The fact is, we live in a world of broken families, and marriages. I wonder if in a desperate attempt to counteract this degradation, we’ve inadvertently turned them into idols. Have we swung the pendulum in the opposite direction? While a balanced perspective is needed, obsessively prioritizing the physical “family first” concept isn’t actually entirely biblical…..
I wouldn’t know my grandparents, aunts, uncles, even two of my own siblings from a stranger on the street. And it’s not because I was adopted -I wasn’t. In my home, water was actually thicker than blood. Through a set of difficult circumstances, my mom raised us (seven children) the best, broken way she knew how, but God was not part of the focus.
I can honestly say experiencing the beauty of a new family of faith as a young adult filled my every familial void. While I have a deep love and appreciation for the gift God has given me in my own family today, I can also see that my upbringing allowed me to value the family of God in a way that balanced my perspective.
Maybe with the right focus, marriage and families would thrive when they,
“more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
Refocus on Our Greatest Calling
Whether male or female, each one of us is called to,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Second to this, we are called to, “Go and make disciples..” (Matt. 28:19) which is married to its OT counterpart, “be fruitful and multiply“. (Gen. 1:28) Birthing the idea that the multiplication process is not solely physical.
Women of God, especially should see that while their calling may include the unique privilege of birthing children, their purpose is not exclusive to this. It is far greater.
Somehow the family unit can take on an unhealthy self-existence. Almost patterning cancer cells that live to feed solely on themselves, weakening and killing the body instead of nourishing it.
Marriage being the beautiful symbolism of God’s covenantal love, represents a smaller microcosms that when combined they make up one family, a living, breathing inter-dependent organism: The Body of Christ. (Rom. 12:4-5)
Please understand marriage is not the highest goal to strive for.
Paul validates the calling for singles, and widows that have chosen not to remarry in 1 Cor. 7. In heaven there will be no marriage. (Matt. 22:30) And one day we will experience the glorious consummation of our spiritual marriage with Christ. (Rev. 19)
Marriage is a temporary earthly institution ordained by God. For our good and His glory, but as with any good thing, it can easily be idolized.
“But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage.” (1 Cor. 7:29)
What he is NOT saying here is to ignore, neglect or try to escape our responsibilities as married people, but to keep it in perspective with hearts completely surrendered, content and satisfied in Jesus alone for He is our First Love.
The Goal of Kiononia
I’ve heard it said, Church is not a place you go…. but a family you belong to. And keep in mind God doesn’t just want weekend visitations!
When we exist as a family of God, we invite Him, and His people into everyday life. We are keenly in tune with the needs of the Body. If one suffers we all do in some way.
It’s called Koinonia in Greek. Which means communion; to share, participate, contribute and labor and experience this broken life together.
Refocus on the Family (of Faith)
“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)
Jesus Himself tells us to Focus on the Family of Faith – above all things!
In John 19, Jesus tells his own birth mother to adopt John as her son and for him to receive her as his mother.
They probably didn’t have to “pray” about this.
Sure, it might represent a considerable sacrifice, even threaten the current family dynamics. Make the already busy schedule, even busier. Adopting someone else’s burdens, interrupts life, work, finances, school, games, rehearsals, cooking, cleaning, laundry, routines…
Refocus on The Least Of These
We can be so self absorbed in our little worlds that we neglect to extend Christ’s familial love to the least of these.
The lowly, least, longing outcasts. The preborn children, orphans, elderly, foster children, disabled and others marginalized by society. Or, how about the teen who’s looking for love in all the wrong places, or the teary eyed widow, the single mom who is frantically losing it.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)
Who do you love more? Jesus says,
“Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well.” (Luke 14:26)
You are not robing your own family of anything by carving out time to lovingly serve and care for the body of Christ, but instead you are tremendously blessing them by modeling what it means to love like Christ and fulfill the greatest commission.
In order to create a clear focused image of something, it takes light (of which Jesus is) and runs it through the wide lens (of our mission). These concentrated rays, result in a marriage in perfect focus -even if the marriage itself is not perfect, it perfectly captures the heart of God.
Re-Focus: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples.
Songs To PRAY
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