Christian teaching on family life

Christianity teaches that family members have duties towards each other:

  • Family members should support each other through difficult times as well as celebrating special events.
  • Families have a responsibility towards their members who are sick or elderly.
  • It is the duty of a Christian family to bring up the next generation to follow the Christian faith. This also involves teaching Christian values of love and forgiveness.

Bible teaching

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Respect your father and your mother.Exodus 20: 12
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But if anyone does not take care of his relatives, especially the members of his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.1 Timothy 5: 8
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Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do.Ephesians 6: 1
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Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, bring them up with Christian discipline and instruction.Ephesians 6: 4

Protection and nurture

Christian love is sacrificial. Just as Jesus demonstrated by dying on the cross, parents and children are called to make sacrifices for each other. Family is the first place where children can find out about love, companionship and forgiveness. Parents can set children a good example of how to live a Christian life.

Families can play an important role in the community. They can provide support for other families, care for the elderly and adopt children. Responsibility towards elderly family members is especially important.

Parent and child relationships

Christianity teaches that children should treat their parents with honour and respect. They should consider their parents' wishes and be obedient.

Many Christians believe that children are a gift from God, and that parents have responsibilities towards them that include:

  • caring for them properly
  • teaching them how to love
  • teaching them how to accept authority
  • teaching them about God
  • taking them to be baptised and promising to bring them up in a loving home