Congrats to Pam J, winner of last week’s Family Counter Giveaway, Your First Year of Motherhood by Daily Guideposts.
“If a couple doesn’t have more than 2 children, I don’t think it is considered a real family!” I was talking with a friend, and she was asking for advice. She shared with me that someone had actually said that to her! I was stunned! I was in my early thirties. My husband and I had started home schooling our two small children. We were enjoying the benefits of spending the kind of time with our children that home schooling allows, and it worked well for our family, but we were becoming burdened by much of what we heard in some of the settings we found ourselves in. Debates about whether or not we should use birth control, how many children makes up a “real” family, whether or not we should adopt children, and what families should “look” like. The picture of an ideal family was constantly being thrust in front of our eyes. I began carrying the burden of how we would somehow make our family look like what we were hearing.
Many years have gone by and God has been very merciful to us. Because of my health, I was only able to have two children. But make no mistake. We are a family! With the help of my wise husband, and the grace of God, I was gently steered away from that distorted way of thinking and put the picture of the ideal family that we had been handed into the shredder! God gave us two incredible people to raise, and we have immersed ourselves in seeking God for wisdom in how to glorify Him with what He has given us.
What is a family supposed to look like? Technically speaking, there IS an ideal of what a family should look like. Sadly, any hope of attaining that disappeared when sin entered the world. After that one choice to disobey took place, the picture of perfection began to fade. We now live in a broken down, difficult world! I don’t believe that our goal should be to create an ideal family. Our goal should be to focus on the cross, daily reminding ourselves of all we have because of the death and resurrection of Christ, and live in the good of that. Then, we need to seek to glorify God with whatever “family” God entrusts us with.
Life is constantly changing and we will find ourselves in different seasons of life. We will face the challenge of raising children who are learning to think for themselves. That will look differently from family to family. Some face the life altering trauma of divorce and are left raising a family alone. Some are called to adopt children, and some are led to care for parents who aren’t able to live on their own anymore. Sometimes we might even be called to allow people to be a part of our family who have nowhere else to go! Each of these scenarios are a picture of a family.
What does your family look like? Let me encourage you to look at those God has place in your care, to thank God for the privilege of having them in your life, and seek Him diligently as to how you might glorify Him in your circumstances…with your family!
“Whether, then, you eat or drink or WHATEVER YOU DO, (and no matter what your family looks like…) do ALL for the GLORY OF GOD…” 1 Corinthians 10:31