ONE: A CHRISTIAN’S FAMILY LIFE
David made this remark, “I will
give heed to the way that is blameless” (Ps 101:2). The Lord Jesus also said,
“Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it
gives light to all in the house” (Mt 5:15).
Christian responsibility to family
life includes overseeing one’s entire household is saved by the Lord Jesus.
Every Christian should abide by God’s way and shine God’s light at home, which
may convince unbelieving family members of the faith or compel family members
to love the Lord all the more.
Marriage Is Instituted by God
God said, “It is not good that
the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18–23;
cf. Gen 24:12–14; Mk 10:9; 1 Cor 11:11).
Marriage Is Honorable by All (Heb 13:4)
Do not choose a partner indiscriminately,
rather, choose carefully (Gen 6:2).
Do not defile the marriage bed (Heb 13:4).
Jacob was engaged to Rachel for seven years, yet
he kept himself apart from her until they got married (Gen 29:20, 21; cf. Mt
1:18, 19; 2 Cor 11:2).
Do Not be Married with Unbelievers (Deut 7:3, 4;
Abraham made Eliezer, his servant,
swear he would not marry Issac to a Canaanite woman (Gen 24:2–4).
Solomon sinned against God because he married
pagan women (Neh 13:23–27).
This law still stands in the New Testament—do
not marry unbelievers (1 Cor 7:39; 2 Cor 6:14–18).
Monogamy Is the Original Lawful Institution
God created one man and one woman in the
beginning (Gen 2:25; cf. Mal 2:15).
The two become one flesh (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:31).
A man with two wives, both of which he married
before his Christian conversion, should not be ordained as a minister
(1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6).
Is Divorce Lawful?
Paul said, “But if the unbelieving partner desires
to separate, let it be so” (1 Cor 7:15). But he continued saying to the
believing spouse, “How do you know whether you will save your husband?” (1 Cor
7:16; cf. 1 Pet 3:1). Here, Paul implies a deserted spouse may not divorce
because he or she may possibly save the unbelieving spouse. Generally speaking,
if a wife separates, Paul counsels that she should remain single or else be
reconciled to her husband (Mk 10:11, 12; 1 Cor 7:11); for divorce is an
indignation to God (Mal 2:16).
Only under one condition can believers be
divorced—when one spouse commits adultery and the other remains faithful (Mt
5:31, 32, 19:8, 9; cf. Deut 22:20, 21).
After the death of her husband, a woman may be
married again (Rom 7:2, 3; 1 Cor 7:8, 9, 39).
Celibacy Is Good for the Ministry
It is good for ministers of the church to remain
celibate, however, celibacy is a gift of God (1 Cor 7:25–35; cf. Mt 19:10–12).
The church should not forbid marriage (1 Tim
Parents Should Concern Themselves With Their
Be sure to guide your children to follow God’s
will in marriage (Gen 24:1–6, 28:1–3).
It is a great sin to make your daughter a
prostitute (Lev 19:29; Deut 23:17).
Never bring the money made in prostitution into
God’s temple (Deut 23:18).
Relationship Between A Husband And His Wife
How Should a Husband Treat His Wife?
As Christ loves the church, so should a husband
love his wife as his own body (Eph 5:25, 28, 29).
A husband ought to honor his wife, and he should
be considerate of her weaknesses (1 Pet 3:7).
Never mistreat your wife (Col 3:19; Mal 2:16).
Take your wife’s opinions into account (1 Cor
Live joyfully with your wife (Eccl 9:9; cf. Gen
24:67; Song 4:7–15).
A prudent wife is a gift from the Lord (Prov
How Should a Wife Treat Her Husband?
As the church submits to Christ, so should a
wife submits herself to her husband (Eph 5:22–24; Col 3:18; 1 Pet 3:1–5).
The wife respects her husband, just as Sarah
called Abraham lord (Eph 5:33; 1 Pet 3:6).
