written by Leah Cheng
If you asked, “What is one thing you feel very convicted about?” I would say that it’s the importance of the family unit.
Scripture clearly states God’s original design for humankind in the covenant of marriage (Gen 2:24) and the roles of men and women (Eph 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7). God has certainly gifted some individuals to remain single or has ordained some women to marry, but unable to bear children. However, the principle of Titus 2 is just as important. Why? Because husband, wife, marriage, family, etc. is a beautiful witness to the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church-bride. Ultimately, it’s not about you. It’s about God and giving God the utmost glory, honor and worship in the world we live in today.
We are created in the image of God, “Imago Dei” (Genesis 1:27; 5:1). Matt Chandler in his sermon series, “A Beautiful Design,” defines the term as, “God’s investment in humanity of God-like glory and moral capacity to reign and rule the earth as His representatives.” In his sermon series, he speaks on how “male headship is the unique leadership of the man in the work of establishing for human flourishing” and “a helpmate is a woman who serves God in helping the man in the work of establishing order for human flourishing.” Therefore, the Lord created men to work (Genesis 2:15, 23) and it is in His design for a woman to be a helpmate for a man (Genesis 2:18). God is the Creator who knows what is best for His creation.
As a side note for women, being a helpmate does not mean women are inferior or “unequal” in any case. “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” – Matthew Henry
Why did God make the family unit? Ephesians 3:14-15 states, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” The Greek word of the English word ‘father’ is ‘pater,’ and the English word ‘family’ is translated from the Greek word ‘patria’. Therefore, God who is the Father (Pater) invented the family (patria). God the Father created and named the family in order to show that the earthly family exists to be an example of our heavenly family. We, ourselves, are adopted into God’s family (Eph 1:5) by His grace. Those who believe in God are children of God (John 1:12) and if we are children of God, then also heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). Our earthly family is to mirror the heavenly one!
However, when Adam and Eve started to desire more than God and His plan (Gen 3: 5-6), sin entered the picture and once sin entered the picture, God’s design was perverted. If God’s design for humankind becomes distorted because of sin, chaos ensues. We see it especially in society today with how the government defines marriage, the legality of killing unborn humans, broken families, countless divorces, etc… Because the family unit is very much broken in the world’s view, it’s pertinent for us to see and understand that marriage and family can be used to reflect the Gospel. We are “children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” (Phil. 2:15).
Rev. John Sartelle Sr. writes “Your godly home and marriage . . . will become a lighthouse that pierces the darkness and becomes a guiding beacon to the masses lost on the sea of twisted gender orientations and identities, meaningless and sinful sexual encounters, and marriages whose only goal is materialistic ascendency.”
You may be thinking, “I’m just a college student. I’m not ready for this!” or “What if I’m called to singleness?” There is much to say about all of this and a simple blog post will not encompass everything, but we do know that Paul counts singleness as a blessing and gift from God! (1Cor7:7). My point is simply this: God designed humankind’s relationship a certain way to ultimately display His glory in this world. And as individuals saved by the grace of God, we have a very special role to play in His creation.