I usually sit toward the front of the church. For many decades I pastored local congregations and of course, I sat in the front. As a pastor, I preferred to sit on a front pew rather than on one of those “throne” chairs on stage. I rarely sat in the back.
This past Sunday, my wife and I sat in the back because we had to slip out quickly at the end of the service to attend a family function. I wasn’t used to looking at the back of people’s heads. It was a different perspective.
Just before the service started, I scanned the church taking in all the different people and the family units they represented. It was a moment of clarity seeing how our congregation was compiled of different family units. We all inhabited a little corner of this world and our lives in it. Each family has its own difficulties and its own joys. Every family has its own familiar world with the different environments, traditions, favorite foods, entertainments, and concerns. We are all similar but different.
I recalled the narrative in Genesis when God created the first man Adam and his wife Eve. Adam and Eve were the first family that budded into a larger extended family. Reading the lists of “begets” in the Bible, we realize God has a strong view of families and their generational importance to a people. I believe these generational lists are included to show the importance of families both the nuclear and extended, multi-generational families.
Here is the beginning biblical account and commission of mankind on the earth, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:27-28 NKJV).
This scripture describes the basic beginning of man on the earth and his role on this ball of clay. Mankind was created by God, given directives by God, and empowered by God to fill and subdue the earth. When mankind deviates from God’s perspective, we find ourselves in a mess, as much of the world is today.
Sadly, the self-proclaimed enlighten ones in our world are those who stumble around in darkness and are leading the parade toward destruction. Jesus asked a rhetorical question, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch” (Luke 6:39 NKJV)?
Our world is mired in the ditch because we have been led by academic, governmental, and even religious leaders who are blind to God’s original design and principles. “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22 NKJV).
Many leaders in the various fields of influence and culture have twisted the norms to fit the brokenness of man rather than correcting our course by aligning with our Creator’s pattern. A line in an old hippie song of the sixties comes to my mind, “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?” (Lyrics by Peter Seeger, Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Concord Music Publishing, 1962)
God designed the family to be the building block of society, beginning with the nuclear family and expanding to the multi-generational extended family. This societal structure helps to bring positive influence, understanding, learning, support, love, and accountability to individuals.
We have a choice:
Young boys will find someone to tell them they are a man—it should be their father; will it be a gang leader?
Young girls need someone to tell them they are talented, special, beautiful, and loved—it should be their father and mother; will it be a narcistic predator?
Kids need someone to tell them about God—it should be their family; will it be an atheistic YOUTUBER?
Kids need someone to teach them life skills so they can survive—it should be their family; will it be a government that cannot balance its own budget?
Kids need someone to teach them about the realities of life—it should be their parents; will it be an actor who “makes-believe” for a living?
Young people need someone to teach them how to cope with life—it should be their parents; will it be a celebrity who takes uppers to get going and tranquilizers to sleep?
Kids need to see Jesus in the life of others—it should be their parents with whom they live 168 hours per week; will it be relegated to a church who only sees them at best only three hours per week?
Save our society, get back to God’s design of family, He wrote the Book!!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt