This brief little book provides an excellent survey of foundational Biblical principles for “God’s design for your home.” Most of the book works through the apostle Paul’s instructions for the believing families in Ephesus. Ephesians 5:22 – 6:4 is the “pivotal biblical passage on the subject,” as it deals with “every key relationship in the home.” I found that looking at these key relationships and roles within the framework of the context of Ephesians 5-6 was extremely helpful especially in seeing the God-ordained roles for husbands and wives, parents and children all defined and subject to the over-arching command for families and individuals to live Spirit-filled lives of mutual submission to each other. Understanding words like leadership, authority and submission Biblically makes it very clear that the roles and responsibilities unique to individuals within families are to be expressions of love that build each other up, not acts of selfishness that destroy. In other words, leadership and submission defined Biblically are not opposites (as worldly wisdom would assert). Sacrificial leadership is an act of submission.
I found another helpful aspect of this book to be its focus on principles, not specifics. Once explaining and expounding the clear, simple principles for God-centered family relationships, MacArthur affirms that there is much freedom and need for parents and spouses to be creative in how they live out those principles. For instance, in the chapter on parenting, the goal of discipline -addressing the child’s fundamental spiritual needs – not the method of discipline, is where the emphasis is placed. In focusing on key principles and not specifics, this book is able to provide a strong foundation for those wanting to understand God’s will and purposes for both their family and the institution of the family in general. I highly recommend.