The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

God’s Original Design for the Family

Gene Humphrey

Gen. 1:28, And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 9:1, And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

The home in America is breaking down. Where once the term family was defined as a unit comprised of a husband, a wife, and children. Today that is no longer the case. The push is on to legalize same sex marriages; fornication and adultery are common occurrences. Since 1970 the number of single parent families has doubled.

Harold Voth, formerly of Menninger Clinic, estimates that by the year 2,000 one-half of young Americans will not have grown up in traditional families. Dr.Voth emphasized that strong families build strong nations. He warned that the ideas of the Equal Rights Amendment would propel us into a "gender free" society. Differences between men and women will be erased and the heterosexual bond will be weakened.(1)

What is the problem, what has brought America into such a terrible condition? I believe a major contributor can be found in the fact that mankind today has departed from God's original design for the family. God's design cannot be improved upon, but I am afraid that the blueprint of the design has been lost today. I am afraid that many pastors have failed to reveal it to their people, because many of them have abandoned the plan themselves. God's plan will work, we must search out what it is and follow it.

God's Original Design for the Family is Found in Genesis 1:28 and 9:1

In the beginning God created male and female, and formed the institution of marriage. This union was blessed of God and stamped with his approval. To this couple he commands "Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth." The implication is that they are not only to have some children, but a number of children. The marriage relationship was designed to have off spring.

God again gives this command to Noah and his sons after the flood. cp. Genesis 9:1 This command is given to Noah, and his descendants, that is you and me, and it has never been rescinded.

Some have viewed these commands as "Emergency Commands" saying, because there was no one else, they must be prolific in reproducing. That is, no one but Adam and Eve, and no one but Noah's family. But you must realize that the whole world is just one generation from extinction. If one generation bears no children mankind ceases to exist.

God's command was to replenish the earth and subdue it. Replenish means to fill, from the Hebrew:

04390 male' {maw-lay'} or mala' (Esth. 7:5) {maw-law'} a primitive root; TWOT - 1195; v

AV - fill 107, full 48, fulfil 28, consecrate 15, accomplish 7, replenish 7, wholly 6, set 6, expired 3, fully 2, gather 2, overflow 2, satisfy 2, misc 14; 249(2)

Do you realize that this command has not yet been fulfilled? Let me ask you, is the world now facing the threat of overpopulation?

Let the facts speak for themselves.

I quote from a booklet titled,
How to Understand The Purpose Behind Humanism.

Those who talk about over population are propagating a destructive myth. It may serve the purpose of justifying abortion, sterilization, infanticide, and euthanasia; however, it is totally contrary to the facts. Actually the world is comparatively empty. There are 52.5 million square miles of land area in the world, not including Antarctica.

If all the people in the world were brought together into one place, they could stand, without touching anyone else, in less than 200 square miles. 10 by 20 miles = 200 sq. miles.

The city limits of Jacksonville, Florida contains 841 Sq. miles. Each square mile contains 27,878,400 square feet. The total number of square feet in the city is 23,445,734,400. The world population is four and a half billion people. By allowing an average of 2.6 feet for each person from babies to adults, every person in the world could stand shoulder to shoulder in just one-half of the city.

A further fallacy in the population explosion myth is the assumption that the greater the population the lower the standard of living. This is not true.

Japan has a population density of 798 people per sq.mile, yet they have a higher per capita gross national product ($4,450) than India, which has 511 people per sq. mile ($140)

China has a population density of 232 per sq.mile. West Germany has 636 and the United States has only 60(3). Population and prosperity have no correlation.

While we are here and have mentioned India, the idea of over population and famine in India needs to be addressed. Does India have widespread famine because of the lack of food? The answer is absolutely not.

India does not have a hunger problem because of the lack of food. It has a hunger problem because of their religious beliefs contrary to the Word of God. The Hindu religion teaches that people who die are reincarnated in the form of animals; thus it is against their laws to kill rats, mice, cows, or other animals. Every cow eats enough food to feed 7 people, and there are two hundred million "sacred cows" in India.

The mandate for the home today is be FRUITFUL, multiply and fill the earth.

In the world today, where the very concept of a home is under attack, people see children as an accident, some see them as a curse. Many see them as a disposable embryo in the womb. But God's word paints them as a blessing.

The Psalmist declares the blessings of children. Psalms 127:3-5, Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalms 128:3-4, Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

The People In the Bible Rejoiced In Children.

When Sarah had Isaac in her old age, she rejoiced with laughter over his birth. (Genesis 21:6-7) When Rebekah departed from her family to go to Isaac, the blessing given to her of her father, was not to be successful in trade. It was not that she would live for many years. But it was "be thou the mother of thousands of millions." (Genesis 24:60)

Though Rachel was the favorite of Jacob, it was not enough for her, and she cries to her husband, "Give me children or else I die." (Genesis 30:1) Though Elkanah was a great husband to Hannah, better than 10 sons, Hannah still wanted a baby.

Why? Because the most natural thing in the world, is for a woman to want a baby.

