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).”
*Family Man's Oath:

With God's help, I will do my best to:

1.  Praise God and honor Him daily in my thoughts, my words and my deeds, and establishing the foundations for my success as a true family man through the disciplines of Bible reading and prayer.

2.  Honor and respect my wife, loving her as Christ loves His Church, and faithfully demonstrating my lifelong commitment to providing for her needs.

3.  Spiritually protect my family by constantly interceding in prayer for their needs, guarding them from the influences of the enemy that seek to enter our home through various forms of media, establishing the Word of God as our home's final authority, and boldly declaring that, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)."

4.  Emotionally protect my family by speaking words of blessings and encouragement, spending quality time together, and remembering to be slow to anger and quick to extend mercy.

5.  Physically protect my family through hard work, preparedness and diligence, understanding that my call as a family man requires daily sacrifices.

6.  Be faithful to my family by ensuring regular weekly church attendance and faithful giving of my time and resources, in addition to maintaining relationships with other Christian men for edification and accountability.

7.  Ask the Lord daily for wisdom and His empowerment that I may walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

8.  Allow no other acitivities to distract me from my number one priority, which is to be assured that my family proclaims Jesus Christ as their lord and Savior.

*Adapted for Hope Church from "Family Man's Creed" - Dickson's, Inc.
A Community Evangelical Church