קהילת תלמידי ישוע
Talmidei Yeshua Fellowship
95 Milvan Drive, North York, Ontario

Biblical Family

In today's society where the objective of life is to satisfy one's desires and ambitions, two very important, interrelated commandments have been forgotten: the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28) and to teach one's children (Deut. 6:7). Society has told women to give up and start living for themselves and, unfortunately, most have listened. The Biblical family requires absolute dying to self which is never a welcome concept to the flesh but it is of paramount importance that a woman does not get caught up in the world's norms and, instead, turn back to these two mitzvot. The Biblical family concept isn't about how many children a family has or the number they will reach, but rather the focus of growing up Elohim fearing children rather than focusing on material and selfish gain.

First, let us look briefly at history before deeply examining that of child-bearing. For millennia, having a large family was the norm and mothers would raise and teach their children which is the Biblical family model. When society became more and more feministic in the 20th century, stay-at-home mothers came to be viewed as slaving over antiquated ideals while 'free' women were changing human society. Indeed they were and believers began to notice a subtle downturn in the next generation of children who were heavily influenced by the world. In their zeal to preserve Biblical values, the 'quiver-full' and 'homeschooling' movements were born. Society looked on this move back with great skepticism as women gave up their careers and began living for their families. Many critically hypothesized that it would produce 'sheltered' children who would be unable to cope in the 'real world'. Their education was erroneously believed to be inferior to that of the state's specialized, expertly-trained system. All of this changed once the trailblazing generation of believers entered the 'real world'. It became obvious that the cynics were quite wrong. Taylor-made to fit each individual's needs, homeschooling brought out the best in students teaching them not only information but the ability to learn. Home-schooled students soon showed a tendency to be much more creative and intellectual than their public or private schooled counterparts. Furthermore, national surveys conducted in the US conclusively showed that individuals schooled at home are significantly more likely to be happy and content. No longer was homeschooling an absurd method used by religious radicals! It was an increasingly reputable approach to education after just a generation of development. 

Beyond the incontrovertible educational benefits, home-schooling enables believers to make education Biblical.  Many believers have made the horrible mistake of separating education from their pursuit of the Most High. If this were actually the case, Scriptures teach quite clearly that one should abandon such a useless pursuit entirely! But the fact stands that everything was created for the Glory of יהוה and that all study should point in that direction. Homeschooling enables children to see the Creator in everything they learn. Sh'lomo (Solomon) recognized the importance of Divinely-centered education when he wrote Mishlei / Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not turn away from it." Homeschooling is an important step in joining two mutually symbiotic subjects (education and 'religion') that liberal society so strongly wishes to separate.

Parents driven to serve our Creator will often be blessed with children who do the same who can, in turn, influence their younger siblings and the next generation. Worldly values, sayings, philosophies, etc do make an impression in an impressionable child. Far too many believers are willing to eject their innocent son or daughter alone into the thick of the brainwashing, worldly schooling system, where the spiritual battle for our children is mostly one-sided. This is all because parents do not wish to sacrifice their own desires or careers. No one would put their child in a physical minefield yet the spiritual battle is infinitely more important!

Once again, more are willing to have more children than the societal norm. This is a good sign (parents are actually multiplying now) but there is more. T'hillim / Psalm 127:3: "Look, children are an inheritance from יהוה; the fruit of the womb is the reward." Children are not just the regrettable consummation of a grudging obedience to a Biblical command! Instead, they are a reward that is to be sought. Letting go of the element of control and giving the helm of one's life to the Holy One in this regard as in every other is the final step.  

As the Biblical family grows, it can become a strong unit that revolves around the Truth. Once the first generation of home-schooled children left the home and began starting their own families, something new rapidly became evident - the children could not leave their families! Children could leave the home to start new families but would remain in constant contact with their siblings and parents. This new concept of the multi-generational family only grew exponentially larger! You might be reminded of the Torah's description of Yaakov's family where the children and their children would gather around the patriarch so to speak, providing for the elderly in the families (as Shaul emphasizes we must do) and learning from them. Every generation is able to contribute to the other!

This resilient form of unity is critical to spreading the Word of Elohim and growing the Kingdom. After all, growth in the Kingdom comes from inside! As children grow in this kind of atmosphere, their minds are saturated with the Living Water (so to speak) and will continue on to repeat this process. While unbelievers who come to salvation always need to change their way of thought and get rid of the baggage and influence of the world so inculcated into their nature, individuals who grow up as believers their entire lives are not distracted by these processes but can instead push immediately to the front line of the Kingdom of heaven, returning to and spreading the Word to the nations!
 
All of this stems from the willingness to deny one's ambitions and self-gratifying desires, to reform one's life, and to obey Elohim. As all believers should be prepared to give up everything, they must do so here too, not turning to the more glamorous pursuits where children would be a 'hindrance' but choosing instead to follow those two commandments that so many have forgotten. We at the Talmidei Yeshua Fellowship are dedicated to the biblical family and calling as many others as possible to this model in the hopes of becoming a strong, united force as the Kingdom of Heaven draws nigh!


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