Where Did Family Come From?

God created people and God created family.

The mission God assigned to human beings could not be accomplished by male alone. Just as God’s image was only fully displayed in male and female, God’s will could only be fully completed by male and female. Moses, who wrote Genesis, left us a little editorial note here to explain what happened when the two came together, and this is where we are introduced to family.


We are at an interesting and perhaps unprecedented time in history when our understanding of family is being confronted and our definition of family is being rewritten. The social norms of Western society and the laws of Canada are changing fast. Things that only a generation ago were considered inadvisable, immoral, or just plain evil are now considered good, normal, and worthy of celebration. Things that not long ago were considered the mark of a crumbling society are now considered marks of an advanced society.

So what is a family, anyway? Where did it come from? Who has the right to define it?

Ask the culture around us about the origins of family and you’ll probably hear that over billions of years humanity evolved from lesser organisms and along the way we created family as a means of protection and social organization. Family arose from within the human mind as we evolved and as we adapted to life in a hostile world.

Ask Christians and I hope you’ll hear something different—that God created human beings in an instantaneous act and that from the beginning he bound people together into those groups we call family. Family arose from within the mind of God as he created us in a perfect world.

It’s almost impossible to over-emphasize the difference this makes. Why? Because if we created it, we define it and we are accountable only to ourselves. But if God created it, he defines it and we are accountable to him.

God Created Family

So let’s briefly trace the origins of family as God describes it in the book of Genesis.

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