God’s best creation is the family unit. It was the only time God called his creation very good. Yet families are in crisis.
Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25
How I miss when my children were young and needed me as their mommy. I have fond memories of growing up in a family where twenty-some people filled my grandparents’ tiny home on Sunday afternoons. Rough-housing with my grandfather until my mother insisted we stop. Following my other grandfather through his garden with my little bucket. Snuggling beside my grandmother. The other grandmother teaching me to embroider or crochet. Romping in the yard with my cousins. Family vacations often included aunts, uncles, and cousins. The most precious times of my life are family times.
The only time that God pronounced his creation as “very good” was on the sixth day after he created man and woman and told them to “be fruitful and increase in number.” (Genesis 1:31) Yet, one of the saddest consequences of this quarantine time is the separation of families when they need each other the most. The family is in crisis.
Families in Crisis
Those who are sick with the COVID-19 virus die alone. Our elder-care facilities deny family visits. Medical personnel quarantine themselves away from their families so as not to spread the disease. The news reports an increase of child and domestic abuse. Divorces are expected to rise. Yet the family unit is God’s best creation.
I understand the epidemiology of the pandemic. However, as a Christian, my heart breaks over how divided families have become, even before this crisis. Satan’s mission is to steal, kill, and destroy, and his first victims were the family. In the Garden, he came between woman and man. The first murder happened within the first family. After Cain killed Abel, he asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) As a matter of fact, yes.
Does God’s Best Creation Look “Very Good?”
One of Jesus’ final acts on the Cross was to give his mother, Mary, into the keeping of his disciple, John. Even Jesus’ own family suffered from division. Matthew 12:46-50 tells about his mother and brothers coming to talk to him while he was teaching. When told that his family, most of whom did not believe he was the Messiah, were outside, he answered, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Without a doubt, Adam’s family wasn’t ideal. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. The favoritism of Jacob’s parents and competition between him and his brother Esau drove him away from home. My own family has fractured since my mother’s death. All over the world, families split apart for various reasons. Communication ceases and in own some instances, so does visitation. This isn’t what God intended when he called his creation of family “very good.”
God’s Best Creation in Perspective
In light of the current world circumstances, how would it feel for an estranged family member to die alone in a hospital with no one to hold their hand or say goodbye? What if your last opportunity to say, “I love you” was lost?
What did God want families to become? This virus is an opportunity to rethink how our world, our community, and our families work. As Christians, we should nurture and grow our family relationships, and communicate how much we love each other before it’s too late. Both of my parents died suddenly and alone. We couldn’t say goodbye or “I love you,” but our relationships were good. Never put off telling someone you love them or repairing a damaged relationship. (Romans 12:18)
God’s Best Creation Needs Healing
Above all, let’s re-examine our priorities, pride, and sensitivities before this quarantine ends. What if we chose to be more like the father of the Prodigal Son, who offered forgiveness, acceptance, and love?
God’s plan for families was very good. He wanted his best creation to love one another and be examples of his love to a hurting world. How can you help your family to exemplify a pattern of God’s love instead of proof that Satan has succeeded once again?
Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:21
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