I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. Mostly I’ve been asking God what He thinks of family. And I’m asking Him because it sure seems like family is the primary battleground for everything in this life – and always has been.
I’ve started my reading in Genesis, and as I’m working my way through the Old Testament, I see a pattern emerging. One, families have been seriously messed up since the beginning. I mean, seriously messed up! And two, the spiritual giants were usually separated from their families. They were either called to leave them (Abraham and Sarah), kicked out of them (Joseph), forcibly removed from them (Esther), abandoned by them (David), ran away from them (Jacob) or voluntarily walked away from them (Jesus, the disciples, Paul, etc.).
I don’t really like where God seems to be taking me with this.
This is such a primal battle in my heart, so I asked God why my idolatry of family goes so deep. What am I really looking to them to give me? He had me write down what family means to me. Here’s what I wrote:
Love – and all that means. I want to know that there’s a place where I belong, no matter what happens. I want to know that there are people who know me and love me anyway. I want to know that when a crisis comes, I have someone who will take my call and drop everything to be there beside me. I want to know that when something wonderful happens, I have people who will celebrate with me. Family – to me – is a place of belonging, a sanctuary in a loveless world. Family is love.
Well, that was an enlightening exercise. “Family is love.” You know, I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Not even close. GOD is love. NOT family. Family, by my own admission, is my god.
Reading what I wrote smashed my heart. I don’t know where to go from here except to heed my life verse, Joel 2:12 in the Amplified. God already knew my heart, and He knew just how to expose it so that I would see it, too. What started as strong curiosity resulted in the Cross. It’s not the first time the Cross is coming for my idol, and it won’t be the last, but I’ll continue to share as He allows on this one.
From Martha’s booklet, The Separator:
“Jesus came for the purpose of separating and dividing.
He did not come to bring families together. He came to divide them.
He came to make a chasm between the one who wants Him –
and the one who does not.
Sooner or later your loyalty to Him will be sorely tested
and you will have to decide whose side you are on.”