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Christian Unity

in the Family

For Home Educating Parents

(The goal of the series on anger)

Earl & Diane Rodd

This pamphlet presents the goal of the series of pamphlets on anger. It can be either the introduction or conclusion to the series. Unity in a family can be a difficult Biblical mandate to maintain as one's family gets larger and/or matures. More numbers always adds complexity, and maturity brings tension. A family doesn't experience unity just because the family exists in the natural world. If this were so, every family on earth would automatically be unified and work as a unit. This pamphlet presents the Biblical necessity for family unity and Biblical methods to come to family unity.

Christian Unity in the Family

for Home Educating Parents

(The goal of the series on anger)

Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

5th edition - July 1996

6th edition - May 1998

Permission is granted to copy this article for personal sharing
but not for sale or other commercial purposes.

FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.

Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

See fhc.rodd.us for further information including online versions of this and other booklets. Additional copies of this booklet may be ordered from FHC by writing to the above address. A full listing of other books and booklets on related topics is also available from FHC at fhc.rodd.us.

Christian Unity in the Family

Families Honoring Christ

"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."
Earl & Diane Rodd 2180 Northland Ave. Lakewood,OH 44107 USA Phone (216) 521-8856

Dear Friends,

The Mandate for Unity

Unity in a family can be a difficult Biblical mandate to maintain as one's family gets larger and/or matures. More numbers always adds complexity, and maturity brings tension. Conflict or tension arises as the parents and child move from the demands of explicit, immediate obedience to submission of one to another in the fear of the Lord (Ephesians 5:21).

Children who have learned explicit obedience to their parents when younger usually have an easier adjustment with their parents when the relationship moves into the mature level of functioning as the church, the Body of Christ, which is submission one to another.

Ephesians 5:15
15. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
16. making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
19. speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20. always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21. and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Parents who learn to submit easily to their children when the child is correct and the parent is wrong have less problems moving into this mature level of submissive fellowship. Striving for unity and maintaining unity must always begin with the husband/wife relationship, but unity must also be a goal for every family member so that it becomes an experience for all the family members. Parents who learn to admit mistakes when they are wrong have less problems moving into this mature level of submissive fellowship as the children get older.

A family doesn't experience unity just because the family exists in the natural world. If this were so, every family on earth would automatically be unified and work as a unit. Observation and personal experience teach us that unity is sadly lacking in our world. Family fragmentation is a problem on every socio-economic level. Most Christians would agree that unity was first broken in the garden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. However, God Himself also destroyed a method of unity for mankind when He confused language at the tower of Babel. From these two well-known Biblical examples we learn two important lessons concerning unity.

  1. Disobedience brings disunity.
  2. Confusion or the inability to communicate is a sign of God's judgment if what is being built is not the will of God.
If family members are taught to discern the symptoms of these two different situations, then unity will be a reality as well as a goal. When unity is a reality, repentance in the home for missing God's will is a daily experience for each and every member.

The Mandate to Fathers

In a Biblical culture fathers are expected to lead, guide, direct and teach all the family members. However, there are very few spiritual fathers operating within the Body of Christ as role models. The disobedience and the confusion are evident, but we must not be daunted by the impossibility of this insurmountable problem. We must have the same attitude as Mary.

Luke 1:37
37. "For nothing will be impossible with God."
38. And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Steps to Unity

God has given us His Spirit and His Word. He has not left us alone. Thus through reading the Word of God, through researching it and most importantly through receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit, families can find role models in the Bible from which to learn. We have no excuse for not seeking the Lord's desire for unity in our families.

  1. Our first step is always discernment. If we have deception instead of discernment, we are in a most serious condition. If we have a love of truth, we won't be deceived.

    II Thessalonians 2:10
    10. and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

    However, we must humble ourselves before God and admit that we may be deceived and allow the Holy Spirit to bring His discernment and revelation into those areas where disunity is occurring. Families who ignore the symptoms accompanying disunity are already functioning in deception.

  2. Our second step is to repent of our disunity and deception. The following scripture applies to individuals and families as well as to churches, cities and nations.

    II Chronicles 7:14
    14. and (when) My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  3. Then our third step will enable us to move forward into ever increasing unity. Psalm 133 shows the beauty of a family who moves in this way.