The wife does not rule over her own body, just
as a husband doesn’t rule over his own body (1 Cor 7:3–5).
The wife should help her husband, just as Eve
was Adam’s helper (Gen 2:18).
Proverbs 31:10–31 highly extols a virtuous wife:
She does her husband good
all the days of her life (v. 12).
She is hardworking and efficient (vv. 13, 18,
She is good at housekeeping (vv. 15, 16, 21, 24,
She is kind and tender (v. 20).
She has wisdom (v. 26).
She fears God (v. 30).
All wives are exhorted to be
Women should not emphasize outward adorning, rather, they should adorn themselves with sobriety
and inner virtues (1 Tim 2:9–11; 1 Pet 3:3–5).
A depraved woman is like rottenness in the bones
of her husband (Prov 12:4, 21:9; Judg 16:15–21).
Modern feminist thought often criticizes the
biblical view of women and wives, however, one must
always keep humility and love in mind. A husband and wife relationship is built
on love, not authority.
Relationship Between Parents And Children
The Responsibility of Parents
The family is the seedbed of
religious education. Parents should educate their children in the faith.
Teach your children to fear God (Gen 18:19; Ps
David charged Solomon to fear God and to walk in
his ways (1 Kgs 2:1–4).
Cornelius guided his entire household to fear
God (Acts 10:1, 2).
Noah, Joshua, and many others worshipped God
with their entire household (Gen 7:1; Josh 24:15; 2 Pet 2:5).
Bring your children up in the Lord (Eph 6:4).
Children are a heritage from the Lord (Ps
127:3). They will inherit the grace of life from their parents (cf. 1 Pet 3:7).
Parents should have loving concern for their
children, educating them rather than provoking them (Col 3:21; cf. Mt 19:13, 14; Mic 2:9).
Parents are required to teach their children the
Scriptures from their childhood, and to build them upon the foundation of faith
(2 Tim 3:15; cf. Deut 6:6, 7; Prov 22:6; 2 Tim 1:5). Joseph and Daniel had a
firm foundation of faith from their childhood and thereby became upright men
(cf. Gen 37:2, 28, 39:9; Dan 1:4, 8).
Correct children whenever they are wrong.
Eli did not chastise his two sons, and they died
of their transgressions (1 Sam 2:12–25, 29–34).
Job’s loving concern for his children’s
spiritual welfare was shown in that, after his children’s feast, Job sent and
sanctified them—offering burnt offerings for them in fear they sinned and
cursed God (Job 1:5).
“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart” (Prov 29:17).
Pray for your children at all times (1 Chr
29:19; Lk 23:28).
The ultimate goal of raising your children is to
make them sanctified vessels who will live for the
Lord. You should raise them to contribute to humanity and to glorify God (cf. 1
Sam 1:28; Rom 12:1, 14:7, 8; 1 Cor 6:20; 2 Tim 2:21).
Children should honor their parents (Ex 20:12).
Children are obligated to respect their parents, since they lovingly bear them,
nourish them and educate them. Children should therefore love, respect, honor,
and take care of their parents (1 Tim 5:4).
A central concern of children should be to honor
Children are to obey their parents in the Lord,
i.e., as long as it is not contrary to God’s word. Children need not obey their
parents if they are told to forsake God or do evil.
Children should accept their parent’s
instructions (Prov 13:1, 15:5; Heb 12:7–9).
Children should not mistreat or fail their
parents (Prov 19:26).
Children should not despise their parents (Prov
15:5, 23:22). As a king, Solomon respected and honored his mother very much (1
Children should not curse their parents (Lev
20:9; Mt 15:4).
Children should provide for their parents when
they are able.
Ruth provided for Naomi, her mother-in-law, by
gleaning corn during their poverty (Ruth 2:2).
The Lord Jesus tells us not to leave our parents
comfortless, in spite of the offerings we have to make to God (Mk 7:10–12).
Before his death on the cross, Jesus provided
for his mother by entrusting John to take care of her (Jn 19:26, 27).
