Paul Arveson (
Fri, 2 Aug 96 11:26:53 EDT

D.Eric Greenhow,M.D., wrote:

>Can anyone give an example of a Biblical family that we should emulate, or
indicate that this would be the ideal American family? Adam, Noah, Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Jethro, Saul, David, Solomon, etc in OT? Zebedee, Joseph and
Mary (Joseph appears to have died leaving a family of young children,)
>Eunice, Lois, etc in NT?

None of these fit the ideal very well, do they? And I think most people
know that. However, as I understand it, the ethical standards in the Bible
are never (with the exception of Jesus) based on emulation of some
historical people. They are based on the law of God, and on derivatives
from that law. For a good example of the latter, see Paul's discussion
of sexual immorality and morality in I Corinthians 6-7. This passage,
incidentally, clearly refers to one male husband and one female wife as
a married couple. Conjugal relations among this couple are encouraged,
although not with the sole intent to procreate as the Catholic church seems
to demand.

Children are not mentioned in this passage; I presume that they are to be
accepted as gifts from God, and if they do not come then this should not
diminish the relationship of the couple. The real, practical intent here
is that in stressful times it is best to remain single (7:25), but aside
from these circumstances "it is better to marry than to be aflame with
passion." So the expectation of moral law is first of all to avoid
sexual immorality (defined in 6:9-10). The second priority regards the
practical issues of economic and emotional stress that married couples
may encounter. I think this passage offers very level-headed advice
and should be studied carefully.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)