Does God’s Immutability Affect the Family?

“Change is the only constant in life.” You may have heard a saying like this at some point in your life. This quote is said to have come from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who lived from 535-475 BC. So what is change? Webster’s dictionary defines it as: to make different. When we think about change, it can be for the better or for the worse. For example, I have made the decision to change my eating habits. I have a sweet tooth like nobody’s business; but I have chosen to cut back on the number of sweet treats I enjoy. Most would agree that this is a change for the better. On the flip side, due to my profession, I regularly see people who fail to take their prescribed medications or even take too much of their medications and unfortunately their health takes a turn for the worse.

I would agree that change is the only constant in life. It’s all around us and is a part of every aspect of life. One area of life that experiences changes is the family. I remember when my wife and I got married, we went from singleness to starting our family and experienced the change in responsibility and accountability to each other when two people come together in marriage. Families with children know this all too well—parents deal with changing countless diapers, changes in their children’s growth and development, and when their kids get old enough, the constant changing of their little minds. Change is a constant thing in the context of the family.

Even society’s view of what makes up a family and how a family looks has changed or become progressive—meaning that the historical and traditional sense of the family is no longer the only way or even perhaps not even the right way to understand what family is. In today’s culture the changing view involves the idea that two women or two men can constitute a marriage.

I would like to offer the biblical perspective or God’s viewpoint of the family. Although I agree that “Change is the only constant in life,” I also believe that there is One who is constantly without change, in other words One who is immutable. God says of Himself that He does not change: “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). God is perfect in all His attributes and knowledge; He does not need anything added to Himself. If He could have some attribute or knowledge taken away or lost, He would no longer be perfect; therefore, His immutability is an inevitable result of His perfection. Since God does not change, God’s ordained concept of family has never and will never change. He told Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” (Genesis 1:28). From a plain reading of this verse in context, we can glean that God established the family to be made up of a marriage union between a man and a woman and in this context, children are to be raised (Cf. Genesis 2:24). This is also seen in the New Testament book of Ephesians, where Paul explains that the family is to be a husband who loves his wife, a wife who honors and respects her husband, and children who are raised up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-6:4).

So even in the progressive climate of our society, God and His Word are unchanging; therefore, we can be confident that what God has ordained concerning the family will never change. And as long as we stand with God, we will always be on the right side of change.


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