    Psalms 133:1
    1. (A Song of Ascents, of David.) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
    2. It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, {Even} Aaron's beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
    3. It is like the dew of Hermon, Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the \Lord\ commanded the blessing-- life forever.

Threats to Unity

Parents must be very careful that pride doesn't keep them in the bondage of ruling or demanding obedience with an iron fist of accusation, innuendo, partiality or manipulative guilt. Children must be very careful that rebellion doesn't deceive them into outward submission without an inner heart submission to accompany that outward obedience. To give into these kinds of behavior is "peace, peace, but there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14).

When parents or children fall into the behavior just described, the Bible calls it witchcraft.

I Samuel 15:22
22. And Samuel said, #"Has the \Lord\ as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the \Lord\? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, {And} to heed than the fat of rams.
23. "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the \Lord\, He has also rejected you from {being} king." #
24. Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the \Lord\ and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.

This scripture gives us the best definition of rebellion, insubordination or stubbornness. Whenever the word of the Lord, His will, His way, His pattern is rejected (rebellion, stubbornness), then divination (witchcraft) iniquity, and idolatry are in control. When self exalts itself against God and refuses to repent (change thinking and/or behavior), God removes the person's ability to be a ruler (king). The enemy then has an access to build his stronghold so that he is in control rather than the person's free will.

Overcoming Threats to Unity

The following scripture makes this process very clear and teaches us how we are to approach this problem when it occurs.

II Timothy 2:19
19. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."
20. Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.
21. Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these {things}, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
22. Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love {and} peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
23. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.
24. And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
25. with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,

  1. The Lord knows those who are His.
  2. Everyone who uses the name of the Lord is to abstain (self-control) from wickeness.
  3. A man (person) is to cleanse himself from anything that is not God's will. This means God's word, His thoughts, His emotions, His plans, His goals, His will are to be embraced rather than those of the person.
  4. A person must go through this process to be sanctified, useful and prepared for whatever the Lord may ask the person to do.
  5. Lust or the self-will seems to be part of a young person's life and must be denied. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead us parents back to the days of our youth (if we weren't raised in a Holy Spirit-controlled home) to find where and how we went astray Isaiah 53:6). As parents experience repentance, we are equipped to help our children "receive mercy and grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
  6. All that is not true to God's word must be faced and then refused because that is the source of quarrels.
  7. The Lord's bond-servant (a person who thinks God's thoughts, speaks them and obeys them) is to respond to such situations this way:
    1. Kind to all.
    2. Able to teach.
    3. Patient when wronged.
    4. Correcting those who are in opposition with gentleness.
    5. Knowing that God must lead the opposing person to repentance.
    6. Knowing that true repentance will lead to the knowledge of the truth.
    7. Knowing they will come to their senses.
    8. Knowing they will escape the snare of the devil.
    9. Knowing they have been held captive by him.
    10. Knowing that they have been doing satan's will.

A child is to obey the voice of his parents, but a parent is to be obedient to the voice of the Lord. If any other voice is being obeyed, the family is caught in the snares of divination (witchcraft) and idolatry. A child who obeys his parents only out of fear may look obedient and submissive, but the establishment of obeying the Lord out of love may not be being formed in his heart. This is wickedness and leads to approval of man rather than approval of God (Galatians 1:10).

A child who appears to be overtly rebellious may be refusing to submit to a parent who is using manipulation and control rather than the dictates of the Holy Spirit. It takes Biblical discernment of the flesh and the devil to establish true unity in a home; unity is evidenced when people submit to the Holy Spirit.

Parents who have learned and who are walking in explicit obedience and submission to Jesus Christ will have their children's inward respect and honor even if it may not always be shown outwardly. When Jesus hung on the cross, the outward behavior of His disciples looked like fear of man, cowardice, disloyality, self-seeking and failure. However, during His time with them He had won the hearts of many and after repentance and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, they too were willing to obey Jesus even unto death. Parents who follow Jesus wholeheartedly through various cross-like experiences will also establish the heart submission of their children to Jesus Christ. We must have this kind of obedience and faith to establish Biblical unity in the home.

Parents who do not walk this path must be warned that their children are not fooled. They know and observe their parents very closely. Disobedient parents are hypocrites in the eyes of their own children. Honor and respect of parents is to be a life-time commitment of believing children. Parents who cause a little one to stumble in this regard will be accountable for much. Notice the severity of Jesus' teaching in the following scripture. Whatever causes stumbling is to receive attention and is to be removed so that hell is avoided and peace is a reality.

