Posts Tagged Family
In a couple of previous posts, I have put an emphasis on the “traditional” family and I’ve stated I’d come back to this in more detail. I even brought it up in a recent post and related it to the security of all other institutions, including our ailing economy. I must apologize up front and admit that I do not have all of the kind of info I had hoped. Several years ago, I was working toward a masters in marriage and family counseling, so I have several books related to this subject. However, in my last move, I never unpacked all of those books due to lack of need and space. Now, they are stored and I have no idea what cases they are in! Needless to say, I do not have academic backup to support what I will share, but I will share with you my convictions nonetheless. If you end up agreeing, disagreeing, or have questions, please leave them in the comment section below. If nothing else, consider it food for thought. So why is family important and why would I include it in these discussions? More specifically, why does it matter that a “traditional” family is important? Is “traditional” more valid than other variants of a “family”? Allow me to share some thoughts.
Let’s start with the Bible. Genesis 1:27-28 reads,
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Then a little later, in chapter 2, we read, again, about God’s creation of man and woman, but this chapter gives a little more detail about the Lord creating woman from a part of man, for the man to have a “helper suitable for him.” As it gets to the end of that account, verse 24 states,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
And there you have the world’s first institution, established by God, Himself, known as marriage . . . or the family. This is the design of marriage that God set up: one man, one woman, and they were told to “be fruitful and multiply,” which means have kids. That is marriage – period. That framework was designed because it is the most balanced, complete and good design there is. Trying to force a deviant version, apart from that design is not good. God only sets up boundaries for our protection – not to limit us, or punish us. Any of you who are parents surely understand that concept.
How is it possible that the family unit can affect every facet of society? Because of the fact that it is the first institution established by God. It is in a family that people first learn communication. It is in a family that values are learned. Morality is learned. Negotiations and compromises are learned in dealing with others. The concept that you must consider others is learned first in the family. Basically, a family is the first conglomerate that every human being belongs to and, therefore is the one that shapes his/her tendencies, beliefs, and morals the strongest.
Notice the specificity of Genesis: the text almost seems to go out of its way defining this. After it says “in the image of God, He created him”, it goes on to say, “male and female He created them.” I am not here to exegete every detail out of these verses (Lord knows, I don’t remember any Hebrew!), but it seems like the writer of Genesis made his point that God created man, possibly using the term generically, like a shortened version of “human.” Then, he decided to make sure we all got it and understood that God created boys AND girls, separately and specifically for their unique purpose. God created a female for Adam. He didn’t set up any man-dates or give any kind of example of gayness, got it? Good. I’m not here to come down on homosexuality, because I’m sure most people know the Bible speaks to it as sin, but I do point out that God established a family unit as a man and woman, in marriage. This is not only about gay/not gay, either. This is about families where the father is absent, or whatever the case that may be that gives us a single parent home. There are tons of great single parents (both guys and girls), and most do an incredible job. I’m not saying that’s bad or sinful – just not the ideal He had in mind. My point here is not to come down on anybody for anything but to establish that God’s design for marriage – that which He set up as the best scenario – is husband, wife, and kids to follow. Since we live in a fallen world with fallen people, we usually end up with the less-than-ideal.
Why are both, husband and wife, important? I believe that guys and girls are different. Go figure. Not just physically of course, but mentally and emotionally. They each bring something different to a marriage that somehow compliments their spouse. When children enter the picture, the child gets a balanced upbringing with the feminine and masculine side. Plus, if you’ll allow me to address the gay thing one final time . . . I’m sorry for the crudeness that’s about to ensue, but let’s be honest. Part of God’s design in marriage was for procreation. He said, flat out, “Be fruitful and multiply.” That does not mean picking fruit from an orchard and doing crappy math problems. That means having kids. So, by definition, gay marriage is wrong – it’s even impossible when taken with this description of “multiplying.” You ever played ring toss with just a couple of rings and no pole to toss them on? Not only does it fail to work, it CAN’T work – it’s impossible. Sure, you could toss the rings around all you want, but you’re never going to achieve the objective, much less find the God-intended satisfaction of a good respected game, without the proper equipment. Enough of that.
Now, in a weird nutshell, we’ve established marriage/family and we’ve covered how the family is the first institution in which people learn basics in every part of life. So, does it stand to reason that the family is the foundational institution on which every other endeavor, institution, group, etc. is built? What we each learn in our families, in ethics, morals, communication, critical thinking, etc, directly impacts how we handle each of those things when we get out in the “real world”. I would suggest that this is just like the guy in Matthew 7 that built his house on sand and had it washed away because he wasn’t built on a firm foundation. We should be set on a firm foundation that is unmovable, unshakable so when the storms come, we stand strong. The family – the “traditional” family – is the first institution intended to begin establishing such a foundation in each of our lives.
So, how in the world does this relate to our society and economy and everything else? When people are brought up in solid, balanced homes and are taught good values, morals, communication, work ethic, etc., they usually will grow up and live accordingly. However, when brought up in broken homes, homes that have no balance, discouraging families that aren’t centered around the Lord, or that don’t have good values/morals, people will also grow up accordingly, generally speaking. If kids grow up in the latter type of home, which many do and have done for years, it seems possible to me that there’s a far greater chance that they grow up without as much grounding, without much of a moral compass, and perhaps with much drive to prove their parents’ wrong, or something to that affect. Drive is good, however, with that kind of motive, it could lead to selfishness and greed, or addictions. The other end of it, however, could lead to people not caring and believing they’ll never get anywhere in life and won’t even try. Basically, the foundation on which a person is reared/established is what shapes his/her life later. For years, families have been broken. For a long time, also, the family has been under attack by a very vocal homosexual agenda that is deteriorating the sanctity of marriage and family. We’ve become complacent and have gotten away from God’s Word and what it says about such things. We’ve also become too soft to not want to “offend” anyone in our overly politically correct atmosphere. With the seeming downfall and snuffing out of the family in mind, how’s our nation doing as a whole? Maybe a little crack in the foundation?
We ‘ve got a greed problem with our government and wall street/big business (this in no way means capitalism is bad, though, just those people’s hearts and motives). We’ve got massive, out of control debt because people don’t have the self control and discipline to stop. We’ve got a sick mentality in our current society that is against working hard and wants a bunch of free government handouts. We are losing our capitalist system – our freedom – to a socialist ideology that we know fails! It seems that there are no safe places with violent acts being done in schools, churches, stores, in the street, or anywhere. You think it’s related at all?
We’ve changed our foundation from a Bible-based, family oriented foundation to a more relative, post-modern free-for-all where the family is seemingly spat upon and mocked. I wish we could have a “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment and see what our nation would be like if we would have never strayed off the foundation. I bet I’d be, at least, partially right. No – I KNOW I’d be at least partially right. I’d bet I’d be close to totally right. Guess we’ll never know for sure. I leave you with Jesus’ words:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. – Matthew 7:24-27