The Present Family – Broken & Blessed
My encouragement today is for you to see the blessing and curses of your family as part of a bigger story. How?
The blessings of family are remnant gifts from creation
In this way, the experience of human family, especially a Christian family, tells the whole story of redemption. Marital intimacy is a reminder of when everything was great. A fun family movie night when everyone gets along echoes an ancient harmony. Family speaking words of honor, love, and respect sounds and feels noble and meaningful. The child dedication. The piano recital. Walking your daughter down the aisle. Singing together on the family road trip. When family is awesome, it is really awesome. It used to be awesome always.
The fact that it’s still here is something we take for granted. God chose to allow family to continue even after sin. Not everything continued—unending life being one example. Many things were lost, but not family. It is a gracious gift from God and we should be thankful that we even have a family. No matter how broken your family is, have you given thanks that you have one?
The brokenness of family is a stark reminder of the Fall
But then, family also tells the story of the Fall. Every harsh word. Every dissonance in marriage. Every feuding sibling. Every funeral for a family member reminds us that when mankind fell, the family fell with it.
Every family has this brokenness. Jesus’ family was broken and his brothers were offended at him and refused to believe him. Even the selected-by-God-virgin-Mary couldn’t mother sinful attitudes out of her kids. Some moms should take comfort in that.
Think of the dynamics there. Growing up, Jesus said something or did something. His brother James said, Who made you God? Think of the shadow you grow up in when Jesus is your oldest brother. Jesus’ family was very imperfect.
So is yours and so is mine. We imagine other peoples’ families more wonderful than they really are no matter what they portray on Facebook.
God’s plan for restoring the family is future, and NOW
This isn’t a message that says, hang in there, die, then family’s great. No. Jesus’ victory over sin at the cross was the breaking of the future kingdom into the here and now. He is restoring what sin broke. Your family today can experience some of what total family redemption will be like in the New Creation. Never perfect. Often not close. But still supernatural and empowered by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
A Christian family is not defined by going to church on Sunday. Romans 1:16 says the gospel is “the power of God for salvation.” A Christian family is one that is faithfully living out the gospel in the day-to-day of life. How are you doing with that?
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2018 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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