God’s idea – God’s design
God’s idea – God’s design
Wesley Wildmon
Wesley Wildmon
AFA vice president of outreach

Editor’s Note: This column first appeared in the May 2018 issue of AFA Journal. This condensed version has an updated introductory paragraph.

November 2021The Creator of all things, in His love for us, created three unique foundational institutions – government, family, and church. With my marriage to Chelsea and the birth of our children, Bennett (6), Landry Claire (3), and Anna Wesley (1 day), I’ve been thinking more and more about family. In Genesis 1:26-28, we see God’s design for marriage and family.

How does a biblical view of family intersect with our secular culture?

Contrary to the original intent for the family, our generation unfortunately sees 41% of U.S. marriages end in divorce. More than 40% of children in America are born to unwed parents in rebellion against God’s perfect plan for marriage and family.

The most heartbreaking of all divorce statistics is that the divorce rate among self-described Christians is 22%, even though God intended it to be an example of His plan for the family.

This is what millennials have seen as the norm. Many have experienced their parents getting a divorce. A quick caveat to those who have experienced divorce: I cannot claim to be an expert on marriage, nor should I claim that some divorces are not justifiable. God hates divorce, but it is not an unpardonable sin. According to 1 John 1:9, He offers forgiveness and reconciliation to all.

I suggest three principles that can help us experience God’s design for the family.

1. God created the family so that one family member can complement another.
Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’” (ESV).

God has designed us for relationships. Family is the primary way we fulfill that need. In the flowchart of a family from grandparents to parents to children, each complements the others in their particular roles.

2. The family is a picture of God’s relationship with us and love for us.
In Ephesians 5:22-28, Paul addresses this principle: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. … In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

When a family carries out God’s design, it reflects God’s relationship to us.

3. God commands us to grow our family.
Growing a family is a blessing, as He said in Genesis 1:28 – “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

God’s plan for the family from the creation of mankind was one man, one woman, created in His image, together for a lifetime (Genesis 1:27). And sex between a husband and wife is God’s great gift to fulfill His command to be fruitful and multiply.

God also recognizes that not everyone will marry (1 Corinthians 7). Furthermore, many couples cannot have biological children. It is reality, and it is often very painful. But God can offer them other options to express the gospel through adoption, fostering, and spiritual parenting or mentoring.

Our past may be scarred by poor examples of God’s design for the family. However, there is grace and mercy from God the Father, even when we’ve been on a plan different from His. As long as there is breath in us, it is not too late to turn from the imperfect model of the world and choose God’s perfect design as we go forward.   

Visit By Design (afa.net/bydesign) for articles and podcasts on AFA’s new initiative advocating biblical marriage.