The term “Christian family” is widely used but poorly understood. A family is not necessarily a “Christian family” because:
– The couple got married and each holds membership in a church;
– The family sits together in a beautiful sanctuary each week;
– The family occasionally prays together;
– A family Bible sits in the living room;
– The family celebrates Christmas and Easter.
In fact, one could easily argue that there is no such thing as a family that is Christian. While the family may have a strong Christian heritage and influence, only individuals can give their lives to Christ. There is, however, such a thing as a family that is marked by the steadfast commitment of each member to the Lord Jesus Christ. Following are some of the marks of this distinct family:
– Each person is committed to Christ and active in the life of the local church;
– Each person spends (or is learning to spend) time regularly in spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, silence, solitude, service, etc.;
– Parents model a life of faith that serves as a guide and example to the children;
– Each person is marked by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control;
– Each marital partner is willing to give up his/her quest for the ring of power and selfish ambition as they strive to serve the true Lord of the Rings.
Charles Spurgeon once commented on Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go—but be sure you go that way yourself.” A Christian family begins and ends with the commitment, faithfulness, and authenticity of the parents. When this is the case, Henry Drummond’s words ring true. “The family circle is the supreme conductor of Christianity!”