By Cindy Koch –
Is there any hope left for the family? Looking at our own lives and the expected rhythms of our everyday life, we are soon disappointed. Man and wife are encouraged to be at odds, children are removed from the care of their parents. There is no time left in our busy day for “family time”, so we plan ridiculous vacations and event to somehow make up for all the hours we live independently.
I’m not sure we live in a world that values the family. The political realm can’t even remember (or decide on) the definition of “family”. Our PC culture confuses the issue beyond comprehension. Our entertainment reduces a man to a sensitive idiot and a woman to a childless hooker. Some of us have never loved and depended on another; we like to keep each other at a cautious arm’s length. If we do have a family, friends encourage us in the myth of “me time” (like that exists) focusing especially on time away from one another.
There seems like no hope left for the family. Our children live in a sterile daycare for the formative years of their life. School (private or public) tears children from their parents at a young age, to be molded into a “standard”. Soccer and Boy Scouts, among many others, dictate the schedule and priorities of our family. Activities and pressures pull families apart while spewing lies about raising “well-rounded” and “healthy” children. The silent, hypnotizing, flashing screen distances our family from each other, even while we sit close enough to feel the heat from the other’s arm.
But there is a place of refuge from these terrible assaults on the family. Here, our relationships are strengthened. Our time is spent together. We share a meal every time we visit. We are sad together, even cry together; we are happy together, satisfied with great and many gifts. We all work together, side by side, patiently and lovingly. Our family learns how to be a family here. Strangely enough, it’s out in the open, inviting to all who come.
The Church is our last hope for the family. Our identity is given to us by a God who created the stars and the sand, and who even built the family. Lovers learn they can trust each other because Christ’s love is unselfish and forgiving. Our children learn they are chosen, no matter what losing team they play for. We all trust that the one true God will act and restore the earth to a beautiful unblemished home, forever. We are coaxed out of our individualistic electronic shell when we worship together, not virtually, in the body of believers. Our family tastes and feels the blessings of being redeemed, living together, today. God’s promises are true for us and for our family.
I think we already know that the Church is our last hope for the family. Take a look around a worship service during Thanksgiving or Christmas. You will see family members that you haven’t seen all year! You will find time carved out for life-giving words from God on these prescribed days that our social calendar allows us to be a family. Even when our society fails us, and our own desires work against what we know is good, our God will continue to preserve His family.