What Does the Bible Teach about Family?

Family is at the center of God’s plan for the happiness and progress of His children. The Holy Bible teaches that God established families from the very beginning, and it shows us many examples of strong families. It also teaches us how to have a loving, happy family.

A father studies the Bible with his children

The first family: Adam and Eve

The very first people on earth formed a family. From the beginning, God blessed and encouraged families, commanding Adam and Eve to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

Honor thy father and mother

One of the Ten Commandments given to Moses in the Old Testament speaks directly about the relationship between parents and children: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12). 

Jesus taught about marriage

Jesus Christ taught that marriage is holy and essential to God’s plan: “From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:6–9).

Jesus cared for His family

Jesus cared for His family. Throughout the New Testament, we learn how Jesus Christ showed love for His family members, especially His mother, Mary. Even while in agony on the cross, Jesus showed concern for His mother’s care: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26–27).

Bible examples teach the importance of family

A few well-known examples of families in the Bible are found early in the Old Testament.  

  • Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all followed God’s command to marry and have children.

  • Abraham and Sarah exercised faith to finally enjoy the blessings that came with having their son Isaac (see Genesis 21).

  • Under the Lord’s direction, Abraham’s servant traveled a long distance to find Rebekah, a righteous woman, to be Isaac’s wife (see Genesis 24).

  • Isaac’s son Jacob worked for many years in order to marry and establish his own family, which became the house of Israel (see Genesis 29–30). 

Paul’s teachings

The Apostle Paul spoke often about family relationships. He counseled: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1–4).

Learn More about the Bible and God’s Love