Monday, April 27, 2015

We were made for family

And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come. For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? Psalms 71:18-19

God has always worked through families.  He spoke to Abram and told him that his purpose was to make him “the father of many nations.” The Bible record is all about families from generation to generation.  The church is referred to as family, the closest personal relationship we can have.

The family system is our God-given resource for strength, comfort and direction. Yet, we too often make the choice to try to "go it alone."

  • 75 percent of Americans believe that family is the most important factor in achieving personal happiness. Yet, we hear all around us that the family “just isn't the same anymore.” We have tried to redefine it in so many ways in order to fill its absence in our lives.
  • Religious groups, office colleagues and those with alternative lifestyles are now seen to operate as ‘family’. This new way of thinking about the family is radically different and is not based on correct biblical teaching.
Families aren't failing; we are failing the family
We have not learned the skill of family maintenance as we grow through life, of re-familying when the family is tom apart, or how to make our family function as our base for facing the world.  We have been taught that independence is real strength and that families are temporary places for preparation for real living. We give much attention and resource to raising our children while little emphasis is given to building our families.

Familying is much more than living under the same roof or blind clinging to our narrow view of what constitutes our blood-related group. Familying is "us-ing."

  • Familying is a chosen point of view of how, where and with whom we will lead our lives and give meaning to all that happens in our lives.
  • Our own family is where we experience and learn the family view and our method of loving of everyone in the world.
  • We live in a society that worships the individual. Being number one is seen as much more desirable than being one of the group.
The family is being viewed as little more than a temporary training ground, to be used and even abused until the nest becomes empty or a parent "gives away" their child to someone else in a marital ceremony while the respective families of the new marital partners sit divided on opposite sides of the church. 

No matter what you may hear, the family is not, in fact, gradually outliving its usefulness and is not in a state of decay and demise. The family is just suffering from severe neglect. The family can be the healthiest of places, and families are where we learn what "us" means. We will take this week to emphasize the institution of the family and how we can strengthen our families together.

Scripture to claim:
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  
I Corinthians 13:7

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