Pursue a biblical trustee family. How? First of all, and I’m talking to husbands…
Don’t think of your wife as a roommate with extra benefits.
Don’t think of your marriage as a living arrangement.
Don’t think of your children as your tenants.
And don’t reduce the family to what will just become a gear in the statist wheel.
The statists want the family to be this little weak, atomistic entity that can be used and abused to serve the whims of the state. They want you to see your wife as a baby factory to produce good little citizens for the state. They want you to see the public education system as their teacher. They want your children to see the family like the prodigal son saw his family; as as a prison to escape from once they’ve used the family to serve their own devices. This becomes a perpetual cycle and it leads to the destruction of the family and the elevation of the state to the position of god in society.
What is the biblical family? As recorded in Genesis 2, as a covenantal union between a man and woman presided over by God, we must take note that marriage is not a creation of civil government. Not only does civil government not create or grant permission to marry, when marriage was first instituted in the garden of Eden, there was no civil government. It was not involved.
But so far, this only speaks to one aspect of what marriage is. What is the function of marriage? Again, from Genesis 2 we see marriage as a vehicle of dominion. Adam was aided in his dominion tasks by receiving help from his wife, Eve. Marriages are “dominion teams” both as they work to subdue the earth and as they multiply in offspring. So it’s not just that marriages are dominion teams but they are (typically) inter-generational dominion teams. Each time a grown son finds a wife, a new inter-generational dominion team is formed.
Further, it’s important to recognize that in Genesis 2, we already see the idea of children and pro-creation in God’s revealed plans for Adam to take dominion, prior to the fall. So the command to go forth and multiply includes child bearing and child rearing, generation after generation from the very beginning. All of these children were supposed to have been on the same meta-mission that Adam had. Maybe Adam was in charge of naming the animals, and his descendent families would be plowing the fields, or mining the river for jewels, or making fine cloths, or playing musical instruments, but they would all have the same overall mission. The same overall dominion mandate. Adam would not have been doing his job properly if he wasn’t teaching his children to do the work that he was commissioned, and teaching them to teach their children after them. This is the “trusteeship” of marriage. The parents do not own children as property, the children are entrusted to the parents until they mature and begin new families. Each has a responsibility to each other. The parents have a responsibility to prepare the children for dominion, the grown sons and daughters have a responsibility not to squander the legacy. It’s not enough to teach your children to follow God. We must also teach our children, to teach their children, to follow God.
You see the marriage covenant is more than an insular bunch of rules and commitments that a man and a woman make to each other. Statements like “I will love you, I will take care of you, I will be faithful to you.” are appropriate and good. But marriage actually has a purpose that transcends the man and the woman in the marriage. Now don’t get me wrong, there is much joy to be had in cherishing your spouse, but the primary purpose of marriage is not to help you find personal fulfillment by having all your emotional, physical and spiritual needs met by your spouse. A loving spouse is a precious gift from God, but marriage isn’t about you, and it’s not about your spouse either. Fundamentally marriage is about God’s purpose, and God instituted marriage for the purpose of helping the first Adam achieve inter-generational dominion. So God instituted the family for the purpose of inter-generational dominion. Now in the new covenant, with Christ’s atoning work and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we are all the more empowered to fulfill this purpose as redeemed servants of God in the kingdom of God.
The worst nightmare of the statists is that Christian marriage would self-consciously and explicitly be understood as covenantal entities of inter-generational dominion. Where each individual within the family is able to find his or her own purpose in the kingdom of God. Where God entrusts children to the family not to become mindless state automatons but to carry out a shared purpose and responsibility to hand over to the next generation. There is an inheritance both material and immaterial to preserved and stewarded and cultivated and grown to be passed down to the next generation.
The state doesn’t want the husband and wife to have an explicit and clear mission for their family that does not depend on including the state at every point. They don’t want communities of these strong families putting together loans, welfare programs, educational programs, cultural centers, economic endeavors, adjudicating disputes or any of these things.
Christian families are to be biblical trustee families which serve the greater purpose of the dominion mandate. In the Gospel, in salvation, Jesus Christ is restoring his people to become effective stewards of creation who pursue Godly dominion over creation.
Serve the Kingdom of God with your family.