Children should bring their parents to the Lord,
in order to share together in the heavenly blessing (cf. Mk 5:19; Acts 16:31;
Contempt for one’s parents is a curse (Deut
“If one curses his father or his mother, his
lamp will be put out in utter darkness” (Prov 20:20; cf. Prov 30:17).
Absalom usurped his father’s kingship, and he
tried to kill David during the revolt. As a result of violating the Fifth
Commandment, Absalom himself was pierced to death (2 Sam 15:13, 14, 18:9–15).
Blessed are those who honor and provide for
their parents (Ex 20:12; Eph 6:2, 3).
Joseph, an obedient son, was eager to learn
whether his father was in good health when he met his brothers in Egypt
(Gen 43:27, 28). Although Joseph was occupying a high position, he did not
forget to send for his father, a rustic shepherd, in order to reunite with him
and to provide for him (Gen 46:29, 30).
Ruth honored and provided for her mother-in-law,
a poor and lowly widow (Ruth 1:16, 17, 2:2–17, 18, 3:11). God blessed her and
guided her to marry a prosperous and kind-hearted man named Boaz (Ruth 2:1,
4:13). King David was three generations down in Ruth’s lineage (Ruth 4:17; cf.
2 Sam 15:1–5).
Ethical Principles In Dealing With Siblings
Brethren Ought to Get Along Harmoniously (Ps
Parents are happy when siblings get along in unity,
harmony, and pleasantness (cf. Gen 27:41, 42; 2 Sam 13:37).
The following are ways to keep unity and harmony
Have no envy (Gen 37:11; Acts 7:9).
Have no resentment or hatred (Gen 37:4; Lev
Be tolerant (Gen 13:8, 9; 1 Cor 6:7, 8).
Be forgiving (Gen 50:15–21; Col 3:13).
Brethren Help in Times of Need (Prov 17:17)
Lend others what they need to survive (Deut
“You shall not lend him your money at interest,
nor give him your food for profit” (Lev 25:35–37; Deut 23:19, 20).
Extend your assistance and take good care of
your brethren in their sicknesses (Job 42:11; cf. Job 19:13; Mt 25:36).
Abraham risked his life to save Lot (Gen 14:13–16).
To fail to provide for one’s household is to
deny the faith (1 Tim 5:8).
The Spiritual Teachings of Levirate Marriage
(Deut 25:5–10; cf. Mt 22:24).
In the Old Testament, Levirate marriage (i.e.,
the marrying of a dead brother’s widow to carry on the brother’s line) was a
common practice in Israel.
Today, the Christian Church has no practice similar to Levirate marriage.
However, Levirate marriage illustrates the loving obligation that exists among
brethren (Gen 38:7, 8).
Rahab begged the Israelite spies to take her and
her relatives under their protection (Jos 2:12, 14, 6:23).
Paul, in order to have the names of his kinsmen
written in heaven, was prepared to cut himself off from Christ. People often
feel wonderful when their names are recorded, especially in ancient culture;
but to give up one’s name was a loving sacrifice (Rom 9:3; cf. Rev 21:27; Lk
A Christian’s “Family” Life In The Larger
The Lord Jesus said, “My mother
and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Lk 8:21).
Paul made a similar remark, “Do
not rebuke an older man but exhort him as you would a father; treat younger men
like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all
purity” (1 Tim 5:1, 2).
We must extend a universal and
family-type love to other believers and society (2 Pet 1:7).
Job treated widows, orphans, and the poor like
his own family (Job 31:16–22).
The relation between Paul and Timothy was like
father and son (1 Tim 1:2, 4; 2 Tim 1:2; 1 Cor 4:17).
Visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction (Jas 1:27; 1 Tim 5:16; Deut 10:18, 27:19; Jer 49:11)
Let brotherly love last forever (Heb 13:1; Mt
23:8; Rom 12:10; 1 Jn 4:20, 21).
