Our Distinctives

4. Priority of Family
 
 
Distinctive 4 – We place priority on the family
 
 
In Joshua 24:15, Joshua challenges the people of Israel to abandon pursuit of idols and serve the only true God. He concludes with a personal testimony that serves as a leadership model for all to follow:
 
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
 
 
Joshua did not want faithfulness to end with his generation. He deliberately led his family in serving the Lord.
 
God designed society to function best when each nuclear family unit unifies under the central leadership of the father/husband. Couples are drawn closer together when they serve the Lord together in a local church. Thus, GBF places high priority on family and marriage. The barometer of a local church’s health is the health of each home. Problems in families and marriages often lead to problems in the church.
 
The responsibility for the health of each family rests with the father. In Genesis 18:19, God gives us the reason for choosing Abraham in the following manner:
 
“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what he has promised him.”
 
 
God made His covenant with Abraham and gave him the responsibility to command his children to obey the Lord. In the New Testament church, the elders are qualified men who faithfully lead their families (1 Tim 3:2-5, 12). Their qualification to lead the church rests on their prior faithfulness to lead their own homes. Thus, the family receives first priority over the local church.
 
Paul described his role “like a father with his children” (1 Thess 2:11). The fathers are the ones who given the charge to discipline and instruction of the children (v. 12). On the other hand, Paul also nurtured them like a nursing mother (1 Thess 2:7). Thus, fathers must take direct charge of leading their families and the mothers are to be gentle and nurturing, giving guidance according to biblical truth.
 
The man carries a high calling – to love his wife and lead his family as Christ did to his church (Eph 5:22-33). Even though the man and woman are equal in essence and created in God’s image, they differ in their roles in the home (1 Cor 11:3). The husband is the primary person to pray, protect and provide for his family.
 
The woman likewise carries a high calling in helping her husband to obey God and do His will (Gen 2:18). Besides submitting to husbands, wives are called to be “working at home” (Titus 2:3-5). We at GBF encourage mothers to put high priority in their home including their marriage and children. This does not advocate idleness in house. Rather, she is devoted to good works (1 Tim 5:9) and manifests multiple responsibilities for the family’s welfare (Prov 31:10-31).