National Family Day is right around the corner. How will you celebrate? AMBrewster has some ideas, and he also wants to talk a little about what God says a family really is.
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According to Merriam-Webster, a family is “a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head.”
But is that good enough?
Today we celebrate Family Day by figuring out what God intended the family to be.
In 2011 Katherine Schulten wrote an article for the Learning Network of The New York Times — a program targeted at students 13 years an older — entitled “How Do You Define Family?”
In the article she quoted Lisa Belkin who did a study on how people perceived the familial trends that were becoming more mainstream even in 2011. The following trends were included:
“More unmarried couples raising children; more gay and lesbian couples raising children; more single women having children without a male partner to help raise them; more people living together without getting married; more mothers of young children working outside the home; more people of different races marrying each other; and more women not ever having children.”
The article ended by asking teenagers to weigh in with their thoughts on the modern family. Here are some samples.
Caitlin says, “I do not think there is such thing as a “normal family” because everyone’s lifestyle is different, and it would be a stereotype to say that all normal families have a Mom, a Dad and kids or a pet. That is not true. Some people choose a different choice. There are kids with two moms, or two dads, and with one mom or one dad. There are also plenty of kids who live with a close relative as well. Family are the people you feel safe and secure with. Everyone’s family is normal to them, because that is how they live their life. So be proud of your family, and don’t classify one family as normal.”
Will wrote, “There use to be such thing as a normal family but not in this age because everyone does what they want. A normal family is one in which the parents, a man and a woman, help prepare their offspring to go out and survive the real world with some morals.”
Alex said, “I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!!!! As for having a “normal” family, I’ve given up on that… There’s no such thing. Each family is different. I have six half-siblings and one stepsister, although I don’t think that’s possible. You can’t have half of a person so you can’t have a half-sibling. My family is the bestest. <3”
Abigail made an interesting observation when she said, “Normal families don’t exist too much in this age because kids think they are in charge."
And Walker wrote, “The definition of family is falling apart in my opinion. Today families spend less and less time together. Most of the parents — that is if they’re still together — both work. That leaves the kids either at home by themselves or at daycare with some besides there parent. Most families don’t even have dinner together anymore. Family: Both parents and their children coming together and being with each other.”
I read plenty of other opinions of the family, and they all basically said that family can be anyone who you love and who loves you back. It’s doesn’t take anything more than that.
But is that accurate?
I believe if we’re to truly understand what the family is, we must ask the Creator of the family.
For the longest time I used to refer to those annoying little half-animated video-images all over the internet as a GIF, but then I found out that the creator of the Graphic Interchange Format called it a “JIF” and I immediately started pronouncing it the way he did. He’s the creator; he gets to decide what it’s called.
In the same way, God’s the one Who designed the family, so He gets to be the one to say what it is and how it’s supposed to work.
Unfortunately, there’s no one biblical passage that just outright defines the family. Instead, I want to draw some conclusions from the prominent passages concerning the family, and then share my thoughts on how you can turn National Family Day into a yearly event with purpose.
Genesis and Deuteronomy
This is the basic structure of a Christ-honoring family. Are people still a family even when they reject God? Of course, from a biological or legal standpoint they are. However, God didn’t just create us to survive, He created us to thrive as families. He didn't just create humans to reproduce, control their kids or let them do whatever they want, and then die.
No, He created the family to be a mortal picture of eternal heavenly realities. We don’t have time to discuss them all but the family is a picture of the Trinity, the relationship between Christ and the church, a model of the best form of discipleship, and a framework for our eternal habitation!
To be a God-honoring family, we must be so much more than a bunch of people who really like each other or feel connected to each other or who live under one roof. We’ve been called to love each other as God loves us, be actively involved in each other’s spiritual lives, and disciple each other.
This happens over dinner, in the car, sitting on the foot of a bed, at a soccer game, in the grocery store, watching a movie, checking homework, playing in the backyard, making dinner, and in the tub. It must, because that’s what God created the family.
So as, Sunday approaches and many people in the US observe National Family Day, how should a family that wants to live up to their full-potential celebrate?
If you want to grow into a Christ-honoring family, you need to root yourself in Truth, love each other, and talk as much as you can about anything and everything that matters . . . and a lot of stuff that doesn’t too.
I pray you have an AWESOME Family Day, but I pray even harder that every day you’re fulfilling the divine calling to be a family that God is pleased to be called your God.
Our episode notes aren’t too robust today, but you can feel free to check out our blog, “Taking Back the Family” to see them.
I know we just finished a series, but our next episode is the beginning of a new series all about education. We’re going to talk about public schools, private schools, homeschools, boarding schools, and even higher education schools. I have a number of Special Guests lined up to help us answer the question, “Where should my child attend school this fall?” And the final episode of the series will be about the future of Christian higher education in America.
We’re going to post a couple special Family Day things on Facebook and Twitter, so I hope you’ll like us and follow us so you don’t miss any of the awesome things we post there. Just search Truth.Love.Parent. and you’ll find us. And don’t forget to share all the cool stuff with your friends!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your family, you are more than welcome to contact us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com.
The family comprises the single most important relationships you’ll ever have on this planet. Are you pleasing the Lord with them?
See you next time.
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