Introduction: A Christian faces all sorts of struggles. Most are
internal fights with temptation. Some are fights against the growing
evil in society. All(as we learned last quarter)are battles against
spiritual forces of evil. One struggle that crosses these lines is
the struggle for the family. It takes work to play our proper role in
our own family. The nature of the protected family in society is
currently under attack. Our lesson this quarter is all about the
family. This week we start by considering the Bible’s definition of
the family. Let’s jump in!

  1. First Family

    1. Read Genesis 2:18. What was God’s view of a solitary life
      for Adam? (It was not good.)

    2. Read Genesis 2:19-20. Is God joking with us? Were God and
      Adam really considering all of the “living creatures”
      individually to see if any of them would work as a
      “suitable helper” for Adam? Can you imagine Adam saying
      about a cow: “Sorry, I cannot speak ‘cow.'” “If Bessie
      were my helper we would have a serious communication

    3. Read Genesis 2:21-22. What is special about Eve? (She was
      purpose made for Adam. She was not something that was
      already created that would “just do” as a companion.)

      1. What do we learn from her creation from a rib? (There
        is symbolism of equality in this. It suggests that
        God’s original plan was that she would be an equal

        1. Does the creation order suggest a first among

    4. Read Genesis 2:23-24. Would “one flesh” allow anything
      other than equality? (Read Ephesians 5:28-29. Paul uses
      the phrase “his own body” to convey the “one flesh”
      concept of God about the relationship between husbands and

  2. Jesus and the Family

    1. Read Matthew 19:3-6. What conclusion about the break-up of
      marriage did Jesus draw from the Genesis plan? (If a man
      and a woman became one flesh in marriage, they should not

    2. Read Matthew 19:7-8. Was Moses off on a “toot” of his own?
      Or, was this a rule given by God because of the hardness
      of the hearts of the people? (I do not think it is
      appropriate to say that Moses was writing without the
      permission of God. The New Bible Commentary says this:
      “The divorce regulations [of Moses] were a concession to
      deal with sin, not an expression of the way God intended
      things to be. Divorce might be necessary, but it was never

      1. Let’s look at the text to which the Pharisees
        referred: read Deuteronomy 24:1. Does anything about
        this seem unfair? (The IVP Bible Background
        Commentary points out that men could divorce women
        unilaterally, but the same was not true for women.
        “Jesus opposition to this sort of divorce is also a
        defense of married women.”)

    3. Read Matthew 19:9. What “escape clause” from marriage does
      Jesus allow? (“Marital unfaithfulness.” For those
      concerned that only men may divorce, see Mark 10:12.)

      1. A friend who is going through a divorce said this to
        me, “I don’t know why Christians are so ready to
        defend against homosexual marriage when heterosexual
        marriage makes the definition of ‘marriage’ a joke.”
        Have Christians made marriage a “joke?” Have they
        lost the moral right to speak against homosexual
        marriage? (If only perfect people were allowed to
        stand against sin, no one would oppose sin. But, the
        underlying point is well-taken. Those who profess to
        follow Jesus need to be as ready to protect marriage
        against divorce as they are to protect it against
        homosexual attack. We should not have two standards:
        one for sinners “like us” and another for sinners
        with different temptations.)

    4. Read Matthew 19:10-12. What was the reaction of the
      disciples in response to Jesus’ teaching that the rules of
      marriage should go back to those established at Creation?
      (They were stunned. It seemed an impossible standard to

      1. When Jesus responded by saying, “The one who can
        accept this should accept it,” to what was He
        referring? Was he talking about the rule against
        divorce or the rule that you should not marry if you
        will not abide by the rules against divorce? (I do
        not know the answer. It is clear Jesus is laying down
        a very firm rule on marriage and divorce. The ideal
        is not in doubt. On the other hand, when Jesus says
        the “one who can accept should accept” may be
        referring back to God’s past willingness to be
        flexible on divorce given the sinful nature of
        humans. Since Jesus died because of the sin issue, it
        is hard for me to teach that God is “flexible” on the
        subject of sin.)

  3. Single Adults

    1. Look again at Matthew 19:11-12. What positive reason does
      Jesus give for being unmarried?

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1 and 1 Corinthians 7:7-8. Between
      the statements of Jesus and Paul, how should an unmarried
      person look at life? (Read 1 Corinthians 7:32-34. Being
      single allows you the opportunity to focus on promoting
      the kingdom of God.)

    3. Consider again Genesis 2:18. How can you explain the
      apparent conflict between the teaching in Genesis (“it is
      not good … to be alone”) with the teaching of Paul and
      Jesus that being single is good for promoting the Kingdom
      of Heaven? (Read 1 Timothy 4:1,3. The issue is whether you
      forbid marriage. Marriage is supposed to be good. It is
      the ideal. However, some may choose to deprive themselves
      of this good in order to promote the Kingdom of God. To
      make that voluntary decision is also good.)

    4. Are single adults a family? (If Christians, they are part
      of the family of God. See 1 Timothy 5:1-2.)

  4. Family Fraud

    1. Read Romans 1:18-20. At the beginning of this lesson we
      learned that God custom made Eve to be Adam’s partner. Is
      it logical and intellectually appropriate to argue God’s
      intentions regarding heterosexual versus homosexual
      marriage from the way He created things? (We see a
      progression of ideas in the Creation. First, God examines
      all of His creation for a suitable helper. He then custom
      creates Eve. He did not custom make another man, although
      He certainly could have done that. Finally, and most
      importantly, God instructs that man and woman will be
      united as “one flesh.” My children are the “one flesh”
      that resulted from my marriage. The entire scheme of the
      original family argues against the validity of a
      homosexual family.)

      1. You must have heard it said, “If God intended humans
        to smoke, He would have created them with a
        smokestack.” What do you think of the logic of that?
        ( Romans 1:20 seems to say that it is the large issues
        about God that can be understood from the creation.)

        1. Is homosexual marriage a “large issue?”

    2. Read Romans 1:21-23. What does this suggest is the logical
      progression of those who reject the authority of God?
      (Their understanding is darkened. They foolishly begin to
      worship things they have made rather than the Maker of

    3. Read Romans 1:24-25. Why would sexual impurity be part of
      rejecting the authority of God?

    4. Read Romans 1:26-27. What does the Bible call homosexual
      sex? (A perversion.)

    5. Consider Paul’s line of argument here. We start out with
      an argument about the existence of God based on His
      creation. We end up with a conclusion about homosexuality.
      How does that make any logical sense? (When God created
      the earth, part of His creation was this template of male
      and female being part of the continuing creation process.
      You see this template in both humans and animals. This is
      one of those “big picture,” “large issues” things that
      anyone with an open mind can see. As humans became
      wicked, and began to worship what they had made instead of
      their Maker, they also rejected their Maker’s template for
      the continuing creation process. Viewed in this light, the
      promotion of homosexual marriage becomes a foundational
      issue, like evolution and the Sabbath. Evolution is an
      attack on the authority of our Creator. Rejection of the
      Sabbath is an attack on our weekly memorial to creation.
      ( Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11) Homosexuality is an attack on
      the master template of creation. Satan is not stupid. He
      does his best to sever the lines of logic that reinforce
      our allegiance to our Creator God.)

    6. Friend, God created the family when He created the world.
      Will you do your part to promote God’s original plan for

  5. Next week: God’s Word on Family Living.