What’s the purpose of family?
When I ask that question at the beginning of The Power of Your Family Legacy workshop, the answers are many and varied.
To teach values
To reflect God’s image
To provide support
To reproduce the species
To have fun
To train future generations
All of those are true and right. But is there a bigger purpose above and beyond those ideas. I’ll sometimes say that in our world today, we’ve allowed for our culture to define family. How does culture define family today?
In culture we tend to think of family as a warm place of fun, but we shouldn’t have too many kids. After all kids are expensive.
But that’s not how the Bible defines family. The Bible defines family as a multigenerational effort. When God looks at families, he sees generations—not just individuals.
Consider the promise to Abraham. It was a multi-generational promise. The promise to King David was forward looking generationally to the One True King. Psalm 78:5-7 describes it well:
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments…
Look carefully and you’ll see that Psalm 78 has a 5 generation look—one family telling the next, the next, the next and so on.
And think about it: does anyone start out planning to have a family that falls apart in the next generation? Of course not, the goal is a multigenerational endeavor.
So the challenge is that everyone of us is to think and imagine our families as an ongoing continuity of values that carry on. Why? Well if every family did so, our world changes in a big way.
Think 5 generations!
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Published January 16, 2023