I learned early in life to hold family in low regard. Not because I did not need it, but because I could not have it. When my family fell apart during childhood, it shaped me. Honestly, it is still shaping me 25 years later.
I remember the sobering day when my eyes were opened to the truth that family matters in God’s story and should matter to me also. I confessed it to my wife, repented to God and found myself on the other side in a strange world with more hope than I could have expected. I was in a new place, with no direction but knew this was where I was meant to be. For the first time in adulthood, life made sense. I realized that…
Family is God’s primary tool for accomplishing His purposes on this earth.
The theme of family is laced throughout the scriptures. God’s story begins with a new family in Genesis 1 and ends with His family being reunited in Revelation 21-22. God starts with Adam and Eve, tells them to be fruitful and multiply, and gives them the job of stewarding the earth (Gen 1:28). He later chooses Abraham’s family, tells them to be fruitful and multiply, and gives them the job of showing the world who God is. He even tells Abraham that the other families of the earth will be blessed through his family (Gen 12:3). God wants to accomplish his earthly purposes through these families.
The book of Acts has numerous mentions of entire households being saved (Acts 10, 11, 16) and turning to God. An individual walking in the ways of God is a wonderful thing. A family walking in the ways of God is a very different and truly amazing thing. It’s hard to ignore the fruit that develops in a family walking with God in the same direction, generation after generation. Their efforts are multiplied through the number of people and years lived on this earth. Their beliefs are deep because they are so rooted. Their culture is strong because it is so grounded. Again, God is accomplishing his purposes through families.
This type of family is so compelling that Jesus needed to be clear with those who might one day follow him. He said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children and brothers and sisters, yes even his own life, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26). He is not saying family is bad. He is saying it is powerful. So powerful that we need to be careful that it is placed rightfully in our lives. If Jesus is not the center, then family can easily become a well-disguised idol. You know, one of those good things from which we try to draw life. Life that only God can give.
God’s story begins with a new family in Genesis and ends with His family being reunited in Revelation 21-22.
Each of our families is somewhere in the middle of this bigger story. I pray that the fruit of our families will compel a non believing world to consider the ways of God and that we are bearing fruit that will last into eternity.
God said it best, “Go be fruitful and multiply.”