Let’s start at the beginning.
In the beginning God created mankind in His image and likeness expecting man to take care of and maintain His creation and creatures in a way that would honor the Creator. He made us to be “godly”, imprinted with his divine image and likeness. “Then God looked over all he had made and saw that it was very good!”(Genesis 1:31).
Well, we all know what happened – our first parents wanted to be God rather than be godly and the rest is the history of how this dysfunction created the broken world we currently reside in. All throughout human history, we have seen how often man has sought power, money, prestige, sex, drugs, etc. as their idol/god and yet always left wanting and in personal ruin. The family unit has suffered from these perverted priorities. When God is not at the center of the family, that is a recipe for disaster. When we do not have a focal point of submission, our focus is on self and the things that give us pleasure, rather than the pure work of sacrifice and service to our family. We don’t have to look very far to see how this has played out around us with all the problems that are in families, many of us carry around wounds that we have received from broken families as well.
But there is always hope! God is calling us back to family values just as He has always done as laid out in Scripture.
So, how do we actually work at reshaping our family to reflect the image of God once again? I find the three core compoentes that are laid out in our Alpha program at WRCC (PLUG!! 🙂 )speaks to how to approach this – the three core components are: Belong, Believe, Behave. We all Belong to God’s family as his creation and children, we are all called to Believe the wisdom that God offers through His Word in the Bible (acceptance of Jesus as our personal Savior), and as a result of this belonging and believing, we Behave in a manner that reflects our faith as Christians. So, it is our calling as parents, grandparents, etc. set the trajectory for our homelife to be a safe place, where Christ is the center, and one where we encourage each other to actively follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Proverbs, once again, provides some insight into the side effects of acting or not acting “godly”. The term “wicked” is used to describe the negative behavior that brings death and destruction.(12:7, 14:11). The “godly: are depicted as having “wisdom” (21:16-19) “standing firm” (12:7), “flourishing” (14:11), “secure” (14:26), receiving “favor from the Lord” (18:22), “walking with integrity” (20:7).
So the book of Proverbs does a great job of laying out what “godliness” looks like in the various roles that are in a family. Proverbs also provides specific guidelines of conduct for all members of the family. For example, the man (husband/parent) – needs to avoid sexual transgressions (2:16-19, 6:32-35). The woman (wife/parent) – needs to not be quarrelsome, but understanding (19:13-18). The child – “a foolish child is a calamity to a father”. The proverb that really needs attention today re: children: “Discipline your children while there is hope, otherwise you will ruin their lives.” (19:18). In other words, those that dismiss the “spare the rod, spoil the child” belief in favor of just discussion, may want to re-think how their approach can administer appropriate, but loving disciplinary consequences for bad behavior.
So, it takes all members of the family working together in love to sustain a godly family. The divine mystery of the Holy Trinity gives us insight as a model of a godly family. Three persons – with each focused on specific roles – share together in one loving Godhead – God the Father (the Parent – our Creator), God the Son (the Child – our Liberator), God the Holy Spirit (the Love connection – our Navigator). They work as a cohesive unit as God as they live and interact in loving obedience to each other. We can make it work as godly families when we live in obedience to our given roles from the Creator – who gives us life, the Liberator – who frees us from sin and death, and the Navigator – who’s spirit guides us on the way in our journey.
May God and his word continually shape and form the character of our families at WRCC.