Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Functional Familes

from Elspeth Young's Women in Scripture Series.

Does a functional family exist? Most biblical families would not qualify. Adam and Eve raised a son capable of murdering his brother. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. (Genesis 4:8 KJV)

Abram and Sara had problems before they became Abraham and Sarah, adding Isaac as Ishmael would testify. Yet, Abraham loved his elder son and prayed to God for him:

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! … And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 17:18, 20 KJV)

Isaac didn’t do much better. A little parental favoritism went a long way – separating Jacob and Esau for most of their adult lives. Then came reconciliation: And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. (Genesis 33:3-4 KJV)

Sibling rivalry flowed down another generation to Jacob’s sons, leaving Joseph both in a pit in Dothan And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. (Genesis 37:24 KJV) and a throne in Egypt And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. (Genesis 42:6 KJV)

And that’s just in the first book.

In an article regarding causes of depression, there were three words that caught my attention: “insufficient family structure.”

Family structures vary during individual lives. Marriage, divorce, death – each change family dynamics so that none of us experience the same family structure. How then can “insufficient” be defined?

My personal opinion is that families can be sufficient when God is the center.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (2 Corinthians 3:5 KJV)

That is repeated:

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 KJV)

When a family experiences unfeigned faith, it grows from generation through generation, and we’ve been given an example as Paul calls to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. (2 Timothy 1:5 KJV)

Paul was also persuaded about his own faith. Placing God in the center not only provides a functional family, it allows us to boldly state:

I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12b KJV)

1 comment:

  1. That was beautifully said Grammy <3 I agree 100%! God must be at the center of the family or it doesn't stand a chance--never has without Him.


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