Volume. XIX, No. 48
Sunday, 12 June 2005

Family relationships - guidance from the Bible

Most of us would like to belong to a happy family. What are your aspirations for your family? Surely not pain, suffering and sickness. There are societal aspirations of an ideal family which is the reason that whenever there are misdeeds committed by the families of political leaders and the monarchies of the world, they make news.

A family is a collection of people of a common lineage. A family is also a coalition of sinful people like you and me. God has given us instruction through his Holy word as to what a family should and should not be. If we were to go back to the records of the first families in the book of Genesis, we find many illustrations of problem families and we should strive to avoid some of their pitfalls. We need to be made aware of the realities of sinful families that we may shape our expectations for our own families.

Sibling Rivalry
Murder. Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him. (Genesis 4: 1- 8)

Deception to gain inheritance. Jacob seizes the blessing by deception. (Genesis 27: 18-29)

Jealousy. “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Genesis 37:4)  

Lying and Deception
Because Rebekah favours one son (Jacob) over another (Esau), she crafts out a plan to deceive her husband. (Genesis 27:1-40)

Sons mislead their father about the death of their brother Joseph to cover up their evil deed of selling their brother away. (Genesis 37:25-35)

Conflicts with Spouse
Envy and frustration of a wife over childlessness leads to conflict with her husband. (Genesis 30)

A husband’s fear causes him to place his wife at risk in another man’s household and to ask her to lie. (Genesis 12)

Sexual Abuses
Fear, spiritual blindness and depravity on Lot’s part make him willing to place his two daughters at great risk in a sexually immoral community. (Genesis 19:1-14)

Desperation and the shame of not being able to marry causes Lot’s two daughters to make their father drunk and commit incest with him. (Genesis 19:31-36)

Tamar, a widow turns to prostitution to entice Judah, her father-in-law, to provide for her living. (Genesis 38:11-26)

Substance Abuse
Noah planted a vineyard and drank the wine until he was drunk and naked in his tent. This causes his two sons to be embarrassed. (Genesis 9:20-24)

Lot was drunk with wine when he committed incest with his two daughters. (Genesis 19:32-36)

Leah uses an aphrodisiac called mandrake to entice her husband (Genesis 30:14-16)

Problem Relationships between Parents and Children
Parents favouritism ( Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob) causes a rift between their children and leads to unhealthy competition. (Genesis 25:28-34)

Esau’s poor choice of wives causes much grief to his parents Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 26:34-35)

Retaliation, Anger and Vengeance
Lamech slains a man out of a vengeful heart. (Genesis 4:23-14)

The family accounts as revealed in Genesis is indeed a sobering record of the plight of the first families. God instituted the family unit when he created Adam and Eve, but alas due to sin and rebellion against God, man brought turbulence into family relationships. We may then ask “is there any hope, can we build a peaceful, healthy and God honouring family?” Family chaos, pain, suffering and deception are not God’s plan and instruction for us. God’s scripture frequently encourages us to build families filled with love, respect, kindness, care and hope

Parents are encouraged to raise children in an environment of truth and integrity (Deut 6:2-7)

We are offered guidelines for marriage, Wives submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives. (Eph 5:21-24, 1 Pet 3:1-7)

We are warned of the temptation to sexual immorality. (1 Cor. 6:15-20)

The family should be characterized by obedient children. (Eph 6:1-4 and Col. 3:20-21)

As an encouragement to us all, let us, while heeding the warnings illustrated in Genesis of dysfunctional families, be blessed by God’s revelation through His word on what we should do for our families.

Your Co-Labourer in Christ,
Dn David Yeo

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 106: What do we pray for in the sixth petition? In the sixth petition, [which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,] we pray, That God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.

Please pray for God’s healing for Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Bro Kevin Tye; Sisters Wendy Gong, Myung Ki, Michiko Law, Luan Price, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Aylin Hanin, Melissa Wong, Angie Yuen, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law, Mrs Irene Turner, and all others who have been afflicted with winter illness. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Ps 55:22).

Please pray for – a) Pastor Ki - as he ministers God’s Word in Korea; b) Cambodia Missions: Rev & Mrs David Koo, Life B-P Church, & Bro Srun Chivan, in Sihanoukville; God’s guidance, protection and journey mercies for Ebenezer BPC Missions Team (Bros Joseph Lo & Matthew Thomas, & Sis Vanilla Wong); c) Bro Hai Seng Lim – Sketch n’ Tell ministry, and his return to Melb; d) Bro Surish Dharmalingam – exams, health and ministry in Laos. e) Expectant mothers – good health for Sisters Michiko and Katie; f) Provision of job – Bro Simon Yeo; g) Journey mercies – Dn Edwin D’Mello (Ald), & Sisters Peng Ha & Purdee Yeo (Adl); h) God’s guidance & blessings on ICCC conference in Kangwon Province, Korea; i) Bro Chris Budiman’s wife and child to join him soon in Adelaide from Indonesia; j) High school and Uni students - assignments & exams; k) God’s guidance & blessing on Sister B-P Churches in Australia; l) Session members - for wisdom as they look after Hope Church.

Praise and Thank God for – a) Blessed Prayer Meeting on Wed, YAF/Teens meeting on Friday, AFG BBQ fellowship, and Men’s & Ladies’ fellowship meetings yesterday. b) Journey mercies - Rev & Mrs Bob Vandermay (USA); Dn Edwin D’Mello (Qld), Sisters Su Sim Toh & Serene Wong (Adl), Peng Ha & Purdee Yeo (Korea), and all participants of the ICCC Conference; c) Answered prayers: Rain over SA in the last few days; d) Healing for Anna Pham.

Church Budget for 2005-6: All leaders to submit funding proposals to Dn Chiew Tan by today.

Greetings to all Hopefuls from Korea - Rev Peter Chua, Mrs Grace Hahn, Sisters Peng Ha & Purdee Yeo.

20th Anniversary Committee to be organised. Please see Dn Ngie Joo Gong, if you can assist.

Please note: New computer/printer in the main office will be restricted to Session and committee members, but Old computer/printer on the Treasurer’s desk is for all other users.

Service Roster for July-Sep: Please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know the dates you are not able to serve the LORD ASAP.

Church Directory is being updated. Please give your details to Sis Josephine Lee for inclusion in the new directory ASAP.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041