One of the most important themes in the Holy Bible and the history of God’s interaction with His people is the importance of marriage and family. I get that. There are many references on that topic, and many important lessons to be learned. One thing I have been noticing in my personal Bible study lately is the importance of healthy marriages and families in church leadership. We don’t get much of a peek at the foundational apostles’ marriage and family life, but we get a few clues:
- Jesus healed Simon Peter’s wife’s mother in Luke 4:38-39.
- The Apostle Paul talks of the right to take a believing wife, like Cephas (Peter) and the other Apostles in 1 Corinthians 9:5.
- The qualifications for church leadership as overseer/bishop/superintendent and deacon/servant listed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 include being married to one wife and having godly children.
- Jesus Christ Himself taught on marriage in Matthew 5:31-32, Matthew 19, and Mark 10:1-12, among other places.
- There are some important guidelines to a happy, healthy, and loving home life in Ephesians 5 & 6 and Colossians 3.
When I look at what the Lord is actually teaching us, I see a great deal of love, and a strong emphasis on the value of marriage as defined in the Holy Bible and families where children are nurtured by a loving father and mother. This is an important part of church leadership: leading by example.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not out to condemn anyone or attack anyone. I’m not the Judge of all the earth. I just know that there is great wisdom in following God’s ways as taught in the Holy Bible, and that is what I intend to do, because I love God, who first loved me beyond what words are adequate to express.