My wife and I recently attended a marriage conference where patriotism was mentioned as a reason for having a strong, Biblically based Christian family. In reading a devotion for couples together, we found the same motivation mentioned. The reasoning goes that by having strong Christian families we can make our nation great once again. Personally, patriotism is a poor reason to have a family based on Biblical principles.
Would we apply the idea of patriotism as a reason to have such a family to all believers everywhere, even if they lived in a country that we think of as an “enemy”? Biblical truth is truth for all people everywhere. Patriotism as a motivation for Christian conduct reflects an American-centric Christianity that borders on idolatry. Another reason that I disagree is that it that it elevates family above other areas of Christian obedience such as ministry to others and fellowship with other believers. How many parents justify missing church with the need for family time? This can also, at worst, be a form of idolatry and at best reflects a weak understanding of the doctrine of the church.
Finally, it represents a dethroning of Christ and His glory as the motivation of discipleship. We are created to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. In Ephesians 4:25-32, Paul wrote a husband’s love for his wife should be the same as Christ love for the church. I hope to obey the Bible in our Christian family not for the sake of my country but to testify of Jesus’ love for us. As people see Christian families, our desire should be for them to see a reflection Christ and to be drawn to Him. As Christian we should seek to be more than family-focused and patriotic. We should be Kingdom focused, Christ glorifying and God centered families. His glory is our motivation