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Bible Teachings on Family


Bible Teachings on Family

Family is at the center of God’s plan for the happiness and progress of His children. The Holy Bible teaches that God established families from the very beginning, starting with the marriage of Adam and Eve. Jesus Christ also valued and taught about the importance of family during His mortal ministry. Because strong, happy families don’t just happen—they take work—God gives commandments, examples, and instructions about family that are found in the Bible.

Families in the Bible

  • Adam and Eve were the first family. When God created Adam, He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). And after God created Eve, Adam said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). God sanctioned and encouraged families, commanding Adam and Eve to be “fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
  • Other Bible families. Among the many examples in ancient scripture, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob followed God’s command to marry and have children. Abraham went to great lengths to protect his wife, Sarah (see Genesis 12), and exercised great faith to finally enjoy the blessings that came with having his son Isaac (see Genesis 21). Under the Lord’s direction, Abraham’s servant traveled a long distance to find Rebekah, a righteous woman, to be Isaac’s wife (see Genesis 24). And Isaac’s son Jacob worked for many years in order to marry and thus establish his own family, which became the house of Israel (see Genesis 29–30).

Jesus Christ’s counsel on family

  • Jesus Christ taught about marriage. Jesus Christ taught that marriage is holy and essential to God’s plan: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:6–9).

What else do we learn about marriage from the scriptures? Find out.

  • Jesus Christ taught about other family relationships. The parable of the prodigal son teaches lessons of repentance, forgiveness, obedience, and humility all in the context of a family (see Luke 15:11–32).
  • Jesus Christ taught the importance of caring for family. We know from the Bible that Jesus cared for His family. Throughout the New Testament, we learn how Jesus Christ showed love for His family members, especially His mother, Mary. He helped her at a wedding in Cana, turning water into wine (see John 2). Even while in agony on the cross, Jesus Christ showed concern for His mother’s care: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26–27).

Bible teachings about the importance of family

Many passages in the Old and New Testament teach additional important principles about family. Here are just a few examples:

  • Family and the Ten Commandments. One of the Ten Commandments given to Moses in the Old Testament speaks directly about the relationship between parents and children: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12). Other commandments can relate to family in a more general way—for example, “Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not bear false witness. . . . [And] thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:14–17). These are all important elements of maintaining successful family relationships.
  • Family and the book of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs also contains various teachings that pertain specifically to family: “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke. . . . A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Proverbs 13:1, 22). “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. . . . A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother” (Proverbs 15:5, 20).
  • Paul’s teachings about family. The Apostle Paul spoke often about family relationships. For example, he taught, “Marriage is honourable in all” (Hebrews 13:4). And he also counseled, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1–4).

How to find joy as a family

The Bible also gives further instructions on how you can raise a happy family.

  • Teach your children to follow Jesus Christ. “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13). God promises blessings for your children when you teach them gospel truths: “If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore” (Psalm 132:12).
  • Study the scriptures often as a family. Read the Bible together as a family and study the word of God to find greater insight on family and life. The Bible teaches, “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” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
  • Forgive family members often. The Apostle Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21–22). Forgiveness is sometimes hard, but it leads to greater happiness.
  • Serve your family members. Jesus Christ taught that serving others is the same as serving Him: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Serving your family members can help you become more like Jesus Christ.

What is a family? Read more about God’s view on the family

Learn what else the scriptures have to say about parenting

Study these and other scriptures about families. Request a free copy of the Bible or Book of Mormon

God gave us families to be happy. Talk to someone about how the family is part of God’s plan. Chat now. 

If you would like to know more about God’s plan for families and how you can find greater happiness in your family, schedule a visit with the missionaries.