Home » Human Rights » The Roles of Men and Women Within the Family

Christians believe the decision to marry and start a family is personal, and some people might choose to remain single to devote their lives to God instead.

Some of the best known and most respected Christians have not married, e.g. Catholic priests, monks and nuns. Jesus never married.

Some single Christians choose to do important work that does not fit with family life,such as helping victims of war in dangerous parts of the world.

Christians believe family life is important because:

The family is the first place where children can find out about love, companionship and forgiveness.

Families provide love, comfort, protection and support. Families educate children to become responsible adults and better parents. Family life is a very important part of creating a stable society. Families encourage each other to follow Christianity. If they go to church together, worship together at home, take part in festivals, etc., they are all less likely to stop bothering.

Parents can set children a good example of how to live a Christian life, e.g. show love and forgiveness.

Families can play an important role in the community, egg provide hospitality, support other families, care for the elderly, and adopt unwanted children.

Christian couplesfamilies might try to:

Keep the marriage vows and promises – to be faithful, love, honour and respect each other, “for better for worse, richeroorer, sicknesshealth, till death us do part” . . .

Raise children as Christians.

Pray and worship together as a familycouple, and go to Church.

Make sure their family relationships follow the teachings of the Bible.

Vote for Parliament candidates who believe in the importance of the family.

Join organisations in the church which support families and married couples, eg Wives Clubs, groups for young married couples, Mother’s Union, etc…

Church teaching on family

Roman Catholic Church

” All members of the family, each according to his or her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building day by day the community of persons making a family a school of deeper humanity.

This happens when there is care and love for the children, the aged and the sick where there is a sharing of goods, of joys and of sorrows”-Pope John Paul II

Church of England

In 1995, the Church of England published a paper called Something to Celebrate. It investigates the tensions within modern relationships, “specifically those experienced by parents, women as mothers, men as fathers, childless couples, single people, and cohabiting couples.”

It concluded that “it is the quality of relationship irrespective of the form of relationship which the Church should endorse if the Church is to continue to offer a place of acceptance for hurting people where they can find wholeness.”

The report highlighted the role of the Church and individual Christians in providing “aice, counselling, homes, preparation for marriage, mediation in family conflict, parenting courses, youth clubs and above all, friendship.”

The Bible and Family

The different roles of husbands and wives.

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.

He who loves his wife loves himself.” — Ephesians, 5-22-24

St Paul explains his view that a man should have be the leader in a marriage, and have authority over the woman, who should serve him.

This does not mean he can bully her, or expect her to do all the work – he must respect her, and treat her with love just as Christ loves the church. She should do as he says, and see him as authority.

Other Christians believe that these views are too old-fashioned for the modern world.

The Bible was written a long ago when society was very different.

Men and women should have equal opportunities at home and at work a couple should share care for the children and housework, and they should both be able to go out to work if they want.

If there is a disagreement, it does not always have to be the man who has the final say.

Many women no longer promise to obey their husbands as part of their marriage vows. They argue that the Bible teaches that everyone is made: “in the image of God.” — Genesis 1:27

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” –St. Paul, Galatians 2:28

Paul says Christians should not look at differences between people, but should recognise they are all united.

It suggests Christians should consider each other as equals, e.g. at home and work.

The roles of children and parents

Children should treat their parents with honour and respect. They should consider their parents’ wishes and feelings, and be obedient: “Honour your father and your mother”

Exodus 20:12 – 10 commandments

“Listen to your Father who gave you life and do not despise your mother when she is old”–Proverbs 23:22

Adults have responsibility towards elderly members of the family, and should make sure they receive the care they need:

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” — St Paul, 1 Timothy 5:8

Parents have responsibilities towards their children.

They should teach them about their faith, and expect them to be well-behaved: “Discipline your son, and he will give you peace he will bring delight to your soul.”–Proverbs 29:17

But, parents should not be too hard on them . . .

“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”–Colossians 2:20-21

According to the Bible, Christians should try to treat everyone, even strangers, as if they were family members. Everyone has equal value to God. Christians should show Christian agape love to everyone.

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father.

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” — 1 Timothy 5:1-2

“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” – Jesus, Mark’s Gospel 3:35 –rsrevision.com

Source : The Herald