The Western understanding of the Christian Family since Emperor Justinian the Great has been as the central institution of power.

In the 5th century, Justinian reformed Roman Law to reflect Biblical standards transferring the balance of power from the state alone to God’s ordained spheres: the family, the church, the state, etc.

Portrait of Justinian the Great

The Family was restored to Hebrew ideals and retained its role as the custodian of: children, property, and inheritance.

As Dr. Rushdoony has pointed out, “Control over children, property and inheritance means a control over the future.”

A. The Family as the Central Institution

1. First Church
a. Source (generation) of Life. (Proverbs 23:22)
b. Natural priesthood of fathers. (Ephesians 5:22-25)
c. “By Household” Rites (Acts 16:31)
d. Children as a “blessing” (Psalm 127:3)

2. First School
a. Parents as Primary Teachers (Deut. 4:9, 6:7)
b. Home Discipleship (Ephesians 6:4, Malachi 4:6)
c. Character Training – Boyhood/Girlhood (Genesis 1:27-28, 1 Kings 2:2-4, Titus 2:4-5)

3. First Economy
a. Responsibility to Provide (1 Timothy 5:8-14)
b. Stewardship of a Home (1 Timothy 3:4-5, Proverbs 31)
b. Training for Vocation (Psalm 78:3–8, 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
c. Right to Inheritance (Proverbs 13:22, 2 Corinthians 12:14, Numbers 27:6-11)

4. First Government
a. Authority of Fathers (Gen. 18:19, 1 Corinthians 11:3-7, 1 Peter 3:1)
b. Honor to Father and Mother (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2, Colossians 3:20)
c. Godly Discipline & Correction (Prov. 1:8, 13:24, 29:15-17)
d. Excommunication & Disinheritance (Leviticus 20:9, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 6:9-10 , Numbers 14:12)