The institution of the family, which preceded the Fall of man and remained after the Fall, for the well-being of the human race, is the institution most protected by God's law and is the very pattern by which we understand both our relationship to God as Father, and the creational model by which the Church is governed. We further see this centrality by the fact that in scripture, four of the Ten Commandments immediately concern the family (not the church or state) because the family controls welfare, property, education, inheritance, children, and cares for the aged. It is viewed as the basic government and consequently, when it is eroded or weakened, the social fabric of any society moves swiftly to decay regardless of what the State tries to do to replace it…Without healthy and godly Christian families, all of society moves toward ruin. There is no social substitute for the family, in either Church or State, so the Church today must labour to train, protect and equip the family.
(Source: The Mission of God)
I suppose this statement needs a qualifier, which I am sure I will come across as I work my way through Boot’s breathtaking book ‘The Mission of God’. The caveat is that we should not understand the centrality of the family as necessarily implying priority. Indeed, one of the features of Boot’s doctrinal perspective is ‘sphere sovereignty’. The family, the church (visible / institute) and the state have their own God given mandates in the out working of the Kingdom of God (the reign of God) in history.