What makes a Christian family distinct from a non-Christian one? Is it the number of times those in it attend church each week, or are there many more fundamental differences? Recently, at a parenting workshop at our church, I passed on the following outline that I had developed about 15 years ago and have taught numerous times. You may want to use it for personal Bible study or work through it in your small group.
Many years ago, Jay Adams provided this simple definition: “A truly Christian home is a place where sinners live; but it is also a place where the members of that home admit the fact and understand the problem, know what to do about it, and as a result grow by grace… The Christian home, then, is a place where sinful persons face the problems of a sinful world. Yet, they face them together with God and His resources, which are all centered in Christ (Cf. Col. 2:3). Sinners live in the Christian home, but the sinless Savior lives there too. That is what makes the difference!” (Christian Living in the Home, pp. 11, 13).
Surveying the Scriptures, here are nine marks of a Christian family. A Christian family is…
1 – A family that submits to the Bible as the final authority for all they believe and how they live.
• When this is true the following convictions become reality in the home:
• The Bible is God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:14-17).
• The Bible is absolute Truth (Jn. 17:17; Prov. 30:5-6).
• The Bible is sufficient to deal with any and every soul-related problem our family will ever experience (2 Tim. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:3).
• The Bible is to be obeyed (Josh. 1:8).
• The Bible is our daily bread (Mt. 4:4; 1 Pet. 2:2).
2 – A family that embraces and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
• Family members are trusting, or being taught to trust, in Jesus alone for salvation (Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9-10);
• Born again family members are encouraged to progressively grow in submission to Christ as Lord (Luke 6:46);
• Born again family members view themselves as His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:18-20);