feminism in Bible times.
New Testament upholds everything in the Old Testament
Christ’s Apostles did not go into the details simply because when you’re spiritually minded, the hardness of heart lessens, and you understand and apply what God’s original intent is.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
The Apostle Paul reinforces Old Testament family ties for parents and children.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.
4 And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Nobody is perfect. Christians then and now sin and make mistakes. Hopefully, we all repent and turn to God for forgiveness and a more upright way of life. Whether it be Christian or not, all humans everywhere have a command to respect parents, children, and family ties.
The theme of family ties runs from the beginning in Genesis all the way to the last book of Revelation, where we still find hardness raging and warring in some people’s hearts.
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers (G4205), and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
The meaning of whoremongers reveals the alignment with Old Testament commands about family ties for opponents to God’s way, animated by unchanging hardness of heart.
πόρνος pornos por’-nos; From πέρνημι pernēmi (to sell; akin to the base of G4097); a (male) prostitute (as venal) that is (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine):
KJV – fornicator whoremonger.
All inter-gender relationships are addressed in the past, present 21st century, and future. That is Godview. Any other view is worldview or personalview.
Unfortunately, the spiritual relationship between the human marriage and family institution and God is practically unknown. One of the reasons is, these family ties reveal not only the future of Christians but also the way to reach that goal.
The Explanation has expounded on this relationship enormously because it is fundamental in comprehending why humans are on Earth (to develop relationships) and why God instituted the marriage union and family ties relationship. In four words, God is a family. If you’re hearing this for the first time, I understand both your amazement and especially your skepticism.
If there’s one point to take away from this post, it’s God is a Family. God gave humankind the family institution because He created us in His image. He’s a family, so are we.Ephesians 3:14-15
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
John 1 reveals the bond we humans can have with God. It, too, is a family relationship. You can deepen your comprehension of this father-son (which is also a generic statement absolutely including father-daughter) family ties by reading this post.
12 But as many as received him, 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.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Sons of God, born—by the will of God, begotten—referring to Yahweh Elohim, these are all family terms. Are there any other such expressions to corroborate this? Let’s take a look at some fundamental descriptions of God and His environment that will help us better define what and who this plural God (Elohim) who has a singular verb is. And how we humans relate to Yahweh Elohim and Elohim.
- God is called our Father (Mat. 6:8-9).
- Jesus, who is also God, is presently the only spirit composed Son (Mat. 11:27).
- His Church is described as our Mother (Gal. 4:26).
- We are called His children (Rom. 8:16).
- In other words, His sons and daughters (2 Cor. 6:18).
- We are to be brothers of Christ, who is the Firstborn (Rom. 8:29).
- He called those who do the will of God, brothers, sisters, and mothers (Mark 3:35).
- The Apostle Paul refers to Jesus Christ and the Church as husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-23), who will be married at the Messiah’s return (Rev. 19:7).
- The terms begotten (1 Peter 1:3) and born (John 1:13-14) are employed, referring to Christians.
Here we have the origin of the family institution; this explains one of the critical pieces of the puzzle turned over and put in its rightful position. And you know what, in some ways, you’re not surprised. Humankind knows very well that the family is the base of society. The Bible is filled with references to the family and its functioning. No other book contains more pertinent information about this basic building block of society.
This post is but a short presentation of practical Bible wisdom revealing the importance of marriage, couples and family ties in God’s eyes. It’s a brief incursion into God is a family and the relationship between God’s family and our human family ties. It is the foundational understanding of the two great commandments. Loving God, our Heavenly Father, and loving neighbor, our spouse and children. Family ties are the foundation of a well-functioning society.
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