FAMILY. In most cultures, family is considered a high priority or, in some cases, THE priority. But in what context? Is that the highest priority?
If we came from star dust and the big bang, family’s importance in realistic terms of history, is hollow, because our ancestry is truly just a fluke, a chance development. That seems a bit extreme, so a reaction to the vacuum in many places is to make family critically important. After all, it is the only temporary thing to hold on to. Is that correct?
I can be in Asia, the US, Africa, or island groups and find gatherings where relatives chit chat, eat food, pass their infants from one to another, and bury any hatchets (or grievances) for the sake of the gathering. But earthly heritage is temporary, and the lineage, according to nearly every educational system, goes back to something less than human to pond scum to star dust to some version of the big bang. So it is common to have this odd combination of things: we are accidents and have no real meaningful history. In that environment, family and a few generations of heritage are held tightly as the best thing we have.
Consider the biblical world view, which says He created all things, we were made in His image, and couples (one man and one woman) were intended to be married and have children (Genesis 1:26-28) — ALL THE WHILE BEING RELATED OR HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM! So a family properly related to Him is very important, but God has supreme importance to make that work properly.
Why isn’t it working very well? We have family abuses, splits, and divisions. We have drama to no end. The family should work really well all the time but often does not. Why?
We were made so perfect that we have absolute choice to accept him or tell God to ‘take a walk’. The Bible is clear, and human practice bears it out: we would rather have our own way, which goes back to Genesis 3 and the grand tragedy that occurs in the first couple, which then affects the world, including us. Families can want their own way, too, when not properly related to God, and the Bible makes that clear, as well.
The Bible says there is a lineage that is more important than earthly family: it is the one that leads to Jesus Christ, who can alone save us from our sins, including the sins within a family. Consider the Bible’s big picture: we came through generations that go back to the first son of God, Adam, who was created by God, who created all things. A lineage is recorded in several places that leads to the virgin birth of the Messiah, who is also termed the “last Adam”. Why? Because we do, without exception, want our own way and have gotten lost in sin. So, God provides a way to save us through Christ as our kinsman redeemer. Family cannot save us from sin. Christ can.
When Jesus is contacted by His mother and brothers, who wanted to see Him, His response was ‘those who hear my word and do it are my mother and brothers.’ Later, someone makes a comment that the mother of Jesus is blessed because of the sustenance she brought him as an infant. He replies in the same manner. (Luke 8:21; Luke 11:27-28).
Family has practical importance in a biblical sense, but the Bible makes clear that every one needs to be born into God’s family. That priority is not only above an earthly family, it puts an earthly family is proper context.
The little sketch shows the lineage that is important to every person, because it illustrates we were created in the beginning and we are prone to sin if we are not properly related to the One who created us. In other words, family has practical responsibilities, but the family that God says has eternal significance is the one that leads back to Him. The key is we need to know Him. That means accepting Him, our kinsman redeemer, by hearing His Word and doing it, which comes out of a relationship with Him. That relationship can guide anyone — orphan, single person, or family member — to life and life eternal. Nothing else has that level of importance and it provides the proper context for family, as well.