What is family? According to Webster it’s the collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
Family is blessed
In Psalm 128:3 it says: ‘Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in your home and your children will be like young olive trees around your table.’
· The vine being a weak and tender tree, which needs propping and supporting: and often is fastened to the sides of a house, to which the allusion here is; whereunto it cleaves, and on which it runs up, and bears very agreeable fruit; it is properly used to express the weakness and tenderness of the female sex, their fruitfulness in bearing children, and their care of domestic affairs, being keepers at home.
· The Church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife, the spouse of Christ; and it may be compared to a vine for her weakness in herself, her fruitfulness in grace and good works, and in bringing forth souls to Christ, through the ministry of the word; all which is pleasant and grateful to Him
· Thy children like olive plants round about thy table – numerous children was always accounted a very great blessing; it must be very pleasant for a parent to have all his children around his table, placed in their proper order according to their age, partaking of what it’s furnished with. This may be applied to the spiritual seed and offspring of Christ, which are like olive trees or olive plants; to which David is compared - Ps 52:8 ‘But I’m like an olive tree growing in the house of God; I trust in His constant Love forever and ever’
The Family should be taught God’s word – Deut 4:9 -10
9.’Be on your guard! Make certain that you do not forget, as long as you live, what you have seen with your own eyes. Tell your children and your grandchildren’
10 ‘about the day you stood in the presence of the LORD your God at Mount Sinai, when he said to me, 'Assemble the people. I want them to hear what I have to say, so that they will learn to obey me as long as they live and so that they will teach their children to do the same.'
· Take care of yourself, keep the soul, defend your life from danger and injury – Proverbs 13:3 ‘Be careful what you say and protect your life. A careless talker destroys himself.’ Proverbs 19:16 ‘Keep God’s laws and you will live longer; if you ignore them, you will die.’
· If a man knows the worth of his own soul, he will feel the importance of the salvation of the souls of his family. Those who neglect family religion, neglect personal religion; if more attention were paid to the former, even amongst those called religious people; we should soon have a better state of civil society. On family religion God lays much stress; and no head of a family can neglect it without endangering the final salvation of his own soul.
The Family should worship together – 1 Cor 16:19 ‘The churches in the province of Asia send you their greetings; Aquila and Priscilla and the church that meets in their house send warm Christian greetings.’
· Every Christian family should be as a Christian church. Wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ, and He is among them, there is a church. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has in it all that is good, for time and eternity.
The family shall be duly regulated – Proverbs 31:27 ‘She is always busy and looks after her family’s needs.’
· The wife of the household shall act as the moral manager: she takes care that all shall behave themselves well; that none of them shall keep bad company or contract vicious habits. A religious industry or and industrious religion, is the law of her house. She can instruct them in religion, as well as she can teach them in their labour. In her house, diligence is business, and fervency of spirit, serving the Lord, goes hand in hand.
Family should live in unity – Psalm 133:1 ‘How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony!’
· Unity is, according to this scripture, a good and pleasant thing, especially among members of the same family, of the same Christian community, and of the same nation.
What does family mean to me? Family is what keeps me sane. Family is the ultimate blessing from God. My family represents true and unconditional love, beyond understanding.