A website asks their subscribers the criteria for an ideal Christian family. The answers collected are very interesting, some say that the ideal Christian family is a family that understands the fear of God, teaches a close relationship with God, a family that serves, and a family that has been saved. There are also those who answered a peaceful family, the things forgiving in the Bible appreciate and forgive, and endure to the end. Ideal means very much in accordance with what is aspired, imagined, or desired.
When it comes to goals, most people definitely have different goals from one another. Not surprisingly, the definition of the ideal Christian family that was put forward by the subscribers of the Christian website was different. The answers actually describe the dream and give a little picture of their experience with the family. If you're reading this article right now, you can guess that you want to know what the ideal family according to the Bible is like. But maybe you will be a little disappointed because the answer is NO. Yes, there is no ideal family, even in the Bible. In the Bible, you will find examples of ideal Christian families that are far from perfect, some of which are:
Abraham and Sarah's Family
Imagine you are a wife who is asked to lie about her marital status because your husband is afraid of being killed. How do you feel? Sarah felt the same way when Abraham was asked to lie when they were in the Land of Egypt (Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18).
The Family of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel
Polygamy? It has happened and is recorded in the Bible. Play favor? The same thing happened to Jacob's family. We can read how Jacob loved Rachel and her children more than Leah and her children (Genesis 29,37).
Timothy had a grandmother and mother who taught him about the faith, but he also had a Greek father who did not know the Father (2 Timothy 1:5).
The Role of Family Members in the Bible
The examples above are only a small part of the families in the Bible that are far from ideal. Then, if there is no ideal family, how should we hope for the family we currently have?
1. Head of a Christian Family
Expectations for a family must be based on knowledge of who is the leader in the family. The answer, of course, is the Father, because the Father is the Head of all Christian families throughout the world. In fact, it is already in the wedding vows that you used to say. If we already know, are aware, and believe that the Father is the head of our family, then actually living a family life is not as hard as we think.
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to know this, that the head of every man is Christ, the head of women is male and the head of Christ is the Father.
Disappointment is the gulf between expectations and reality. This often happens in family life. Think about how often we are disappointed in our husbands, wives, or children because they don't live up to our expectations? This is where the Word of God actually teaches about laying the foundation of all hope in the Father because He is the leader of the family. There is a big difference between the hope you hold on to yourself and the hope you put at the Father's helm.
Just imagine for a moment you are on a long trip, take the example from Jakarta to Bali. If you keep driving alone without a break then it's no wonder you'll be exhausted. It's different when you have a partner who can replace you when you're tired or give directions when you're in a strange location. That's how our married life should be, we shouldn't drive it alone. On this long journey, cooperate with the Father at the helm of our marriage.
2. The Foundation of the Christian Family
After knowing the Head or Leader of the family, we must also know the basis of the Christian family. Surely you all know that the basics must be in accordance with the Bible, but how does it apply to everyday family life? The Bible records that we should teach over and over again and speak God's Word everywhere (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). In fact, if other people come to our house and see our lives, they can see the real application of God's Word. Even in family life like that, God's Word must be the basis of every decision we make, for example how to properly advise children, whether to be in debt or not, or in a husband and wife relationship.
Before seeking advice from other people or other sources, seek God's Word first. God's word must also be an atmosphere in the Christian family. Make sure that all our family members clearly understand the application and application of the Word of God in their lives. Always monitor the size of their spiritual growth, whether they have become doers of God's Word or not. Let's look again at the examples of families in the Bible that have been written above, although it can be said that Abraham was a timid man, but when Abraham obeyed God's plan and waited patiently, he and Sarah became the father and mother of many nations and got the promised offspring.
Although the families of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel were torn apart, it was their descendants who continued the Father's promise to Abraham, namely descendants like the stars in the sky. It is different with Timothy, even though he has a father who does not know the Father, but through the faith of his grandmother and mother and the basis of the Word of the Father which has been his life since childhood, he was also used as one of the founders of the church at a young age during Paul's ministry.
So, whatever the current state of our family, realize that there is no ideal family. However, make the Father the Head of the Family and God's Word as a solid foundation for our family, then God will use our family to fulfill His great plan in this world, because the family is a vessel for God to fulfill God's promises for believers.