PART TWO: A CHRISTIAN’S SOCIAL LIFE
The Lord Jesus said to his
disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how
shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be
thrown out and trodden under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A
city set on a hill cannot be hid” (Mt 5:13, 14). The Lord never commanded the
disciples to separate themselves from society like hermits,
rather, he told them to follow God’s will in this evil world. Being the salt of
the earth, Christians should season humanity with the knowledge and grace of
God. Like salt, Christians preserve society from corruption through the example
of their life and doctrines. As the light of the world, Christians should guide
the world to walk on the path of brightness and salvation (Phil 2:14–16).
The principle of Christian life
is to glorify God and benefit humankind (1 Cor 6:20, 10:24; Rom 15:2).
The Church does not forbid
believers from being educated in secular institutions. However, the Christian
goal of a child’s education should be remembered. Both children and their
parents should recognize the goal of secular education is not to enhance one’s
social status, dignity, popularity, or wealth. Rather, children should apply
what they learn in secular institutions for God’s glory and work—preparing
themselves as acceptable vessels to God. Below are some examples of godly
people who applied their education to God’s work:
Moses Was Instructed in All the Wisdom of the
Egyptians (Acts 7:22)
Moses had high social status and could easily
have enjoyed the courtly honor and pleasures in Egypt. Instead, Moses chose to
suffer with his people and deliver them out of their bondage (Heb 11:23–27;
God delivered Israel
out of Egypt
through Moses. In the wilderness, God gave the law to Israel through Moses—the “Mosaic”
law. Thus the Torah was first given to Moses, then to God’s people. Moses’
Egyptian education was undoubtedly conducive to his leadership and writing of
the law through God’s guidance (cf. Jn 1:17; Acts 7:22).
Daniel Acquired the Learning and Language of the
Chaldeans (Dan 1:3–5, 17)
From his childhood, Daniel had a strong faith
and godly principles (Dan 1:8). Later, Daniel and his three friends were chosen
to serve the king of Babylon
because they were highly educated. God gave them knowledge and skill in all
learning and wisdom. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, these four
young students were ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in
the king’s kingdom (Dan 1:17–21).
After the completion of his education, Daniel
was appointed to stand in the king’s palace, and to preside over his affairs
(cf. Dan 1:4). Later on, king Darius intended to make Daniel the Persian
kingdom’s prime minister due to Daniel’s good character and excellent spirit
(Dan 6:1–5). Daniel’s adversaries contrived a new law in the hope of ensnaring
him. Due to Daniel’s adversaries, he was cast into the lions’ den; yet, God
still preserved Daniel’s life—a miracle which made Darius glorify
Daniel, the learned and beloved man of God,
glorified God among unbelievers. Through his high social status Daniel still
managed to glorify God and bring God’s blessing to his countrymen (Dan 6:6–10,
Paul, the Outstanding Student of Gamaliel, Was a
Gamaliel, a noted Pharisee, and teacher of the
law, had a good reputation among the Jewish community (Acts 5:34–40). Later,
under Gamaliel’s direction, Paul became known as a learned man (cf. Acts
Paul was a Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin
(Phil 3:5) and a native of Tarsus, the
third-ranking learning center of the time, being surpassed at the time only by Athens and Alexandria.
Paul was born a Roman citizen (Acts 22:28), being of an influential family;
thus, Paul was exposed to Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman knowledge and culture.
Before his conversion, Paul’s extensive learning made him proud and
self-righteous (cf. Acts 9:1, 2; 1 Cor 8:1).
After Paul’s conversion to Christianity, he
became a vessel of righteousness acceptable to the Lord. By God’s grace, Paul
vigorously proclaimed the gospel of Christ. The Lord Jesus revealed the hidden
mystery of the word to Paul, and by him, many enlightening and authentically
inspired epistles became part of the biblical canon (Rom 16:25; Gal 1:11, 12;
cf. Mt 13:52).
