When God created humans, he created a family. Since “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18), God created Eve to be one with Adam in a relationship of nurture, intimacy, and sharing where each of their strengths could serve the other. The Creator charged this first family to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion” (Genesis 1:28) over all the other creatures. The family is central to God’s purpose in creation to spread his glory throughout the earth.
It should not surprise us, then, that the family is where God’s enemy, Satan, targets his attack. His temptations led to a disruption of Adam and Eve’s intimacy and spilled over into Cain’s murder of Abel. The very community God meant for safety and love became a place of betrayal and suspicion. Ever since, the family has been a key battlefield on which Satan’s war against God and his creation has been fought.
In our day this attack takes many forms. Our culture has continued to listen to Satan’s disparagement of God’s word and his goodness. In grasping for autonomy, we have extracted sexual intimacy from its covenantal setting and commodified it as a personal right. We have redefined what family is, elevating human desires over God’s design. This has created such moral and sexual anarchy that some have called for a replacement of monogamy with “monogamish” relationships, where a commitment to one person is complemented by negotiated dalliances.
Sadly, the dysfunction that is publicly heralded in our culture is privately perpetuated in the church. Underneath the Sunday game face, many Christian marriages are places where sexual intimacy is not celebrated as God’s good gift. Some family relationships are more characterized by abuse and neglect than nurture and self-giving. Christian singles pursuing marriage can not assume that potential mates value chastity before and faithfulness in marriage.
Those most victimized by this chaos, whether inside or outside the church, are the powerless and vulnerable. The abused wife who has no voice. The neglected child who has never experienced attachment to a caregiver. The unborn baby who has no defense against the choice his parents ponder in the wake of their unplanned pregnancy.
How should we engage the mess we have created? Where do we begin?
Throughout the storyline of the Scriptures, God’s priority for protection, healing, and redemption begins with the most vulnerable. Israel’s law is permeated with concern for the sojourner, fatherless, and widow, that is, those most cut off from the provision and care of a family. The prophets reserved their harshest indictments for oppressors and reiterated God’s love of the oppressed.
We believe that this should inform our approach to ministry and social engagement in our day. This is why the next two Sunday we will highlight the ministries of Mending the Soul and Choices Pregnancy Centers. These ministries give followers of Jesus inroads to bring the tangible love and holistic redemption of Christ to those most victimized by the fallout of sin in broken families.
Please come this Sunday ready to learn more about these ministries. Prayerfully consider how God might use you to convey the destiny-shaping news of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and reign to those who need it most.