Summary: Directed to students, on relationships within the family and the family structure that governs those relationships.

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How many of you can think of a time when you were embarrassed by your family?… mom, dad, brother, sister … we can even go out into aunts, uncles, and cousins if you want to. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade, my mom, sisters, and myself were out doing something … probably shopping or something else crappy that happens when you are the only boy. Anyway, while we were gone, my two best friends, who lived on my street, had come over to play soccer. Since I wasn’t there, they decided to go ahead and take the cones out for goals and kick around until I got back Seems fairly innocent, right? Well apparently mom didn’t think so. When she got out of the car, she let poor Brian and Blake have it. I don’t really know what sparked it, but she got really mad about some soccer cones … I still don’t get it. Well, I felt awful and, at the time, was embarrassed that my mom did something like that.

Now, I don’t really remember, but I am almost certain that a thought went through my head that went something like this: “Why can’t my mom be more like Blake’s or Brian’s mom?” “Why can’t my family be cooler?” I bet we’ve all had thoughts like that from time to time.

Let’s take it a step further; who has ever run away from home thinking, “I never asked for a family anyway… I’ll be fine on my own.”? I did it once … made it all the way down the street before I turned around and ran back up the street crying!

Anyway, we obviously do exist in families and, at least for a while, don’t have much choice in the matter. So let’s see if we can uncover a little bit of how this whole family thing got started.

Gen. 2:18-24

Read also Gen 1:28

Now, we know from the order of the creation story that both of these things happened before the earth was corrupted by Sin, meaning that family was a part of the original creation that God called “good.” We see that God created a wife for Adam, which implies some sort or a marriage or union. We also see that He instructed Adam and Eve to have lots of babies, completing a full- fledged family.

However, Adam and Eve didn’t have kids until after the fall … so children are evil!!! No, actually, that’s not true at all … in case you were wondering. Children are great creations of God and if there is some reason that they don’t show up until after the fall of man, I certainly don’t know it. Either way, we still have a family structure laid out by God before sin and corruption, and it is … GOOD!

Gen. 7:1

Obviously God thinks here that Noah’s family is important to him. You can see that He tells Noah to take his wife and all three sons with him onto the ark … nowhere does it say that all of Noah’s family was righteous … they may have been righteous along with Noah, but since I don’t know Greek or Hebrew or whatever, I can’t be sure if the “you” in verse 1 is referring to the whole family or just Noah. If it is referring only to Noah, then His family was kept alive by God’s grace, not only for them, but for Noah. Once again, we were created for family … for community. God wasn’t going to send Noah onto the boat all alone because He knew that Noah would need his family. If not, well then that’s not quite as good of an example anymore; but we still know that God created family, and just like all of the other creations that he could have started over with, he chose to preserve it.

Did ya’ll catch it earlier when I mentioned the family “structure?” Structure is defined by as “The way in which parts are arranged or put together to form a whole.” The “parts” that go into a family are man, woman, boy and girl. When God created Adam and Eve, he told them to increase in number, which for them resulted in who? Cain and Abel. So God’s original plan for the structure of a family is a man and a woman getting married and having and raising children together. But that doesn’t always happen today, does it? No! We live in a world with a quickly growing divorce rate and growing number of illegitimate children (meaning that they are born outside the bonds of marriage). The growing number of single mothers have become such an issue that there are support groups all over the United States for these women who are suffering the consequence of a cursed earth … not to mention the children growing up without a mother or without a father, or even completely orphaned. When any of these things happen, it means that the structure has been broken, and while the family may still exist in some form, it no longer exists in the way that God originally intended. Is that hard for some of ya’ll to hear? I know it is, but I think that it is a very necessary thing for you all to know.

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