The Main Values of Baptist Family Life

In Baptism, as in other form of Protestantism, family issues are given a great importance. Family for Baptists is an analogue of the relationship between the church and God. As the Holy Spirit nourishes the members of the Baptist church, caring for their spiritual growth, so the husband should take care and influence the spiritual growth of the wife, being her mentor and a link in her personal relationship with God: “because the husband is the head of the wife, as well as Christ is the head of the church” (Eph. 5:23).

This leadership means not only the wife’s complete obedience to the husband, but also the husband’s concern for the wife, and for the Baptists the most important concern is taking care of the spiritual side of life. A husband who does not cope well with the social and economic side of a marriage union is not condemned by church members, but a husband who has retired from the church and does not humble his carnal desires is an excuse for the whole community to work together on this particular person. If this happens with the wife, then the husband should have a positive influence on her, and only in exceptional cases – the community as a whole should help him.

Baptist communities pay extra attention to children. Children are perceived by Baptists as blessings from God. The task of parents is to raise children in accordance with the Scripture – the Bible. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for justice demands this” (Eph. 6: 1). And also, “And you, fathers, do not irritate your children, but bring them up in the teaching and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6: 4). One way or another, Baptists pay great attention to introducing children to faith in God. Children are considered initially purer and sinless than adults, and therefore, education in the “fear of God” from an early age is considered a very good practice in the framework of the subsequent formation of the Christian personality.

If we consider the aspect of choosing a spouse, it is worth noting that Baptists do not welcome intimate communication between young people before the wedding. For church members aged 16–20 and older, there are special youth gatherings, where in addition to reading the Bible, events are held that allow young people to communicate and express their opinions. At these general meetings, they can get to know each other better, and so that they can be more often with each other, they should announce their engagement at a church meeting.

When choosing a spouse, a young man is recommended to pay attention, first of all, to the spiritual beauty of the girl, to her modesty, purity, chastity. “A virtuous wife is a crown for her husband; but shameful, is rottenness in his bones” (Prov., 12: 4). It is especially good if a girl is engaged in the church. For choosing a spouse, roughly the same criteria are used. A “strong brother” (meaning the spiritual mentor in Christianity) will be considered a good husband.

Baptists believe that if young people “build their family on Christ,” then nothing can prevent them from marital happiness. Baptists perceive various kinds of misfortunes or poverty as a test sent by God, for which they will receive an indispensable reward if they are to humbly overcome difficulties.