At least on one occasion God was very angry when a man refused to have children. In Genesis 38:8-10, we have the account of Er, one of Judah's sons. Because of his wickedness God slew him. According to Deuteronomy 25:5-10 the next brother in line was to marry Er's widow and raise up children to which the inheritance would go. There were laws for getting out of the marriage and allowing someone else to marry her, as the case in the book of Ruth where the near kinsmen lets Boaz have Ruth. However, Onan, Er's brother, agreed to marry Tamar, but he refused to give her children by not letting his seed fertilize the egg. In refusing to give Tamar a child, God killed him.

The area of Birth Control is sensitive and personal indeed, and I will not write on it in this article, but suffice it to say something is wrong when a wife wants a baby and the husband prevents that.

Children Are A Blessing. The Bible Example Is That Those Who Had Children Rejoiced.

Would it not be foolish to tell God, "I am so sick of all this money you are giving me, Lord, don't give me anymore of your financial blessings." Or, "Lord I am tired of you blessing me with such good health, let me get sick so I can take up some of my sick time at home." No, we would rejoice in the blessings of God upon our lives.

Yet I hear time after time, things like, "You got 7 kids!! OH my, how do you stand it?" Just fine
thank you.

"Seven kids, how do you afford it?" Well I can't really explain that but I know I've not seen
the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.

Children Are a Reward From God

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalms 127:3)

Large families are a blessing. John R. Rice in his book,
The Home, gives a number of reasons why large families are desirable. I give you two of those reasons below.

1. Every reason for having one child is a reason for having another. The happiness, the joy, in having one, is even more in having two. God provides for the one as much as he provides for the 7. The Psalmist said: "Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them, they shall not be ashamed. They shall speak with the enemies in the gate." (Psalms 127:5)

2. Larger families are happier families. Children of large families learn to share, and work together with others. They learn to play together, there is always someone to read and someone to listen. There is always someone who has time for checkers or chess. In families of one or two children the parents must be much more diligent in teaching the children to work, in learning to cooperate, in learning to share and get along with others. In large families of necessity some children must help in the dishes, the cleaning, the laundry. I think it is fair to say that the child from a single child family, has far more adjustments to make in life, than does the child from a large family.(4)

A Departure from Gods Design for the Home Brings Serious Consequences.

The book of Romans warns us of violating God's original design for the home. Chapter 1:

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:24-32)

This passage warns against those who leave God out of there lives. And gives to us the pattern we
can observe in society when they do.

Note the pattern

a.21 They knew God but would not glorify him as God.

b.24 They dishonor their own bodies.

c.25 They worship God's creation more than the Creator (Materialistic).

d.26 The women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.

This passage is well known for documenting the decline of mankind into the pit of sins, among them the sin of homosexuality. But I want you to carefully note the wording here.The women's departure from the natural use is documented first and not the men's. The women are mentioned first, for it says "Likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman."

Why are the women mentioned first? Historically it has been the men who turn to homosexuality first. It is the men that are mentioned in Sodom and not the women. Perverted homosexual activity originates in the males; why then are the women mentioned first? Nothing in God's word is insignificant, and neither is the order given here.

The key to this passage is the word "Women" in verse 26. There are 4 words in the Greek language translated women in the Bible.

1135 gune {goo-nay'} probably from the base of 1096; TDNT - 1:776,134; n f AV - women 129, wife 92; 221
1) a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow
2) a wife
2a) of a betrothed woman

This is used in the vast majority of the time.

1133 gunaikarion {goo-nahee-kar'-ee-on} a diminutive from 1135;; n n AV - silly woman 1; 1
1) a little woman: used contemptuously

This is used in 2 Tim. 3:6 and as you can see is a form of the above.

4247 presbutis {pres-boo'-tis} from 4246;; n f AV - aged women 1; 1
1) an aged woman(5)

This is used once and that is in Titus 3:2

But none of the above is the word used here in the Romans passage. The word here is (Thelus)

2338 thelus {thay'-loos} from the same as 2337;; adj AV - woman 2, female 3; 5
1) of the female sex
2) a woman, a female

This word is used only five times in the Bible, twice here in verses 26 and 27 of Romans 1, once in Galatians 3:28 to distinguish the sexes of male and female, then in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6, where it refers to God creating Adam and Eve, male and female.

This word "Thelus" takes us back to the beginning where God made them "male and female" and said "be fruitful, multiply and replenish (fill) replenish the earth." It is most important to understand that this word "Thelus" comes from the Greek word (Thelazo) {thay- lad-zo} which means to give suck, to give the breast to suckle.

Now let me read Romans 1:26 in the light of above.

For even their women (those who should give the breast to suckle their young) did change the natural use into that which is against nature; (that which is instinctive, that which is inborn).

The most natural thing in the world for a young girl to become is a mother.

When girls leave that which is against nature, society will be affected. When women are no longer seen by men as mothers, when women want to be men in a men's world, when the hearts' desire of societies young ladies are to be business women then we are in trouble.