Mark 9:38
38. John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to hinder him because he was not following us."
39. But Jesus said, "Do not hinder him, for there is no one who shall perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.
40. "For he who is not against us is for us.
41. "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as {followers} of Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
42. "And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
43. "And if your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
44. [where \their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched\.]
45. "And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having your two feet, to be cast into hell,
46. [where \their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched\.]
47. "And if your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
48. where \their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched\.
49. "For everyone will be salted with fire.
50. "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty {again}? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

A believing child should be able to view his parents as role models and should have a desire to excel their commitment, obedience and loyalty to Jesus Christ

Biblical Example - David

A man after God's own heart can be studied when we look at the life of David. He made mistakes, but he immediately repented once his sin or mistake was obvious to him. David was anointed and appointed to a position of rulership long before it was a reality in his experience. Parents who home educate are similar to David. We know we have been anointed and appointed to be rulers over our families, but some days the experience doesn't match the call of God on our lives.

In I Chronicles 12 "mighty men" come to David to help him in war. These men had to leave the kingdom of Saul and their place in it to be part of David's kingdom. Some of the first to join David at Ziglag were Saul's own kinsman of the tribe of Benjamin. This tribe was equipped and trained to use bows, slings and arrows (I Chronicles 12:1-7). They had to decide which kingdom represented the will of the Lord. Once they knew, they had to forsake even family ties to join with David who represented God's will.

The Gadites were men of valor who could handle shields and spears. They were men of strong determination as well as men who were swift runners (I Chronicles 12:8-15). The man of least stature was worth 100 men, and the greatest warrior of this family was worth 1000 men.

David accepts these men and their help but not apart from the ministry and confirmation of the Holy Spirit

I Chronicles 12:17
17. And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, "If you come peacefully to me to help me, my heart shall be united with you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on {it} and decide."
18. Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, {and he said,} #"{We} are yours, O David, And with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, And peace to him who helps you; Indeed, your God helps you!"# Then David received them and made them captains of the band.

Men from the following tribes were added: Manasseh, Judah, Simeon, Levi, Ephraim, Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, Danites, Asher, Reubenites, and Gadites.

The sons of Issachar were "men who understood the times, with the knowledge of what Israel should do" (I Chronicles 12:32). All their kinsmen were at their command.

The sons of Zebulun "could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped David with an undivided heart" (1 Chronicles 12:33).

I Chronicles 12:38
38. All these, being men of war, who could draw up in battle formation, came to Hebron with a perfect heart, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one mind to make David king.

Christian Home Educators

Christian families who home educate their children have decided to leave the kingdom of education (public and Christian) that no longer has the Lord's anointing for them. Some have had to part with family members and others who don't understand this call, but those who have must remember this parting is only for a season. Like David, we can not bring the word of the Lord to pass by ourselves. We need help.

We must seek God's face continually and allow Him to bring others to us who know how to battle the enemy, who are trained for spiritual warfare, who possess and can use the weapons that God has given us to replace the kingdom of this world with the Kingdom of our God. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Fathers especially need to be around other home educating fathers who understand the times (discernment) and know what to do do (vision with practical wisdom). This kind of relationship may be hard to find, but if we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, He will allow us to find one another just as the various tribes were led to David.

All of the men who came to David had the following in common.

  1. They had to leave the old structure of security and service (Saul's kingdom).
  2. They knew where to gather (David's kingdom).
  3. They were committed to battle (reality).
  4. They were already equipped (gifts, talents) and trained for war (experience).
Any family who doesn't understand the intense spiritual warfare that accompanies home education will be unprepared for each day's challenge. Victory is assured in abundance of counselors (other home educating parents) and by imparting the vision of home education to each child. Each child needs to know who the enemy is and is not. Each child needs to have vision and encouragement to help his parents release the kingdom of God into the family. Like the tribes of Israel each member of the family needs to willingly forsake the world's kingdom and willingly volunteer for the kingdom of God.

Psalms 110:1
1. (A Psalm of David.) The \Lord\ says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet."
2. The \Lord\ will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, {saying}, "Rule in the midst of Thine enemies."
3. Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee {as} the dew.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd