The Baptist Faith and Message

Historic Version: Adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention May 9, 1963
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XVIII. The Family

[ Note: During the 1997 Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas a motion was made as follows: "That the President of the Southern Baptist Convention appoint a committee to review the Baptist Faith and Message of May 9, 1963, for the primary purpose of adding an Article on The Family, and to bring the amendment to the next convention for approval." In response, Convention President Thomas D. Elliff appointed The Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee, which presented the following motion to the Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake, 1998. The motion passed on June 9. This new section was the first change to the Baptist Faith and Message since its revision in 1963. The complete Report of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee is also available at this site. ]

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church, and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel for sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25; 3:1-20; Ex. 20:12; Deut 6:4-9; Josh 24:15; 1 Sam. 1:26-28; Ps. 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Prov. 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15, 17; 31:10-31; Eccl. 4:9-12; 9:9; Mal. 2:14-16; Matt. 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; 1 Tim. 5:8, 14; 2 Tim. 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7.


Reprinted from the Baptist Faith and Message Tract (Stock Number 11-051).  Published by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee:

Tract Editor
Baptist Sunday School Board
127 Ninth Avenue, North
Nashville, Tennessee 37203