Core Questions: Why do we have families?

Core Questions is a monthly dive into different topics that are a core part of our shared human experience. We want to seek and understand who we are in light of God’s revealed truth. This month we are looking at our human experience of family. 

God has created us for relationships. Specifically, for family. The first man, Adam, is incomplete without his wife. They are quickly told to be fruitful and multiply. Throughout history, the family unit has been the central figure in community and civilization. 

But why?

God does not want us to be alone. 

Since God exists in the Holy Trinity, He is never “alone” and is always fully satisfied in the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Humans are created in his image, therefore also created for relationship with him and with each other. “God sets the lonely in families” we are told in Psalm 68, a psalm praising God for his provision, his presence, and his power. 

Family relationships shape our character. 

Especially in the New Testament, there is a strong focus on what our character looks like as Christians. We are called to be kind, compassionate, gentle, loving, to teach and encourage, and to share the gospel with others. First and foremost, this Christ-like character development occurs within our family relationships. Several of the New Testament letters focus heavily on directions for how the family unit should treat each other: husbands, wives, and children. Our family sees us at our best and our worst, and God uses our family relationships to shape us to look more and more like Jesus. 

Salvation is adoption into God’s family. 

When we commit our lives and souls to Jesus, we receive God’s Spirit and are adopted as his own children. Here in this world, our family life shows us a picture of how to live within the church. Much like a man and woman become one flesh when they get married, their identity changing as they become husband and wife, our identities change when we give our lives to Jesus. We are a part of God’s own family, and the church becomes our family here. The letter to the Ephesians has a wonderful emphasis on this family relationship. We are a spiritual family, united by the blood of Jesus. 

Later this month, we’ll take a look at how to live well in your family. But for now, give thanks to God for your family! Certainly it is true that they are not perfect. That sometimes they disappoint you, frustrate you, and grieve you. But in his wisdom, God places us here in families and He calls us to live well with our families. Give thanks for this, and pray for his blessing and leading in your family.