The primary responsibility, however, for maintaining family cohesiveness and seeing that the home fulfills its fourfold purpose of intimacy, love, nurture and support rests squarely upon each parent. Moreover, in providing a proper setting for spiritual and relational growth within the home, parents need to:

1. Recommit themselves to the Lordship of Christ. The home is a live-in laboratory for spiritual truths; with parents serving as God’s instructors and their children as inquisitive questioning apprentices. In such a setting, the efforts of parents to teach godliness will have a hollow ring without a genuine commitment to Christ as Lord of their own lives. Children need parents whose lives are positive Christian models.

Children instinctively sense what their parents’ chief values are. They know what their parents want, what excites them and what they strive for most eagerly. For their parents to say “Love God supremely”, when their children see that other gods have dominion over them, is hypocrisy. Howard Hendricks has written, “…if you’re going to have a believing home, there has to be an incarnational element. You don’t communicate in a vacuum, you cannot impart what you don’t possess. Our problem is that we have an increasing number of parents in the evangelical community who have all the right words, but not enough of the changed life to infect their children.”

2. Recommit themselves to each other. By today’s “me first” standards, commitment to someone other than self is difficult to attain. When one’s lifestyle is calculated to bring personal satisfaction and fulfillment (regardless of how it affects others), the biblical teaching of faithfulness sounds strangely foreign, almost threatening. Nevertheless, commitment is the cutting edge of the marriage relationship to the unbeliever and more so to those who claim to be Christians.

The selfless nature of this commitment calls for satisfying particular needs as explained in both Ephesians 5 and I Corinthians 7. In both instances, the apostle Paul exhorts married couples to minister to each other’s individual needs, “nurturing” and “cherishing” each other. Thus marital commitment” as commended by God, is an enduring covenantal promise to act lovingly, to treat with unconditional love one’s chosen mate, no matter what the future holds.

3. Recommit themselves to their children. The Puritans of America’s 17th century understood the biblical doctrine of parental stewardship. They knew their children belonged to God, and that inherent in this trust was their parental covenant with God that they would raise their children by His precepts.

Carrying out such a covenant takes time and effort. It demands the giving of oneself physically, emotionally and spiritually similar to the way Christ gave of Himself. Indeed, the parents’ selflessness is a reflection of God’s sacrificial love as manifested in Jesus Christ.

All parents, then, need to recognize the awesome responsibility, but exciting possibility, which is theirs within the context of the home. They dare not–indeed must not–allow the erosion of family life so characteristic of contemporary society to penetrate their own family circle.

The National Association of Evangelicals calls upon both parents and churches to join hands in a concerted effort to strengthen family life and restore biblical family values to the home. We believe this is not only desirable, but essential if our nation is to survive. As goes the home, so goes the nation. When all has been said and done, how can these biblical principles become a living reality in the lives of God’s people? We solemnly declare that the finest aspirations of life cannot be attained by believers in their own power. Therefore we must affirm that God has provided for His people a divine method by which the attainment of noble objectives can come to pass. We must all come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to whom we are bonds laves. And we must be filled with the Holy Spirit of God so that He may produce holiness in our lives and give us the endowments and the endowment we all need to fulfill the high purpose of God for us in our daily lives.