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Why Strong Families

by Levi Sisemore

Fifth in Series

 

Will you spend some extra time with your family this week? If you do, here’s something to consider in your togetherness.

Over and over the Scriptures rely on the metaphor of family to describe spiritual relationships. For example, God is our father, Jesus is our elder brother, and we who are in Christ are siblings of one another. The church is the family of God (Mt. 12:46-50) and elsewhere his “household” (Eph. 2:19). The parable of the prodigal son strikes a chord with us because it is a display of love from the father and a yearning for home by the son (the tragedy is the brother who remains hard-hearted). Such family relationships and love characterize the very best of who God’s church can be when we remember that blood is thicker than water – the blood of Jesus, that is.

Metaphors and illustrations like those above are a means of communicating many, many things quickly. To call God “father” should evoke innumerable images, sights, scenes, and emotions. To ask someone to tell everything they know about “father” from their own experiences would be a book unto itself. But to call him “father” brings all of that experiential knowledge to the forefront of our minds and says – in a single word – what would have taken us pages to write.

As beautiful as those potentially pictures are, they are of very limited use if our own picture of “father” is a very dim one. If our own fathers were distant, how shall understand God as an intimately close parent? If our fathers never disciplined us, how shall we comprehend the times of teaching and growth given to us by God? If we are estranged from our siblings, how shall we feel the sting of loss when a brother or sister leaves the Christian fellowship?

In other words, our own family life strongly influences how we understand the Christian family. You and I owe it to Christ to have good marriages for many reasons, not the least of which is that to understand the unity and intimacy of husband and wife is to glimpse the way Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:2). You and I, as parents, owe it to God to be good role models for our children, because in the same way children grow up to be like their parents, you and I are called to “be imitators of God, as dearly beloved children” (Eph. 5:1).

Everything the family does for its most beloved member is what the church ought to do for its own members (favorite or least favorite).

You and I ought to be interested in having the strongest families because strong families make strong churches. Strong churches lead people into God’s presence, now and in eternity.




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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10