All in the Family

A family gathered for a reunion, as they had done regularly for many years, but this year was different. As they hugged and laughed together, some family members scanned the gathering in search of one person. He had defrauded some of them, and they were out to get him. It was probably good that he never showed because some were ready to do him bodily harm.

We can choose many things in life, but we cannot choose the family we are born into, with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies. The institution of the family was God’s idea. After God created Adam and Eve, he told them to “Be fruitful, and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

Before God commanded Adam and Eve to start a family that would enjoy and care for His creation, He joined the pair in marriage. God’s original design for a healthy family was two parents, male and female, utterly committed to God and each other. We see God affirming marriage and families throughout the Bible. Jesus celebrated these two institutions when He performed His first miracle at a wedding. When the drink being served at the wedding ran out, Jesus’ mother quickly informed Jesus (a happening which suggests that the couple were close relatives of Jesus’ family). To safeguard the honor and dignity of the wedding pair and their families, Jesus performed a miracle, turning water into delicious wine for the feast.

God intended that families would be the framework where we are loved, nurtured, taught, and blessed. They are where children discover their worth, identity, and purpose. Families are where deep bonds of relationship are first formed, and where we find comfort when other relationships fail. Families signal to us that we are the creation of a relational God who values connection with His children.

Like a mother, God “comforts” us (Isa. 66:13), or like good parents, He never leaves nor forsakes His children (Heb. 13:5). Like a father who does whatever it takes to find his lost child, He promises to return soon to take us to live with Him forever (John 14:1-3).

Although God gave us a great design for successful families, sin soon entered the first human family and humanity has suffered ever since. But we should not lose heart. The same God who made the first family can remake broken families through His Son, Jesus Christ.

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