God's Design for the Family

def: The family is the foundational institution of society ordained by God. It is constituted by marriage and is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.

  1. The family is a fundamental institution of human society.

    1. Genesis 2:20-25, 4:1

    2. Exodus 20:5-6, Joshua 7:10,15,24-25, 2 Kings 13:23

  2. The family is constituted by marriage.

    Genesis 2:20-25 A pattern or historical factoid? See v. 24 and Matthew 19:1-12

    1. Marriage is ordained by God.

    2. Marriage must be between one man and one woman.

    3. Marriage is characterized by leaving the authority structure of one's parents and joining together to form a new authority structure.

    4. Marriage is a picture of the relationship of Christ to the church. Ephesians 5:22-32

    5. Marriage is a covenant before God between a man and a woman. Proverbs 2:17, Malachi 2:14

  3. God has commissioned and blessed humanity with the charge to be fruitful and multiply. Genesis 1:28

    1. God has ordained that children be brought into the world only through the procreative activity of a husband and wife and only to married parents.

    2. The ordinary privilege and responsibility of married people is to have and rear children. Genesis 1:28, 1 Timothy 2:15

    3. The special privilege and responsibility of Christian parents is to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, that they may come to know Christ. Ephesians 6:4

  4. Parents have the primary responsibility and God-given authority to teach their children.

    1. Parents are responsible for their children's general education. Galatians 4:1-2

    2. Parents are responsible for their children's spiritual and theological education. Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Proverbs 1:7

  5. In light of the fall, God calls some people to singleness.

    1. Matthew 19:9-12

    2. I Corinthians 7:1-2,6-9,32-35,39-40

    3. In spite of the goodness of the single state in this age, it is still an incomplete state and requires special grace from God and his people. Psalm 68:5-6

"The purpose of Covenant Presbyterian Church is to gather and perfect the saints, in the framework of the family to expand Christ's Kingdom into the world."


Reforming Marriage, by Douglas Wilson, Canon Press, 1995, 142 pp. This is a lively, succinct overview of the fundamental biblical principles and concepts concerning marriage. It is a great book for a single person (especially a man) to read to develop biblical and realistic expectations concerning marriage. Hang on to your hat, guys. Some have said it should've been called Reforming Husbands!
Availability: CPC Library

"Directives to Singles," 3-tape series by Al Martin, Trinity Pulpit, Montville, NJ. The series is divided into "Basic Assumptions," "Theology of Singleness," and "Practical Considerations." This is an extremely helpful set of tapes and will clarify your thinking on both the single and married states.
Availability: Trinity Pulpit or Stan Reeves

Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The purpose of the CBMW is to set forth Biblical teaching about the complementary differences between men and women, created equal in the image of God, because these teachings are essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the Church. Their web site has a large collection of very helpful material.
Availability: http://www.cbmw.org