The Family On Trial

Is an expression that is used in the legal area and means: “to be as a defendant…being tried by a judge or jury”. This expression is usually used when it refers to something that is being criticized. “The family on trial” means that the family institution is being tried. The family is the first human organization ordained by God. It’s the bedrock upon which society rests. Someone has said, “…as the family goes, so goes the nation.” We have heard an expression that seems to be more and more normal: “The family is a bankrupt institution”. There are many voices saying that the family has ended, that it’s no longer relevant, that it’s outdated, it’s a thing of the past. It’s out of fashion. It’s no longer needed. The family is not over! It’s only weakened, and needs be stronger.

What happened? Where have we failed? Why so many problems? The answer is that we have turned away from God and His commandments. Many men have never learned how to be devoted husbands and fathers. Many women are fleeing from God-given roles. Many parents have no idea how to educate and prepare their children for the future. Others simply give up their duty, leaving their children without any preparation or provision. Building solid families does not happen by sheer luck. Psalm 127: 1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Only by returning to the divine standard can we begin to understand the great blessings God has prepared for us. We need to rescue the meaning that God, our Creator and sustainer, had when he created the FAMILY.

UNDERSTANDING THE PURPOSE OF THE FAMILY

What do people want to find when they marry and want to form a family? Most couples will answer: HAPPINESS! Many seek marriage as a source of happiness. Yet, this target is the biggest cause of conflict, tensions and even breakdown in many relationships. Why? Because when we enter in a relationship believing, desiring and expecting that the other one will make me happy, we are setting an inverse pattern. We should have and desire happiness, but this is not the target nor the goal for a marriage and a family. Happiness should be the consequence generated by the right goal. And what is the right goal? According to the Word of God, the right goal is our MATURITY.

Genesis 1:27 (NIRV) “So, God created human beings in his own likeness. He created them to be like himself. He created them as male and female”. Two essential elements of family — marriage and parenthood — reveal God’s character like nothing else in Creation.  The love between a husband and wife provides a glimpse of Christ’s devotion to us.  In the same way, the ups and downs of parenthood offer a picture of God’s tenderness and patience toward us as His children. To have healthy relationships, especially our marital and family relationships, we need to mature and to emphasis on the other and less on ourselves. Like said in Romans 12:10 “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.”

Pastor Norberto Obermann