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What should be the priorities for a Christian family?

20121115_AMERICAN_FAMILY_LARGEHello F,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

According to the Bible, there are several priorities for a Christian family.

The Bible teaches that God comes first. In Deuteronomy 6:5 we read, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” All of one’s heart, soul, and strength is to be committed to our loving Heavenly Father.

If a person is married, then the spouse comes next. A married man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Christ’s first priority—after obeying and glorifying the Father—was the church. In the same way, wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). A woman’s husband is second only to God in her priorities.

If a couple has children, their children should be the next priority. Parents are to raise godly children who will be the next generation of those who love the Lord with all their hearts (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).

The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). So, parents are next in the list of priorities after God, our spouses, and our children. After parents comes the rest of one’s family or relatives (1 Timothy 5:8).

The next priority down the list are the believers in the church. In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul’s instructs on how the church should live together in harmony, loving one another. Other counsel is given to how brothers and sisters in Christ are to “serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13); “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32); “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11); and “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

Our final priority is to the rest of the world (Matthew 28:19) to whom we should love and reach out to with the good news of God’s salvation.

Therefore, the Bible teaches that the order of priorities is God, spouse, children, parents, extended family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and then the rest of the world.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

Was this answer helpful?
  • Laura Malone

    Where is a persons happiness fit in to the mix?

    • Tina

      Thank you for your comment Laura,

      In the Christian life, we are promised a very special gift which is that of the Holy Spirit. “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” 1 John 4:13. When God gives us His Spirit, we will know we have received it by seeing it’s fruits in our lives which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23). The first three gifts are love, joy and peace. These are essential to ones contentment and happiness. When we follow the two greatest commandments of loving God and loving others (Matthew 22:37-40), we know we stand in right relation to God and can receive these gifts. Jesus also promises us to give us life and life more abundant (John 10:10). God’s intention for our lives in a happy one, but sometimes we must sacrifice a small, temporary pleasure for a joy much greater. There are many promises of love, joy, peace and the Spirit we can claim as we walk through life’s journey (Isaiah 26:3, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Timothy 1:7, Nehemiah 8:10) and we pray you find happiness in Christ as you walk with Him day by day.

      In His service,
      BibleAsk Team

  • Lilly Bermudez

    What do you mean by where does a persons happiness fit in the mix? It is the joy of having Christ Jesus in your Life! The paradise that He is preparing for us to be with him. This life here is just temporary the things we have are not coming with us and it is time to tell about Jesus to anyone that will listen.