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Mature in Family Life

How does the family function in discipleship?

by Andy Davis on June 25, 2024

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25  
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22  
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Ephesians 6:1  
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4  


Maturing Christians develop a pattern of biblical faithfulness in marriage and parenting. The Christian family is the greatest machine in the world for the making of mature Christian disciples. The overwhelming majority of Christians in the world had Christian parents who poured the gospel into them from infancy. More people are won to faith by their parents than by all evangelists, missionaries, pastors, and Christian workers combined. And in these eternally fruitful homes, Christian parents fulfilled the commands God has given for their marriage as the top priority in the family. Their children grew up watching their parents obey the commands listed above, however imperfectly.

Therefore, all mature Christians, even those with the gift of singleness, honor marriage as the most important relationship in the world, and parent/child as the second. Because of the vital importance of the Christian family, Satan works daily to destroy it. And mature Christians put on their spiritual armor daily to fight for it. Christian husbands are called on to love their wives as Christ loved the church and lay down their lives daily for them as Christ died for his church. So also, wives are called to willingly and gladly submit to their husbands’ leadership in their marriage and in the family. These roles are temporary—only for this present world. They will be consummated in the perfect union of Christ and his church in eternity and in the perfect unity the Christian spouses will have with each other in heaven. Despite all the difficulties brought on by their present battles with sin, Christian spouses seek every day to fulfill their God-ordained roles for his glory and for the benefit of their children and of the entire church of Christ.

"More people are won to faith by their parents than by all evangelists, missionaries, pastors, and Christian workers combined."

In the same way, Christian parents see the incredible stewardship they have in their children and act with great seriousness and solemn delight in raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They begin praying for them even before they are born, and they pour the words of gospel truth into their developing ears daily from infancy until at last they are converted. Then they continue to train them up to maturity by the Word of God, preparing them for a lifetime of good works for the glory of God. They have daily access to their children, and the privilege of reaching them for Christ when their hearts are tender and easily formed. They get to shepherd them as they grow from childish ways and thoughts to adulthood. They have the privilege of being the most influential forces on their eternal destinies God will ever put in their lives.

All maturing Christians have a role to play in the Christian family. Even if some are called to singleness, they can pray for the Christian marriages and parent/child relationships they see around them daily. Heaven alone will show the power of these relationships and how God used them for his glory to fulfill his purposes in this world.

Tags: salvation, marriage and parenting