Today, our society is the most connected and informed culture ever; yet we are becoming relationally disconnected as our social skills diminish due to less physical face-to-face time, more remote jobs, and the increased use of media. With more people working in isolation at home, practitioners are rightfully concerned about the increase in depression and loneliness as the presence of smart-screens and i-gadgets steal our life.
Nothing enhances one’s health and well-being more than the presence of a caring family. Nothing threatens a person’s well-being more than the absence of a caring family. Our sense of “family” grows out of investing time and energy in building caring relationships with our loved ones. This will pay richer and more satisfying dividends than you will ever earn in any other pursuit.
Society teaches people that the pursuit of pleasure is found in giving children more material possessions. Yet studies show that children quickly grow tired of “things” and simply crave the presence of their loving parents. They want to get to know their Mom and Dad. And the thing is…. kids grow up so darn fast! It’s not uncommon to hear a parent say “Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday I brought a them home from the hospital and now they’re graduating!”
This is why spending time with your family is so important. You see friends, God loves families. After all, He designed the concept. In His plan, family units are the basic building blocks of society. God also used a “family” blueprint when He designed the church.
But while a church may be composed of many individuals families, God intends that all of the church members interact together as a single family. The similarities (and benefits) may surprise you.
Strong, healthy families are the product of much prayer and hard work over time. An obvious similarity with your church family is the intergenerational composite of the family and the church. Just as your extended family may include infants, seniors, cousins and long-time neighbors, the members of the church span the age spectrum.
In a family there is a sense of belonging. Oh dear friend, our society groans for this very thing! Just look at our news. Have you asked yourself why there are so many kids being “recruited” by ISIS and turning against our country? It’s not like they are being offered a $50 million jackpot.
Dear friends, is it possible that these kids have no roots? Is it possible that they have no sense of purpose? That they don’t know the love, joy and peace that only can come from our heavenly father? This is WHY we, the body of Christ, need to do a better job of living as Christ instructed and passing on these principles to our children.
Every human being has a desire to belong, to have a purpose and to be loved. We know that our TRUE identity is not found in our profession or titles – but it’s found in the one who gives us eternal life. Under the authority of the Heavenly Father, you can enjoy a brother and sister relationship with your “church family.”
You may be surprised to notice that you can grow as close to the members of your church family as to those in your biological family. In a church operating as God intended, you will have continual support and encouragement. You won’t have to endure sickness, misfortune or heartache alone.
Beloved friend, we must all remember that the most important thing is our personal relationship with Christ. In heaven, there will be no “single”, “married”, “divorced”, “widowed”, “abandoned”, “separated” status. We will all be brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
God has designed the family to function together in harmony: The husband honors his wife and serves her with sacrificial love like Christ displayed; the wife, in turn, responds with love for her husband; the children love and honor the parents; and the parents raise the children with responsibility and respect. The relationships in the “church family” are to operate the same way.
Now, let’s not ignore the obvious. None of us are perfect nor do we have the perfect family tree. A variety of nuts grow on every tree, and with some of them you would prefer to saw off the branch.
Your church family won’t be perfect either. But all of the wonderful aspects that God intended for a family can be found within a church. Remember, dear friend, that they are not complete without you, and you are not complete without them. God has created each person, male and female, in His image. The unifying purpose that we all have is to become more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
Your church family, just like your real family, can be a lot of fun:
In the end, we must all remember that our biological family is for this lifetime, but our church family is for eternity. With your relatives, the family resemblance is usually seen in the face, but with your church, the family resemblance is usually seen in the heart. And that, my dear friends, is why investing your time into building your “family” relationships, is the greatest fortune you will ever have.
Your Sister In Christ,
Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.