Family is a wonderful thing. It’s something that people think a great deal about this time a year. I mean this is the time a year you get/have to see the whole family. For our families the key word is “whole”. Aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents, Great! Bring in the great uncles, great aunts, second or third cousins things are about to get interesting. Meghan probably wouldn’t want to me to tell this (but it’s ok because she never reads these when I write them) but we had a family reunion with her extended family last summer. On the way to Nashville we made a bet on which member of the family would cry first, and how many people would cry. Her parents, aunt, uncle, and first cousins got in on the bet too. I won, of course, with six people crying! There’s about 30 people in one house for an entire day, someone is going to be upset about something. It’s just normal. Stepping into Me-ghan’s family though was a HUGE eye opening experi-ence for me. In my family we have at most ten to twelve people at Christmas. We aren’t what you would call emotional people. This Thanksgiving after we ate we put together the new ping pong table and literally played for the next three hours.
What I’m trying to say is families are extremely different, and that’s a great thing! Families are a massively underappreciated part of our social fabric. Studies are overwhelming that young boys without fathers don’t, on average, turn out as well as those who do. To raise a child successfully, in general terms, you need a mother and a father. I say, “on average” and “in gen-eral terms” because there are situations where kids have turned out wonderfully with only one parents. Probably because someone else stepped in as the father or mother figure. This, to me, is the problem with gay marriage. Obviously, we can see in the Bible where homosexuality is sin-ful, but in the political world we won’t win an argument with what the Bible says, unfortunate-ly. However, I think the best political argument against gay marriage is that it tears apart the family structure. The family structure is exactly what holds this country together. A child needs a mother and a father, not two mothers and no father, or vice versa.
Psychology is amazing to me. I love seeing a family structure of mothers being the emo-tionally supportive, comforting, and caring of the parents. Then on the other hand the father is the disciplinary, hard nosed, provider of the two. God’s structure for the family is perfect be-cause a child needs both of these things. They need someone to baby them, and someone to fuss at them. God intended for a great deal to come from the family from the very beginning. “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18). Men and women are meant to work together. Then those two are to multiply and train their chil-dren to follow God, Proverbs 22:6. God not only intended for men and women to work together to train up future followers of Him. He also intended the family to be the means by which we see Him.
In Ephesians 5 Paul talks about family. In that he compares husbands and wives to Christ and the Church. This is one of the most beautiful comparisons we see throughout the Bi-ble. One of the reasons the father is so important in the family structure is because when a child looks at kind of parent their father is, they are looking at the kind of parent they will see God as one day. If you have a loving father that treated you well, but punished you when you needed it; chances are that’s how you’ll think of God. If you had a father that was absent, or not there when you needed him; you have to work very hard for this not to be your view of God.
The same goes for the Church and your mother. Mothers are known to be the more nur-turing. John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” God doesn’t intervene in our lives the way He did in the Old Testament, so He provided us a way that we could still have that comfort and peace. He gave us the Church, not only as a means by which we achieve salvation through baptism and joining the it, but also by having it be our mother in a way. If God is our “Heavenly Father” then His Church would be out “Heavenly Mother” in a way. Josh talked about how gossip can rip a congregation apart. I’m sure any preacher you find can tell you story after story about how attacking each other led to people leaving the Church. If you think about it, the Church is suppose to be their Heavenly Mother and the Church (God’s people) treat them poorly. You don’t want to stick around if even your mother is being so hatful toward you.
Family is one of the most beautiful things God gave us. Looking around He gave us so many chances to see Him through the things He created. The family puts a large responsibility on the parents to be good examples so that when a child looks back at how their parents treated them; they see God. If you are a parent, be the example that the child needs to see God through their father, and the church through their mothers. If you aren’t be grateful that you get to be a part of the greatest family, God’s family!