Work Honestly (Eph 4:28)
“‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are
helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up” (1 Cor 10:23).
All jobs are equally important if they build people up physically and
spiritually. Like the members of a body, various career choices serve their
respective functions in society. However, Christians should not engage
themselves in ungodly businesses such as gambling casinos, night clubs,
brothels, and the like (cf. Deut 23:17, 18; Tit 3:14).
Carpentry was considered a menial vocation in
Jesus’ time; yet, God allowed his only Son to be born in the house of a
carpenter (cf. Mt 13:55). Christians should respect those in “menial”
vocations, e.g., janitors, cab drivers, and the like. People in “menial” jobs
contribute no less to the overall social welfare than those in “higher” fields
of occupation (cf. Lk 16:15; 1 Cor 12:22, 23).
Slavery and Servitude from a Christian
“Were you a slave when called? Never mind” (1
Cor 7:21). As a servant, one should willingly submit himself to his master and
work faithfully (Col
3:22–24). At the same time, Paul told masters to treat their servants
reasonably and justly (Eph 6:9; Col
Paul expected slaves could free themselves in
saying, “But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity”
(1 Cor 7:21). This statement does not show Paul despised slavery, nor does it
illustrate Paul supported slavery. Rather, Paul saw people as essentially equal
when he said, “there is neither slave nor free, for you are all one in Christ
Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
The Bible says, “Six days you shall labor, and
do all your work” (Ex 20:9).
Paul taught that if a church member was
unwilling to work, neither should the member eat (2 Thess 3:10). The church
should deal severely with busybodies who refuse to work (1 Thess 4:11; 2 Thess
3:8–14). Paul himself made tents and worked hard to set a good example for all (Acts
18:3, 20:34; 1 Cor 4:12; 1 Thess 2:9). Christians are correct when they see the
slothful and busybodies as something shameful and sinful.
Rich people should not follow the example of the
rich man in Jesus’ parable, since the rich man was lazy and feasted sumptuously
everyday (Lk 16:19, 22, 25). Since life can be very easy and comfortable for
the rich, the rich should serve the Lord with all their mind, strength, and
soul (Rom 6:13, 12: 1).
Be Trustworthy and Faithful
Be truthful to others (Zech 8:16; Eph 4:15; Prov
Have no fraud in your business (Deut 25:13–16;
Prov 11:1, 21:6).
An officer should never accept bribes or
participate in corrupt practices (Deut 16:19, Mic 7:3; cf. Dan 6:4, 22).
Do not breach a contract after you have accepted
the contract terms, even if following through with the contract may not benefit
you (cf. Ps 15:4; cf. Judg 11:30–40).
Abraham was chosen by God because he was found
faithful before him (Neh 9:7, 8).
God helps those who have a perfect heart toward
him (2 Chr 16:9).
God’s true people are honest (Jn 1:47).
Have Kindness and Goodwill
Christians should never repay evil with evil as
Nabal did (1 Sam 25:21). The saying of an “eye for an eye” or a “tooth for a
tooth” is not followed in the New Testament (Mt 5:38). Rather, Christians
should overcome evil with good rather than allow hatred and resentment to
overcome them (Rom 12:21). Christians should only show kindness and goodwill
toward others, following the example set by the Lord and Joseph (Gen 50:15–21;
Lk 23:34; 1 Cor 13:4–9).
Christians should never lack compassion for
orphans, widows, poor people, sick people, and troubled people (1 Jn 3:17).
Support the weak and supply them what they need (Jas 2:14–16). Do not be like
the Levite and priest in the parable of the good Samaritan—pretending as if
they did not see the half-dead man lying on the road (Deut 22:1–4; Lk
Charity is acceptable to God (Deut 15:7, 8; Gal
2:10). The saints of old regarded philanthropy as a virtue and performed it
diligently. The philanthropists of old include Dorcas (Acts 9:36), Cornelius
(Acts 10:2, 3), and the repentant Zacchaeus (Lk 19:8).
