Family life education is an educational programme of the church designed to intentionally minister to every member of the family that attends our churches or members that are prospects. Family is defined in this context as a father and a mother with or without children while Family Life is the day to day running of the family and all that operates in a family in relation to father, mother and their children. This may also include the effect of the external forces on families such as extended family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers in society where the family lives. Education is teaching, training, instructing, and an idea that gives information, explanation and enlightenment that can help families be what God intended them to be.
Why Family Education in the Church?
Family life today is in disarray and families in our churches are not exempted. The family today faces a lot of problems that scientists, psychiatrics, professional counsellors and even medication cannot cure. The desire to participate in church activities, social fellowship and the inability to say no to people and events has robbed many Christian parents of their God-ordained parental responsibilities. Many husbands and wives live separately because of economic, social or political issues, lucrative job opportunities, transfers, riots and so on. These types of parents are increasing in our society and it is affecting the family adversely. Inattention to the above mentioned issues has resulted in divorce, separation, unfaithfulness in marriage, loss of family values, disobedient and wayward children, ungodly and unsaved society.
Many of the activities mentioned above have choked studying the Word of God, holy living, Christian values and building good relationships from many families. If family life education is ignored, the future of the church is at stake, knowing that the congregation of a church is made up of many families. The witness of a church is affected by the type of people attending the church and the purpose of the church to affect lives for eternity is jeopardised.
Biblical Foundation for Family: The establishment of family started in the beginning. The account in Genesis chapters one and two explicitly gave what God did to establish family. In this account, God Himself established the family. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God bless them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis 1:27-28). Also in Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” This account explained further how God made a woman for the first man. “And for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” In other words, God made a woman out of a man in order for them to be one flesh that would help them raise up a family. Therefore, the creation story is not just creating people but creating a family that would soon multiply into more families on the surface of the earth. Marriage, the coming together of a husband and a wife was instituted to raise up a family and the people of Israel had so much respect for marriage. Hear this, “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married” (Deut. 24:5). But today, many do not attach any importance to marriage, which is really affecting us adversely as Christians. The declaration of Joshua showed how much he understood the responsibility God placed on him in regards to family. In Joshua 24:15, he said, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” God established marriage to raise up a godly children that will love and obey Him (Malachi 2:15).
In the New Testament, Jesus also knows the importance of family. He supported the establishment of a family at Cana in Galilee. He taught about permanence in marriage in Matthew 19:4-6; therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. Paul gave instructions for a healthy home in 1 Corinthians 7. I believe John the beloved had family in mind when He said in 1 John 3:12-14, I write to you dear children, I write to you fathers, I write to you young men. I believe he wrote to mothers too; though not in the same passage, John devoted a whole chapter to address a mother in 2 John. The writings of John gave us the focused people in the family we can minster to and some areas of ministering.
The division has Four units, namely:
1. Children’s Ministries – Ministering to children from birth to twelve years old.
2. Teenagers’ Ministry – Ministering to young people from 13 to 19 years of age.
3. Marriage Enrichment programme for couples and young people in courtship.
4. Christian Parenting – Ministering to Parents, grand-parents and guardians.
BIBLE VERSE: “...But as for me and my house hold, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
SLOGAN: Winning the Family through the WORD
OUR MISSION: Family Life Education Division exists to create awareness on the importance of family and its position in God’s plan, making every family to become an extension of God’s family on earth.
VISION: To be a chief provider of excellent training and effective kingdom educational recourses that will make every person in Nigeria and beyond become a member of God’s family.
1. Family Life Education is established to nurture and develop Christian life in the family.
2. To teach the biblical principles that will lead every member of a family to becoming a true disciple of Jesus.
3. To provide opportunity where every member of the family can be equipped for the work of the ministry.
4. To encourage local churches to develop children’s and teenager’s workers through retreat, seminars and workshops.
5. To strengthen family members through Bible study and discipleship materials.
1. Evangelism: Reaching out to every member with the gospel and challenging them to reach out to the other families in their neighbourhood.
2. Discipleship: Use all the literature produced to disciple children, teenagers and their workers, young couples, parents and the aged.
3. Dynamic Worship: Use children worship service programme for children and encouraging every member of the family to participate in individual worship, family worship and dynamic corporate worship in the church.
4. Fellowship: Encouraging churches to have small groups for young couples, parents, singles, single again and senior citizen where they can share concerns and develop themselves.
5. Ministry: Giving opportunity to every member of a family to serve. This may include missions, stewardship - giving time, self and possession to the cause of the gospel