When I was a senior in high school I went to work for a lumber company to earn money for college over the summer. I had worked every summer from 13 in farming jobs, fencing, hauling hay, cleaning horse stalls, etc. The saw mill job was the first time in my life that I had been exposed to working along with women. I was amazed, and shocked at the attitude the men had toward the women. They were no longer seen as someone's mother and wife, they were not even seen as co-equal laborers, but they were seen as sexual objects to be joked about and used.

The feminists in trying to live in a man's world, have taken women lower than they have ever been. A girl walking down the street is no longer seen as someone's mother, or someone's prospective mother, but as a sex object to be exploited. Young boys have not been taught the high and holy calling of women to motherhood. Fatherhood has been lowered because motherhood has. Young girls are no longer seen as the one to raise your children, but as sex objects to be exploited.

Could it be that it is the women who have sparked the moral decline in America? Could it be true that as is the home so is the nation? Could it be a mothers love, and being home when junior comes home is far more important than being able to buy junior a new bicycle and new clothes?

You may call me a male chauvinists pig, or a bigot. But the best vision of a woman is not Marsha Clark cross-examining O. J. Simpson while someone else is taking care of her children and her husband is filing for divorce. It is not Connie Chung on CBS. It is not the cashier working in the bank. But it was running home from school, finding my mom elbow deep kneading bread, ready to give me a hug. It is not the woman about town, it is not the one who has finally made it into the man's world. But to me it is my wife, home schooling 5 kids, being available, and just being there, when being there, meant all the world to my children.

Not Only Does Departure Of God’s Design For The Home Effect All Of Society, It Affects The Word And Work Of The Lord. Titus 2:3-5

This passage relates that the older women are to teach the younger women to (a) love their husbands, (b) love their children, (c) be keepers at home, and (d) obedient to their husbands. That the word of God be not blasphemed. The word "blaspheme" speaks of personal mockery and abusive speech. When the home is out of order in relation to the woman then God's word is mocked. I am not totally against women working but, in a home out of order, God's word is blasphemed.

Listen!! When a married woman works in the work force, and some one else is taking care of her children, when the laundry is not done, the house uncleaned, the family unfed; when bringing in part of the income, develops a Spirit of independence, a spirit of shared authority and not submission to the authority of the husband; then I would tell such a woman, please for the sake of the Lord's work don't tell them you are a Christian, don't witness to them and invite them to your church. Because by that woman's very actions she causes the word of God to be blasphemed, they will mock God's word.

Not Only Will It Bring Serious Consequences For Society But Individually Also. 1 Tim. 2:9-15

Not every women who so desires to have children can. Those who do, can find a real joy and purpose in life by being a mother. In this passage Paul is telling of the role of women in the church. He mentions proper dress, being in silence and subjection, and that a woman cannot teach men or be over men. It might be asked, well what can a woman do? She Can Be A Mother. The words "Saved in child bearing" (1 Tim. 2:15) do not mean salvation from sin, but is of the same construction as in 1 Tim. 4:15-16, where it refers to the salvation of our lives, that is, in doing it, our lives will take on purpose.

The greatest thing a women could ever be is a mother. The hardest work a woman will ever do, is to be a full-time mother. I believe it is a job that cannot be done on a part time basis, without some catastrophic effects upon the children.

Listen! Only a child's real mother can really mother that child. No one will care for it naturally as she will. It is a high and holy work. It must not be lowered, it must not be left to another.

Though many things have contributed to the moral decline in America, the departure from God's plan for the home must be ranked as one of the major contributors. Prior to World War II, the USA was much more of a moral nation. The role of the mother was exalted, there were many large families, and few women were in the work force. But with the coming of Rosy the Riveter to the ship building yards in WW II things changed. Momma left home to work while another raised her child. The bearing of children was seen as restrictive, the size of families declined. With it all, America began a great moral decline.

Sad to say but we have many women today who are looking for a purpose in all kinds of places, when it is at home waiting for them. God's pattern for the home is being violated today more than at anytime in our society. We are reaping the moral decline in our nation as never before. I believe people are looking for a better way. We as God's people know the way. Will we commit ourselves to lead the way? It will take work, it will not be easy, we may have to give up some of our TOYS, we may have to buy clothes at Salvation Army. But we cannot afford the other option.

We live in a day when the need for sound, Baptist, local church missionaries has never been greater. But the supply seems to be less than ever. I am wondering what Baptists of the 1950's, 60's and 70's could have contributed to the world, if they had obeyed God's command to "be fruitful, multiply and replenish (fill) the earth." Maybe the Catholics were right after all when it comes to having children. Search the scriptures, and argue with them if you want.


(1)Gus Walton, Biblical Principles of Importance to Godly Christians (Plymouth, 1984) p. 140

(2)Larry Pierce, Online Bible For Windows, (Ontario 1996) Strongs #04390

(3)Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts, How to Understand The Purpose Behind Humanism (Oak Brook 1983) p.6

(4)John R. Rice, The Home (Murfreesboro 1974) p. 172-180

(5)Pierce Strongs # 1135, 4247, 2338

Gene Humphrey is pastor of the Plack Road Baptist Church, North Pole, Alaska.

This article is available in tract form, and may be ordered from the
Tabernacle Baptist Church, P. 0. Box 3100, Lubbock, TX 79452.