God Chose Family
Throughout history, family has always been the centre of life. In The Meaning of Marriage, author Tim Keller points out that the Bible starts with marriage (Adam and Eve), and ends with marriage (Christ and the Church). Family has always been there. We find that God developed the family to bring new life, train children, show love, and to sanctify.
But, our culture wants to change the concept, meaning, and purpose of family. Where once family was a husband and wife, possibly with children, it’s now whatever you want it to be. Don’t get me wrong, our progressive culture has done some amazing things – bringing change where change is due. But it’s gone too far in regards to changing “foundations.”
And the family as instituted by God is a foundation.
Our culture has not only affected the biological family, but the family of God as well – the Church. Seeped into many Church bodies are cultural tendencies, beliefs, and behaviours. Churches can fail to live as the biblical “family” they ought to.
7 Reminders for Every Churchgoer
In light of this battle, here are 7 reminders from the Gospel of Matthew in regards to how we should think about and live with our Church family:
1) Reconciliation should be the first thing on your mind (Mt 5:23-24; 18:15-20). When a brother or sister is angry at you, don’t get angry back and tell your other friends the drama. Train yourself to think of reconciliation first.
2) Don’t judge unfairly (Mt 7:3-5). We ought to be challenging our brothers and sisters, but it’s different if we’re just spotting every little flaw and speaking out against them in a spirit of pride and arrogance. Learn to love so much that you will carefully, respectfully, and lovingly speak to a brother or sister who is in sin to restore them (Galatians 6:1-2).
3) Your Father is God (Mt 6:9). The church’s Father is God. It’s almost impossible to fathom this reality.
4) Your family includes every genuine Christian who ever lived (Mt 12:48-50). And how do we know a genuine Christian? Anyone who does the will of the Father. The Duggar’s have nothing on the size of this family.
5) Forgiveness is unconditional (Mt 18:21-22, 35). Don’t put a number on how many times you’ll forgive a fellow brother or sister. If they confess their sin and ask for forgiveness, forgive them from the heart. Jesus forgave you – always remember that.
6) Marriage within the family of God is a good thing (Mt 19:5-6). It’s not wrong to marry a brother or sister in Christ (as long as they’re not biologically related, obviously). God uses marriage and family within the greater family of God to bring new life, train children, show love, and sanctify.
7) Jesus calls genuine Christians His brothers and sisters (Mt 25:40). True Christians are coheirs with Christ in the kingdom of God. When you’re tempted to act arrogantly or negatively towards a brother or sister in Christ, remember who their Brother is.
As the world tries to break down the biological family and as progressive Christians try and reimagine what “church” looks like, may we always look back to God’s Word for truth and how that truth dictates what we believe and how we behave within the Church family.
This article was originally published on July 5, 2017.