What does "family" look like?
How does God define "family"?
Is the world's definition of "family" wrong?
God designed man, so he surely must have designed the way we were to live, right?
There are so many questions similar to those listed above that seem so difficult to answer, when they really aren't. The answers are straightforward but sometimes we just don't want to hear them because they might condemn a loved one, or convict us of our own sinful ways.
It is clear, from a biblical standpoint, that "family" looks like a man joined to his wife in marriage, and then whatever offspring they may have together.
Also justified from the biblical perspective is the much larger Christian family that we have. Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior is a brother or sister added to our "family". This family gathers together in fellowship whenever possible; whether it be as a congregation or in small groups.
But the world we live in says "family" looks different for everyone. While that part of the statement may be true, other parts of it aren't.
The biblical definition of "family" is this:
"The family is the foundational institution of society ordained by God. It is constituted by [the] marriage [of one man and one woman] and is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption."
But the world argues against that. They say that you can live together and be family, that you don't NEED to be married. The world even argues that you can live with or marry someone of the same sex as you.
(See: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/08/learning/how-do-you-define-family.html and https://www.dw.com/en/all-relative-how-family-is-defined-around-the-world/a-18112354)
Unfortunately, because of sin and the fall of man, the world is marred and bruised; the lenses it views things through are fogged up. When man chose to obey his own will over the will of God, we were dealt consequences that we must bear until His return.
When I was working on the idea of this post, I reached out to a friend of mine (Ethan) who loves talking about family, asking him for his thoughts.
He wrote back:
"I personally believe that every family is God-designed. Sometimes the Devil can try and break up a family with sin or struggles, but God is a God of Grace and Mercy. He will never love us any more or less despite our sin. Hebrews 10:14 is an excellent example of this."
Ethan makes some very valid points here. God HAS designed our families. His fingerprints are all over us, and our lives. Satan wants us to see "family" the way the world does and he will do anything to achieve that, even if it means completely dividing a family.
Despite all of that, God never gives up on us. He is always there, ready to forgive us and offer us a second chance.
Not one of us is perfect. I am not perfect. I mess up all the time, whether I get into a fight with my sister or I argue with my parents' decision, I mess up. And even though I do, God still loves me. He still loves you. He will never stop.
"Family" is a touchy subject because no one shares the same opinion about it. And that's okay. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs every bit as much as I am entitled to respect those beliefs.
But no matter how you choose to look at it, family is God-designed and it is a gift.