1. God created men and women foe each other with the intention that marriage should be the life-long union in body, mind and spirit of one man and one woman.
  2. Study passages:       Ephisians 5:21 – 6:4

Colossians 3:17 – 21

  1. A Family is established when two people marry or a varying number of related (by blood or adoption) and committed people stay together sharing a common dwelling. No person is ever alone if he/she is a member of a family. The essential bonds that unite a family are:-
  • Appreciation and love for one another;
  • Mutual Respect;
  • Sharing and willingness to care for and help one another;
  • Time together and good communication patterns;
  • Ability to deal with a crisis in a positive manner.

Family shares things like dreams; possessions; memories; smiles; frowns and gladness.

African people (especially rural) have a better understanding of the wider human family than those who are products of western civilization.

  1. Family Types:

Depending on its composition, a family may be described as:-

  • Nuclear Family – consists of both parents and their dependent children living together. The book of Ephisians above teaches us that parents should “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” and children must obey their parents.

A Christian husband and father is the head of the family, protector and provider of financial support, shelter and also cares for the well-being of each person in the family.

Wives and mothers should assist their husbands in decision making and share fully in all responsibilities such as:-

  1. Management of the home and family finances,
  2. Care and Maintenance of family possessions,
  3. Provision and Utilization of food, shelter, clothing and other possessions,
  4. Tasks in connection with the welfare of dependant family members such as socialization and physical care of children.

Physical attraction and love, companionship and good communication are important in sustaining a rewarding relationship between husband and wife.

  • Extended Family – In the African culture and Christian church a person’s brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and retired parents are much more than just those who are related to you by blood.


In a married couple, each person belongs to two families – the family where he/she grew up )the family of orientation) and the family that he/she establishes (the family procreation), the later is each spouses’ major responsibility.

  • Single – Parent Family – This family consists of only one parent and his/her dependent children living together. Single-parent families have become common due to divorce, death, work and industrialization, intention to seek independence by premature young individuals, disobedience of God’s will, peer pressure and teenage pregnancies.
  1. Family life cycle: Each family grows and develops in a series of stages called family life cycle.
  1. The beginning family  – married couple establishing their home, careers and becoming settled without children yet. Denominational and/or religious conversion (if necessary) and workable agreement on the issue of religion and dedication takes place.
  1. Child-bearing family  – from the birth of the first until that child  is 2.5 yers old. The couple share and learn to accept and adjust to the strains and pressures of the young parenthood, establish early a good relationship with the child. Methodist parents are expected to have their infants baptized.
  2. Family with pre-school children – oldest child 2.5 to 6 years of age.  The child establishes daily routines, learns appropriate behaviour and effective communication, and learn about religion and the nature of God.  The parents are expected to cooperate in the education of the child.
  3. Family with primary school children –   oldest child 6 years to about 13 years of age.  The child learns basic skills (at school and home), become an active and cooperative member of the family and establish a self-image. Parents should provide for circumstances that encourage for child’s growth, upgrade communications in the family and build family morale.
  4. Family with teenagers –  oldest child 13 to 20 years of age. The child accepts a changing body and learns to adapt to the changes;  learn to love and accept being loved, and developing a workable philosophy of life. Parents should develop strategies to lead the teenager to independence; bridge the communication gap between the generations and develop confidence in the teenager. The child is expected to assume responsibility for their own ongoing is expected to assume responsibility for their own ongoing Christian life with parents providing encouragement.
  5. Contracting / launching stage – children start leaving home. Young adult establishes autonomy, appraising feelings of live and fulfill career ambitions.
  6. Empty nest – middle-aged parents until retirement of the couple. Parents encourage young adult sons and daughters to be autonomous; use the time gained in assuming civic and community responsibility; prepare for retirement.
  7. Aging couple – make satisfactory living arrangements as aging progresses; maintain relations with older family members and keep active and involved in community.




6.            Challenges facing modern family life:  The causes of the changing patterns of family life are diverse and include things like movement of people to cities, increased industrilization, improved living standards and changing roles of husband and wife, tendency to individualism and isolation, materialistic attitudes, and changing societal values.

7.            Discipline and training of children:  In a community where Christianity predominates, members of the society share the same views on acceptable ways of conduct, and therefore play a vital in the discipline and/or self-discipline of a child. Each family should lead in the maintenance of order, with approached which vary from authoritarian (parents rule the family very strictly and children have to obey the orders); permissive (opposite of the authoritarian approach); and democratic (parents are in charge of their family but involved their children in the family’s vital decisions in issues that affect them directly).

see also:

1. confirmation class background-

2. what salvation is –

3. Methodist Church history –

4. Bible and its summary –

5. Christian faith and conversion –

6. Church Membership –

7. Benjamin John Wesley –

8. Way Of The Methodists – The Sunday Worship –

7. Church Structure –



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