Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Thought on the Family and the Church

I've been reading Oscar Thompson's book Concentric Circles of Concern where he says that the family is like God's school to teach you how to love people and how to meet needs. The book is really good, although it could stand to be a bit more to-the-point, but all in all, reading it is like hanging out with that really cool prof that just wants to teach you.

It got me thinking about the family and the church. You see, I'm supposed to love my wife like Christ loves the church (Eph 5:25). It's not that Christ is supposed to love the church like I love my wife, but the other way around. The ultimate version is Christ and the Church, not husband and wife.

When I got my first bike, it had training wheels on it. So my first bike had a total of four wheels and it needed all of them in order for me to ride effectively. As I got older and more coordinated I took my training wheels off so I cold ride on two.

The biological family is the training ground where we learn how to love each other and put our selves out for each other. The church family is the next step up. The church is the real deal, the place where you are supposed to put all of that education into practice. We should not be amazed when a church acts like its members are family because that is precisely the intent of how God set up the family and the church.

As all illustrations eventually do, mine falls apart because at no time am I to slough off my family in lieu of the church. Part of the expectations of being an elder is that they continue to lead their families well, so it is not an either/or situation. But what I think this teaches us is that the church was intended (actually IS) more than a social function you do once a week like the Elks club or skeet shooting. The church is the broader community that your family is supposed be worked out in.

Over the last few weeks I have seen a church family love two of its members. They have loved my wife and I so blatantly and selflessly that the love of Christ is plainly on display. I thank them all very very much.

No comments:

Post a Comment