Home sweet Home
Many of our families are in trouble. The evidence can be seen all around us. When a family is in trouble, the result is felt in society. When our homes are places where selfishness rules, we tend to become a people who are selfish. Most parents desire homes that are places where everyone there is strong and healthy in all the ways that really matter. But becoming strong people of character in all the ways that really matter is no small task. It requires something more than is possible for a family that isolates itself and turns inward. It requires being a part of something bigger than our individual family units. In Luke 9:23 we read, “… If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Jesus is identifying a key, not just to individual health but to building families that are healthy. He is speaking about a self-denial that immerses our lives, including our families within the larger body of Christ. This approach means we stop expecting the family to be something it was never meant to be. Alexander Schmemann writes, “It is not the lack of respect for the family that breaks the modern family so easily … It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it.” We place an impossible weight and burden on our families when we set them up to be the sole repositories of our happiness. In isolation, cut off from consistent immersion in the body of Christ and the disciplines of worship, public prayer, corporate Bible study and fellowship with other believers, our families invariably fail to measure up. "…you are …members of God’s household.” (Gal. 2:19) Is that true of your family? Immersed in the larger household of God, we find the weight upon our individual families is lessened. This context is much more likely to be the ground from which healthy people emerge. Such people are then ready to raise the bar on their discipleship.