Kingdom vs. Family

Today’s verse of the day  got
me to thinking.  It’s actually a statement that Jesus makes
concerning the nature of family.  “He replied, “My mother and
brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” 
(Luke 8:21)  It’s an interesting statement that actually says a
lot about how Jesus views the interconnection between Kingdom and
Family.

I think a lot about family myself.  Part of it is because I’m
paid to think about family and the other part is because family is an
important part of my life.  I know a few people that have the
attitude when it comes to family they could take it our leave it. 
I have to tell you…I don’t think I could face this world without the
care, respect, concern, encouragement and love that I get from
family.  I have to have “family time” or else my day isn’t
complete.  Those few days out of every year where I’m away from
home and don’t get to hug my wife and kiss my boys are depressing days
for me. 

So when I hear a statement like this one from Jesus it bothers me a
little.  It bothers me because he says to me that family is not
the controlling story of my life.  I’ve stepped out of that
controlling story and into The Story.  And while it’s true that
family continues to be a theme in that controlling story (especially if
they are ever to join you in The Story) they aren’t the most important
part.  My dedication to the Kingdom Story is supposed to outweigh
my dedication to my family.  OUCH!!  That’s tough.  It’s
especially tough when I’ve heard for years the importance that we in
the church (institution) have put on family values.  We’ve tried
to sell people that enter our buildings that there is a “right” way to
do family and if you do it the “right” way your kids will turn out
good, your marriage will never suffer, and you’ll have plenty of
stuff!  We fight for American Family Values and are willing to
take action (send a petition, boycott something) to get those around us
to conform to those values.

Jesus takes a different approach to family!  He says that the
point of life here on this planet is to live in the Kingdom.  (Now
understand that “Kingdom” is not some etherial concept to Jesus — it’s
here and now and able to be lived out.)  Kingdom trumps family
every time! 

Tough thoughts to consider…what do you think?

Enjoy the Journey!

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~ by Chris Green on August 21, 2004.

One Response to “Kingdom vs. Family”

  1. Quite honestly, that’s a thought I’ve never really considered before and it brings a thought to my mind that was discussed in my Bible class this morning.Our teacher stated the title of today’s class to be “It Take a Village,” which made me cringe due to the author of this statement originally. Regardless of the author, though, I’ve never really bought into that idea anyway. I’ve always figured that regardless of the “village,” a strong base family is what really counts.After reading what Chris had to say about what Jesus had to say, I guess my thoughts are slightly more jumbled. I guess the way I interpret things is this: Living in the Kingdom, in my young and not so scholarly opinion (I’m no Bible expert compared to Chris or much of anybody), just means living in the Spirit and letting God dictate your life through the Spirit. It is by the Spirit’s power that someday I hope to raise my kids. Hence, I’d be “in the Kingdom” along with my family. Everyone living in the Spirit is likewise in the Kingdom and a part of the “Family.”I guess I’ve digressed quite a bit, but to get back to what Chris was saying in the first place, I don’t think the idea of immediate biological family being #2 to God’s Family really hits home with me yet. Though I’ve been married over a year, I think it’s hard to get the sense of family without kids. On another note, I’ve always felt the Spirit the most at times when I felt a “God-family” connection rather than an immediate family event or moment. I’m sure that will all change, though, with kids. I’ll just have to wait and see.Anyway, though, I liked Chris’ thought and it presented me with something I’d never really thought about before.On that note, I’ve written way too much and it likely makes no sense, but I like the website. It’s cool.

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