Here Comes The Bride
Pastor Adam Mallett, Jr.
Adapted from sermon by
Pastor Gary DarDar, Jr.
Family is a concept that is designed by God. God created Adam, created Eve, told them to procreate, and set up what we now call family. Family is such an important concept! In the current state of society today, with the media being full of protests and chaos and stories and confusion about gender and marriage, it can be hard to think of family in an appropriate way. I think that there are many people who are trying to broaden the understanding of what a family is supposed to be. At the same time, I think that there are many who are holding so tightly to the traditional, God-given, concept of family, that they begin to create unnecessary division and frustration. As a young person who has only been married a few years and does not have children, I know that I am not exactly the best person to be teaching or advising about family, but I am going to share my best understanding of this idea of biblical family, and the importance of it!
We have already said that family is designed by God. I will detail that design, as explained in the Word, and in reflection of what Pastor Gary spoke Sunday. God designed a man and a woman to be joined together. God designed two genders, which are determined biologically, and on a much deeper level than just “parts.” Beyond the very obvious, our chromosomes determine our gender. And those two genders are unchangeable, designed by God to work together physically, as well as emotionally and spiritually. There are no exceptions to God’s design, and there is no proper functionality within a relationship that goes against this perfect design. A family starts with a man and a woman joined together, and extends into having children in most scenarios. That is family!
What is so important about family is that it helps us understand something that is invisible and impossible. God is triune, which means that He is three in one. Again, this is not something that we can understand. The fact that I know I can never understand this concept is very frustrating to me, but we can rest assured that what we don’t understand is still good and still real. There are a lot of things that I don’t understand! But they are still real! The relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit is a mystery to us, but the family reveals some of that mystery to us. God designed the family to work together in a special way. The husband and wife work together, but the husband is placed as the leader. It is falls on the husband to take responsibility for the whole family. That doesn’t mean that the wife has no responsibility! In fact, the wife has as many responsibilities as the husband, but the husband is called to stand up as the head of the family. In the same way, the Trinity works together, equal in importance and power, yet God the Father stands as the leader and the head. Within the family, there is a closeness and an intimacy that is seen nowhere else. The love between a husband and wife, and between parents and children, cannot be matched in any other kind of relationship! God is love, so you can only imagine the nature of love that God the Father has for God the Son! The family represents the Trinity so clearly and effectively! And that is what makes the idea of a proper family so important to society.
I was taught in school that the family is the basic building block of society. It is the thing that societies are built from. I don’t think there has ever been a society that contained no families. If there was one, it wouldn’t last long! Every church, every community, every society is made up of groups of families. These groups model the Triune God, making the society, in an ideal environment, a godly society. Of course, we know that there is no perfect environment, perfect family, perfect person. But we strive for that divine example of relationship as we build the societies that we are a part of. As families grow and multiply, society grows and multiplies. Church grows and multiplies! Your family is to be a brick in the Kingdom of God! Your family is to be an integral part of a godly society in this world! That is a huge responsibility! God has given each individual an important role in Creation, which means that every family should be a unique group effort at building society, and ultimately, the Kingdom of Heaven.
For some of us, the ideal model of family never was, or was interrupted, or was broken. Not everyone is blessed to have a father and mother working together to create a godly family environment. There are single parents. There are parents whose spouse is physically present but not spiritually present. There are children whose parents are not around, having left or died. There are homes with grandparents who have had to become parents again as a result of poor parenting or entirely absent parents. There are families who had it right, but suffered loss and were left reeling in brokenness. This ideal family model is God’s design, and God wants to use that ideal model to build His Kingdom. But that doesn’t mean that those who don’t fit the mold are useless! You see, we hold so tightly to this ideal model within the church that we narrow our field of vision. We understand that same-sex marriage is not biblical, and therefore not family in the sense of God’s design for marriage. We understand that marriage, family, is a man and a woman. And we are right to uphold those standards! But we must not exclude broken families from our field of vision. God’s grace allows everyone to be useful to the Kingdom, to the church. Though my dad died, leaving a single mother with two children, God still had a plan and a purpose for what was left of our family! Though my aunt did not stay married long and did not have children, God still had a plan and a purpose for her life! Though my cousin has never married and has no children, God still desires to redeem him and appreciate him and use him for the work of the Kingdom of Heaven! Though another cousin is dealing with brokenness within his marriage, God is still at work within their family, with a plan and purpose for them within His Kingdom! You may even know a married couple who is unable to have children, but God has still called them as a family, and He will use them mightily for His name’s sake!
Family is important, and family is exclusive. There are only two genders, designed to work together within the will of God for the purpose and glory of God. God’s design for family is irreplaceable by any other type of relationship. This is why we must uphold biblical family values! This is why we must take Gods design and calling for marriage and family so seriously! But we must never forget to have grace, doing everything that we can to bring all into the family of God. The family of God is the most important family in every society, and God’s greatest call on all of our lives is to grow that family! For some, that will mean marriage and children and grandchildren. For all, that means sharing the gospel, and sharing the love of God at every opportunity!