As I thought about this month’s blog topic of “Truth,” the idea of Truth and Family led me to consider how the family unit is defined by today’s contemporary culture.
I grew up in a single parent home; my mother and father divorced when I was around five years old. I always fantasized what a “traditional” family would be like with both parents in the home. In many ways, I felt slighted as a young man growing up without a father, so I was determined that when I had a family of my own, I would be there as a father.
However, I was utterly clueless as to what God’s Word truly said about family. God’s Word is very clear on the matter. If we want to understand God’s plan for the family unit, we must begin where God began, and that’s in Genesis. In Genesis 2, we see God establishing marriage between one man and one woman. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen.2:24). God gave marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve. Marriage was not just for convenience, nor was it brought about by any culture. It was instituted by God.
Hollywood even has an opinion on what a family should look like. Regarding the critically acclaimed sitcom Modern Family, Brian Lowry, of Variety magazine, had this to say: “Flitting among three story lines, it’s smart, nimble and best of all, funny, while actually making a point about the evolving nature of what constitutes ‘family.'”
Did you catch it? ….the evolving nature of what constitutes “family.” According to whom?! I believe the Apostle Paul was clear in outlining God’s desires for the family and family relationships: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart” (Col.3:18-21). This is simple, practical advice that contemporary culture often rebukes.
So, is my family a “Traditional Family” or “Modern Family”? Or a more relevant question is, “Does my family resemble God’s true definition of family?” I like what Alistar Begg says about this is in his blog, Truth for Life: “In truly Christian families, each member affirms that ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Husbands and wives display their love for the Lord Jesus in giving themselves wholeheartedly to the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. Children also display their understanding of Jesus’ Lordship by respecting and obeying their parents. When everyone in the family follows this biblical mandate it makes for healthy churches and stable societies.”
I say Amen to that and pray that my family will resemble this statement more and more by God’s grace.