From the Scriptures we want to see just what God intended the family to be. We want to look at concepts which are basic to the family as a social unit. And we want to look at some of the straw bales which our culture is pressuring us to use in our homes, and which we must reject if we are to have wholesome families.
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).
"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame" (Proverbs 10:1,5).
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother . . . . And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:1,2a,4).
From these and similar Scriptures, we can easily see that God intended the family to be the most basic social unit of society. It is the place where such activities as visiting, eating, instruction, work, and play have their center. God intended that we interact with family members more than with anyone else. And having ordained the home to be the primary place of social interaction, God laid down guidelines for proper interaction.
As a social unit, however, our family in Western culture is seriously deficient. Those who want to work go to the corporation. Those who want to learn go to school. Those who want to play go to the park or the recreation center. Those who want to eat go to McDonalds. Visiting takes place only in snatches. Many Christian families find it strange to have the whole family home for an evening prayer.