The first “institution” created by God was the family (and by institution I mean a system or structure of a group of people who care for and take care of one another). God then extended that institution to a much larger one known as the Church. It was one family, the descendants of Jacob, a.k.a. Israel, who were the original “called out,” “set apart” ones. From their lineage, God brought forth His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. All who follow Him are part of the family of God. I said all that to say…Families are really important to God.
Now if something is really important to God, it stands to reason that God’s enemy would try to destroy it. I don’t think I would shock or surprise anyone by saying families are under attack….the institution as a whole, as well as individual families. The more I work with the victims of these attacks, the more I’m convinced we, as a Church, need to be doing more to strengthen, encourage, equip, and support individual families. We need to be experts at it. We need to do it better than the government ever dreamed. We don’t just need to be well-meaning do-gooders who step out from behind our rose-colored stained glass windows every so often to look in horror at the messed up world, then go running back to safety with our “prayer requests.” We need to be willing to get in there and get our hands dirty: praying daily with and encouraging the (humiliated) parents of the rebellious teen, providing child care for the parent needing treatment for some kind of addiction, providing professional, Godly counseling for the couple having marital difficulties, etc… And we need to do all this while displaying the pure motivation of love, not judgement. It’s not easy. It’s hard and messy. But our family is worth it.
What are some things YOU can do to help make families stronger in the Lord?