God’s arrow of time from the Garden of Eden to Heaven passes through the family. Yet history is littered with the baggage of broken families. The amount of baggage increases just before the collapse of every civilization and culture in all of recorded history.
The genius and power of the God-designed family is jaw-dropping. The family is one of God’s greatest creations. The specific roles of the man and woman were assigned directly to Adam and Eve. They have never changed. To do so would compromise God’s infinite genius.
Man was created in the likeness of God. The God-designed family is a picture of God. We know Him as one God manifested to us in three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Similarly, the one impregnable family is represented by Dad, Mom, and the children. The family is an unbeatable team. It is the only way to carry out God’s commandments in a reliable way throughout posterity. It is the only way to enjoy all God’s blessings and the fullness of the life experience.
Marriage was created in the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve were disobedient to the Lord. God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” [Genesis 2:24 KJV] Since marriage was created in the Garden of Eden, it was created in an environment of virtual perfection. After disobeying God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God, proclaimed their respective, but perfectly complementary roles in a fallen world.
God’s Assignment for the Man
“…unto Adam he said, Because thou has…eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying you shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground: for out of it were you taken; for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return.” [Genesis 3:17-19 NKJV]
The man protects and provides for his mother, wife, and children. When his father and son do the same, they form an unbroken shield of protection assuring a perpetually safe, secure environment within which the family can thrive. His protection of the family is fueled by God’s love. As such, the man is the primary, but not exclusive, model for the commandment to love God with body, mind and soul:
“And you shalt love the Lord your God with all thine heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: You shalt teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in thine house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up…You shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates.” [Deuteronomy 6:5-7 & 9 NKJV]
God has assigned to the man a vital role in developing the character of his children. His role is far greater than merely providing for security and financial needs, for food, clothes, and shelter. He is the protector of his family physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
The man actively and routinely provides emotional and spiritual nourishment by being a conduit of God’s love. The man protects his family from outside influences that would weaken the character of his wife or interfere with or disrupt the development of character in their children.
God’s blessings for the obedient man are, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband does safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” [Proverbs 31:10-12 NKJV]
However, God requires of the husband an ironclad ultimate commitment, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” [Ephesians 5:25 KJV] The husband’s love and commitment to his wife must be so great the he would be willing to risk death for her.
God’s Assignment for the Woman
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” [Genesis 3:16 NKJV]
The woman is the connector and propagator of life assuring a continuity of generations from the Garden of Eden to Heaven. All reproduction, physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual pass through the woman. As the connector and propagator of life, she is the primary, but not exclusive, model for the commandment, “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself…” [Leviticus 19:18 NKJV]
God’s blessings for the obedient woman are, “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and…Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. [Proverbs 31:25-28 NKJV]
However, God requires a commitment of her, “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” [Ephesians 5:22 KJV] Submission merely means voluntarily choosing to respect and defer to his leadership even when he is wrong. When he does make a wrong choice, the shared consequences will be character building for the whole family. Actually, God’s perfect family plan is mutual submission, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” [Ephesians 5:21 KJV]
The practice of mutual submission should characterize all interpersonal relationships. Within the context of marriage and family, the stakes are simply higher than anywhere else. The blessings of mutual submission are greatest in marriage. The consequences of lack of mutual submission are more painful in marriage.
Together the Married Man and Woman Are Truly Awesome!
Combining the man’s vertical responsibility with the woman’s horizontal responsibility, Jesus proclaimed, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.” [Matthew 22:40 KJV] Their roles are perfectly complementary. After all, they were created by the greatest genius of the universe, God Himself.
Multi-generational contact is vital to the maintenance and stability of the chain of life. The woman is responsible for the cohesion of the family and the sustainability of the culture. She is the primary facilitator of the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
There is nothing like the genius of the God-designed family. Dad and Mom are an awesome team specifically designed by God to:
- Create a cohesive family that mirrors God’s relationship with humanity.
- Solidify the family assuring that God’s symbolic representation of His relationship with us is maintained throughout all generations.
- Establish a sustainable culture that remains unbroken for posterity.
The God-designed family minimizes overall stress by reducing time pressures, encouraging character development among parents and children, and building warm close interpersonal relationships. When the woman’s career is at home pursuing God’s design, there are an additional 40 hours per week available to destress the entire family, compared to the married career woman trying to have it all.
If either Dad or Mom contemplates and chooses divorce or any path that undermines and devalues the family, the continuity is broken and the surviving family fragments become especially vulnerable to all manner of evil.
Today, the American culture has almost completely lost sight of God’s plan. The results have been tragic. It is up to us as Judeo-Christian believers to step up, restore, and magnify His amazing and magnificent vision.
What does it take to wake up the body of believers?
What does it take to wake up the clergy?