Do not discriminate against other people (Jas
We need not be partial to the poor (Lev 19:15).
However, neither should we respect the rich and despise the poor (Deut 1:17).
“For the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but
the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7; cf. Lk 16:15).
Be impartial in judgment (Prov 24:23, 24).
“He who states his case first seems right, until
the other comes and examines him” (Prov 18:17). David first listened to Ziba
and thus did justice to Mephibosheth (2 Sam 16:1–4, 19:24–30).
Even if we have witnesses, we should be very
careful in our judgment. Jezebel caused Naboth to be stoned by false witnesses
(1 Kgs 21:8–14). The Jews crucified Jesus through false witness (Mt 26:59–62).
Thus, we must exercise care not to judge another quickly based simply on
surface evidence. For example, Joseph was thrown in jail because Potiphar never
investigated why Joseph’s garment was in his wife’s possession (Gen 39:11–20).
Fight for justice.
Godly prophets of old were never broken by
threats or the power of evil in their fight for justice. Rather, such prophets
were often moved to denounce evil and social injustice; they would work hard to
lead others in the paths of righteousness. Godly prophets include Daniel (Dan
4:27), Zechariah (2 Chr 24:20, 21), John the baptist (Mt 14:3–11), the Lord
Jesus (Mt 23:13–39, 21:12–14; Lk 19:45–47; Jn 7:7), and many other biblical
People can avoid a lot of trouble by supporting
justice, for justice is a stimulus for goodness and faithfulness. Rulers or
leaders establish their position by being just in all their doings (Prov 16:12).
A righteous nation is blessed by God, and righteousness delivers from death
Choose Friends with Care (1 Cor 15:33)
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers (2 Cor
6:14–18), the world (Jas 4:4), hotheads (Prov 22:24), gossip-mongers (Prov
20:19), outlaws (Prov 24:15), drunkards and gluttons (Prov 23:20).
Be on good terms with those in the same faith
(Rom 12:10; 1 Pet 2:17), those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim
2:22), the wise (Prov 13:20), and above all, the Lord Jesus (Jn 15:14). God
called Abraham his friend (2 Chr 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23).
The friendship between David and Jonathan is a
beautiful story. Jonathan presented a generous gift to David as tokens of his
extraordinary kindness and endearing affection (1 Sam 18:1–4). He also took
pains to pacify Saul and reconcile him to David (1 Sam 19:1–7). Jonathan took
pleasure in the prospect of David’s future kingship even though the kingship
was his by birthright (1 Sam 23:15–18). David tore his clothes, fasted, and
lamented over Jonathan’s death (2 Sam 1:11, 12). To David, Jonathan’s love was
better than the love of women (2 Sam 1:26). After Saul and Jonathan’s death,
David sought an opportunity to do good to Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan (2
Do Not Drink Wine or Intoxicating Drinks
Wine makes people sick (cf. Hos 7:5). A drunkard
will come to poverty (Prov 23:21), and may even sell his children for a drink
(Joel 3:3). Wine often causes arguments, strife (Prov 23:29), fornication (Gen
19:30-38), nakedness (Gen 9:21), death, or even national destruction (Dan
The Bible teaches that a minister in the
sanctuary must not drink wine, lest he die (Lev 10:9, 10; Ezek 44:21).
Nazirites were consecrated to the Lord, and would never drink wine or strong
drink (Num 6:1–3; Judg 13:4, 7, 14). Prophets and kings should never drink wine
or strong drink (Prov 31:4; Lk 1:15; 1 Cor 14:31; Rev 5:9, 10). Today,
believers must be consecrated to the Lord (Gal 3:27). No drunkards shall
inherit the kingdom
of God (1 Cor 6:10; Gal
5:21). The Bible says, “Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in
the cup and goes down smoothly. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings
like an adder” (Prov 23:31, 32).
