What Does the Bible Say About Families?

Psalm 68:6 (NIV) – God places the lonely in families…

When our children were little, I would tuck them into bed, pray with them, read Scripture with them, and sing with them. One night, one of the kids asked what the Trinity was like. 

I was straining to explain this complex concept, and so I said, “The Trinity is three Persons who love each other so much, and do everything together, so that they are united as one.” That child then said, “Oh, so God is like a loving family!” 

The concept of family is deeply woven throughout the entirety of Scripture. The Trinity – God the Father, Son, and Spirit – live together in love like a family. The Bible opens with the family of Adam and Eve and is a series of family histories that serve as positive and negative case studies including: 

  • Noah and Naamah along with their sons and daughter in laws to Abraham and Sarah (and Hagar)
  • Isaac and Rebekah
  • Jacob with his four wives and twelve sons
  • Joseph and Asenath
  • Moses and Zipporah
  • David and his eight wives
  • Solomon and his 700 wives along with 300 concubines
  • Job’s family that included his wife and children
  • And Hosea and Gomer, to name a few. 

Entire books of the Bible are rich stories about complex family dynamics, including Ruth and Esther. The Song of Songs is an intimate look at married life, and Proverbs is largely a series of practical life lessons from parents to children. 

The laws of the Old Testament are established to protect the family in areas such as sexuality, inheritance rights, and care for widows and orphans. The New Testament is filled with instructions for husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and sons and daughters. Regarding Jesus, Matthew opens by presenting Jesus in the context of 14 generations of His family from Abraham to his adoptive father Joseph (Matthew 1:1-17).

Read some of the family stories in the Bible that are mentioned, recognizing that the thread of family systems is woven all throughout the Bible and was part of God’s ultimate plan for humanity.

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