Relationships in the home, as set forth in the article by Rev. Van Baren, was the issue taken up by the first of two discussion groups of the 1985 Convention.
One very important point our group focused in on was that a foundation of love is imperative to a successful, God-glorifying family.
What does this mean? If you read I Corinthians 13, you’ll find that love (charity) is longsuffering, is not proud, behaves not unseemly, and on and on. If we apply what we read in this chapter to our interactions with other family members, we will have assurance that our homes are pleasing to God and will be, in turn, wonderful places to live in too. Everything exists to glorify God, and when we work to have our homes do this, we can have faith that God will make them prosper and not forsake them.
But a family is not just a group of people who love each other. Each member has a specific role to play. We know what these roles are because the family is a picture of the church of all ages. Fathers are types of God the Father in so far as they make rules and bestow blessings. They, as husbands, are types of Jesus, Who is husband to the church, by being the headship of their wives. Jesus is known as the elder brother, and while it is everyone’s responsibility to consciously be like Christ, we can see how likeness to Christ in older children would be a special benefit to the family. Wives in their devotion to husbands are pictures of the church in its devotion to God. And children, content, obedient, and in subjection to the father, are types of the church as children of God are in their relation to Him. But all of these, in order to survive as a unit, must show true love towards each other as defined in I Corinthians 13.
At the end of his article, Rev. Van Baren asks if it isn’t “cool” to be spiritual. Essentially, the family itself is not something we conventionally think of as cool. But even within the family, it is very hard to talk about spiritually personal things, and very easy to lose faith and forget the spiritual importance of the family altogether. Family members are responsible fortuning in to each other’s spiritual conditions. If this is neglected, apathy will destroy the family.
“Therefore, only He who has progressed in the Gospel who reckons himself happy in communion with God and rests in that alone. He puts it before the whole world and is ready for its sake to give up everything.” Calvin on I John 1:4