>The Importance of the Family

>These next few posts go along with the Beech Bluff CONNECT group family sessions. Enjoy!
The Importance of the Family
There is no doubt about it- whether you examine the Bible or think about your own experience and observation- the choices that are made by moms, dads, and even extended family members in the present, will have an influence on generations to come. Two families in particular- Abram and Sarai in the Old Testament; Zacharias and Elisabeth in the New Testament aptly demonstrate this point in God’s Word.
Abram and Sarai had the greatest promise offered to them from God- that from their seed, God would create a great nation, numbering more than the sands of the sea or the stars of the sky. The problem came when Abram and Sarai became impatient and tampered with God’s plan. When Abram took Hagar to give him a child, God’s plan for His nation was violated. Also, God’s plan for the family was violated. Lack of faith in God allowed this family to be divided and produced an illegitimate child. The fruits of this decision are felt today, manifest in the current conflict in the Middle East between Isaac’s lineage and Ishmael’s.
Zacharias and Elisabeth had a great promise as well: their son would be the herald for the Messiah. The opportunity presented itself for this family to be divided by the opinions of other people and by their own insecurities. Zacharias expressed some doubt at the angel’s announcement and was struck dumb as a result. At the circumcision of the child, family and neighbors tried to call the child by his father’s name and were shocked when Elisabeth spoke up to say, “Not so- his name is John.” Zacharias could have, as head of the family, named the child by his own name, fitting the mold of tradition that the others were coming from. However, he obeyed the will of God and spelled it out plainly- the name of the prophet would be John.
The family is the most basic and important building block of the church, the community, and the society at large. Think about how many of your daily habits and interactions are influenced by your family. From your major beliefs about God, to the way you squeeze toothpaste from the tube, your family relationships and experience have created who you are as an individual. This perhaps impacts others around you profoundly more than your individual personality traits or personal inclinations.
Unity of belief and action is vital to making sure your family is not divided. No matter what core beliefs are taught to us by our parents, it is the daily life and actions that we witnessed as children that have influenced us more than anything. A few years ago, death claimed a father who spoke his faith in God strongly to his children and to anyone that came to his home to visit him. After his passing, one of his sons held tightly to a memento that his father left behind, and he promised he would always hold and cherish this particular item that was so much a part of his dad’s life. It was not his dad’s Bible, but his dad’s snuff can that was so cherished by this son. We can affirm that we believe the entire Bible, the whole of God’s truth; but it is the way we live this truth that creates the lens that our children, and even lost family members, will view the Bible and the church through.
The family’s influence is so powerful that it impacts the view of an individual for the rest of their life. God’s Word testifies of this truth, and families throughout the years have proven it. This is the importance of family.

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