Dancing may stimulate one’s
sexual desire and disinhibits one’s self-control, which may in turn lead to
sin. In order to avoid fornication and lust, Christians should refrain from
dancing with sexual interests in mind. Rather, Christians are exhorted to keep
a pure and peaceful heart (cf. Mt 5:27–30; 1 Cor 7:1; 2 Tim 2:22).
Gambling is a form of greed and
laziness. Gambling often causes the gambler to regret, sorrow, and may even
lead to crime. Gambling often leads to bad habits, such as heavy drinking and
prostitution, which in turn destroys one’s family life.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you
shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or
his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex 20:17). “For the
love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim 6:10). The above illustrate the
evils of gambling. Christians should not gamble since it brings very little
benefit and often angers God.
Movies and Drama
If movies, television, and drama are properly
used as an educational medium, they can benefit society and individual
But nowadays, human hearts are prone to evil. The commercial world
often take advantage of ignorant audiences in order to make
money—producing wayward, seductive, and corrupt movies. Under these
circumstances, believers should follow Paul’s example of avoiding what is
“lawful” for the benefit of others (1 Cor 8:13).
The Bible says, “Thou who art of purer eyes than
to behold evil and canst not look on wrong” (Hab 1:13). The saints of old prayed
to God thus: “Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; and give me life in thy
ways” (Ps 119:37; Isa 33:15). The sins of Eve and David were both caused by the
lust of the eyes (Gen 3:6; 2 Sam 11:2–8). The lust of the eyes does not come
from God, and so, like Job, we should make a covenant with our eyes. All
pornographic and “obscene” magazines, books, or photographs should be avoided.
We should not listen to or sing ungodly songs or buy non-beneficial music (Job
31:1; 1 Jn 2:15, 16).
Women should dress modestly. The
Bible says that “women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly
apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire” (1 Tim 2:9,
10; 1 Pet 3:3). “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall
a man put on a woman’s garment” (Deut 22:5). “But let it be the hidden person
of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in
God’s sight is very precious” (1 Pet 3:4, 5). Women should emphasize
simplicity, serenity and neatness in their appearance. Women should not
overdress or wear heavy make-up in order to tempt or attract undue attention
(cf. Lk 16:19, 25; Rev 17:3–5). Women should always remember inner beauty,
virtues, and high spirituality are God’s delight; thus modest dressing is most
Christians And Country
A nation is formed to provide
security and welfare for the people.
A nation’s statutes and
regulations are usually founded on justice, love, and moral judgments. The
Bible clearly states Christians should perform their proper obligations to
Christians should subject themselves to the
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake
to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to
governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who
do right” (1 Pet 2:13–15; Rom 13:1–5; Tit 3:1).
Christians should pay all appropriate taxes
“For the same reason you also pay
taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom
revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due”
(Rom 13:6, 7). The Lord Jesus also said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things
that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:20, 21; cf. Mt
Honor the leaders of your country, the
governors, and all in authority, and make supplications, prayers, and
intercessions for them (1 Tim 2:1–3; 1 Pet 2:17).
In cases where a country’s government goes
against God’s will, Christians should abide by God’s higher standard and obey
If a ruler becomes a dictator, going against God’s principles and suppressing
basic human rights (e.g., freedom of religion or evangelism), then Christians
should courageously uphold God’s principles and commandments. Daniel, Daniel’s
three friends, apostle Peter, and apostle John all remained loyal to the Lord
in spite of threats and persecution (Dan 3:1–18, 6:4–10; Acts 4:18–20, 5:29).
Although there are many secular judicial
systems, the Bible does not encourage Christians to bring arguments and
disputes to court. This does not mean the authority of the court is belittled.
Rather, Christians should remember the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ
when they have disputes with other members. Christians should willingly yield
and submit to the church’s judgment. We must learn to forgive and love one
another, as well as practice the principles of God’s kingdom—to manifest love
in a darkened world (Mt 18:21–35; 1 Cor 9:1–8, 13:4–8; Col 3:13).