Before any other human institution, God created the family…before political entities, worship communities, educational systems, mission agencies. Take a bird’s eye view of Scripture and see how God’s design was clear from the beginning, within the Garden, before the fall until now.
Consider how God stopped forming humans out of clay and breathing the breath of life into them. Instead, the two who came into existence this way, carried within them the seed of procreation for the entire human race. The pattern of offspring growing to maturity within the family bond began with Adam and Eve.
Then note how our Enemy, knowing full well that his ultimate defeat would come by the “seed of the woman,” (Genesis 3:15) seeks with all his wit, his guile, his brute force to destroy this which God has declared to be good.
Genesis 1:28 states, God blessed them (Adam and Eve) and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in numbers.” God goes on to elaborate on His provisions for the families of the earth. And then, in verse 37 we read, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” Might we take from this that the omniscient God saw far beyond the first couple…all the way down the centuries to us today…and beyond? (Genesis 3:20; Ephesians 2:10) And He declared His plan for generational faithfulness good and His direct creative process finished. Verse 31, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in their entire vast array.”
The rest of Scripture abounds with examples of how this has played out over the centuries and prophesies about how it will one day end. From the Garden to the Lamb’s throne room of Revelation seven, God has not been without a witness to Himself, to His glory. That cocoon which protects the life of the young until it is projected forth in full blown adult beauty, that thread of continuity binding all of God’s proclamation together is God’s invention – the family.
Over and over, God declares the folly and futility of building on any foundation other than this design. Human enterprises which seek to build themselves up apart from the family, much like the workmen on Babel’s tower, will eventually founder because of God-given confusion. Parents who fail to fulfill their role in God’s universal provision for passing on the knowledge of His character and His mighty works, will someday weep with remorse for their missed opportunities and misplaced priorities. The Bible makes these lessons so clear, and yet, it seems, we must learn them over and over again, the shining globes of God’s wisdom so easily slipping through our fingers like soap bubbles from a child’s toy. Since, then, the family is God’s design for accomplishing His will on earth to the culmination of all things human, how can we take this nurturing entity seriously and make ourselves strong in its defense? How can we make concern for family life an integral part of the Church’s endeavors on earth?
We’ll give some answers to these questions in the following entries. In the meantime, your comments and observations are always welcome.