2 Samuel 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?..."
There was a time when family was the axis upon which culture turned. I don't think that this axis has been replaced so much as I think we are no longer turning in the right directions. We've spread ourselves out too thin and reached too far away from home. This is, of course, strictly editorial.
In Mrs. Weinlander's fourth grade class, she read aloud all the "Little House" books. I loved the descriptions of the Ingalls family, together in their cabin, building themselves into a family. Every year as cold weather settles in I reach for small nuances of what I heard in that classroom of warm rooms and love bringing us back together and of the ability for us to find what we need in one another.
I hear some of your typing your comments already, about reaching into the community and of connecting with others. I am not sure why we think these two ideas are mutually exclusive so let me clarify that I'm not trading one concept for the other. For today, I am thinking about family.
I fear that we are losing our ability to be truly a family unit by forever reaching outside of our homes. Once, we kept the family's issues within our four walls. This was not altogether good. We lacked insight, wisdom and support that would've been a positive thing in our lives. There can be abuse and pain kept within four walls if we cling too tightly to family loyalty.
Then again, it is not wrong to feel loyalty. It is not wrong to recognize that the care and protection of "our own" should be the priority. It is right to tend to the needs within before we devote ourselves to the world at large. Why would God have created the family unit if not for this reason? If not to say, when done right you will care for your own and thereby create people who can go care for those who have no one?
We have found it too easy to apply our energies to the "out there" while the people who live under our roofs beg for someone to nurture them. We call it the work of Christ to stay busy while our mothers and fathers sit alone waiting for a visit.
Do not be caught up in the gathering of friends if it distracts you from the family you were born to. Don't leave your spouse and children behind while you pursue some higher calling, because there is none. Don't gather opinions from a hundred sources about your marriage and parenting while you are unable to communicate with the people who live with you. Create such a strong foundation in your family that you can as individuals change the world. Make your family one that God can use for generations beyond you.
We can make ourselves so available to everyone else that we become unavailable to our own. So then what? Will God have to send someone else to care for my husband, children and parents? God forbid.
1 Timothy 3:5 For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?