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Family
Theology of the Family and the Role of Fathers, Mothers, and Children
 
            Scripture is clear that men are to be the head of their households and are responsible to lead and care for their wives and children as well as represent them before the believing community (Eph. 5:22-6:4).  A man who does not manage his own household well is disqualified from serving as an overseer in the Household of God (1 Tim. 3:1-7).
            Fathers are charged with the overall responsibility to both train and discipline his children (Eph. 6:1-4). His duty involves the impartation of wisdom to his children through regular instruction in God’s Word and worship in the context of the home (Prov. 1:8; 2:1-5; 3:1-4; 11-12; 5:1-2; 6:20; 7:1-2; 22:6; 1 Thes. 2:8-12). Fathers are warned against being too harsh with their children so that they won’t get discouraged (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21).
            Mothers, likewise, also play a major role in the process of training and disciplining her children. Her responsibility, however, seems to include a softer element in that she is portrayed in Scripture as one who nurtures and loves tenderly (1 Thes. 2:7; Titus 2:4).
            Parental discipline must be balanced. On the one hand, children must be kept under control and required to respect and obey authority, while on the other hand parents must be careful to avoid being heavy-handed and exasperating, causing their children to lose heart (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:20-21; 1 Tim. 3:4-5). Moreover, parents must be intentional as they transition their children to adulthood to embrace the tenets of the faith as their own and continue in what they have learned and been taught from infancy.  As children emerge into adulthood, parents must recognize and embrace the fact that others in the church(es) may play a significant role in that transition (2 Tim. 1:13-14; 3:14-16; 1 Thes. 2: 10-12; Prov. 1-9).  
            Children are commanded in Scripture to honor and obey both parents in the Lord, that they might experience God’s blessing of a life lived in the spiritual covering of their father and mother (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20).  
 
*In the case of single-parent households or where one’s spouse is not a believer, that parent must assume the primary responsibility to train and discipline his or her child(ren) in the “fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).”
 


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