(Gen 49:28) All these are the twelve tribes of Israel . . . And he (Jacob) blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.
Family. The source of our greatest joys and our deepest sorrows. That which fulfills us the most and that which drives us crazy. What we become poor for yet feel the richest with.
God created the family. He brought Adam and Eve together and gave them the commandment to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1-2). Families would be part of clans and clans would be part of tribes and tribes would make up the nation. Tear down the family and you have removed the foundation of the nation. (Psa 11:3) If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?
Families provide love, nurture, and protection. Where else can you feel safe and just be yourself? Where else can you be encouraged and fortified against the harsh would outside? Learn unconditional love? Acquire the ability to fight and forgive? Where else can you develop your personality and bloom in your inherent giftedness? Grow in your social skills as you interact with family members in preparation for interpersonal relationships in the world? And more important, have the context where you may receive Christ as your Savior and develop your moral/spiritual base for life?
Families are also a source of dysfunction. As much as we like to think about how we are related to someone important in history it is more accurate to conclude there are monkeys in our family tree. I am encouraged by a study of the book of Genesis that Abraham’s family was what we would call dysfunctional by today’s label and yet the will of God was still worked out through them even down to the Messiah. Think about how Abraham told Sarah to lie. Think about Jacob stealing his brother’s birthright. Think about Jacob’s twelve sons and what scoundrels some of them were . . . even selling Joseph to Egypt! Then on down to David who committed adultery and murder. Still the begots went right on down to Jesus the Messiah.
I am so glad the Lord can work through my family and me. I look at those family pictures and typically laugh. Why? Because number one I see the blessing of family and all that represents. And number two because I know that behind those smiles and poses is a fallen family just like Abraham’s of old. I then rest on the grace of God for my life and my family. We aren’t perfect. We have many flaws and failures. But God gets His will done through fallen people! (2 Cor 4:7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. So, don’t give up on your family. Get mad but then get glad. Make room for error and have a little grace. Love them and pray for them. It all starts and ends with the family when all else fades away. From cradle to coffin there is one constant . . . FAMILY.