In our age of information, it’s easy to get confused by the cacophony of conflicting ideas about family life that swirl around us. But thanks to a new resource from Growing Faith, you can take time this year to listen to the voice of God, who designed the human family in the first place.
Families in God’s Plan is a digital resource featuring 12 Bible studies to help individuals, couples and small groups to understand the place and purpose of families in God’s world. As you read through God’s word, you might be surprised to learn just how big God’s plan for families is.
Bigger than nuclear
Did you know that the Bible doesn’t even have a word for ‘family’ in the modern, nuclear sense? Both old and new testaments see the family as something much bigger. Like an established tree, a family grows up from the trunk of previous generations; it branches out to include uncles, aunts, cousins and in-laws and it spreads out to welcome outsiders who come to live in its shade.
Better than perfect
Have you noticed how flawed the families in the Bible are? God does not expect human families to be perfect—untainted by sin, sickness, death and dysfunction. What God does do is offer help, strength, hope and forgiveness to families bruised by the Fall.
More than love
According to popular wisdom, to make a family ‘all you need is love’. But the Bible calls on families to be much more than places of warmth and affection—they are places of work, worship, education and practical care.
Wider than four walls
Did you know that loving your family is evangelism, according to the Bible? In both old and new testaments, the way we treat the people inside our homes impacts the spread of the gospel in the world outside.
More than blood
Jesus introduced his disciples to a new kind of family: the spiritual family of God. But which should take priority—the natural family or the family of disciples? The answer is far more complex than you might think; these two ‘families’ need each other.
Beyond this world
Our families on earth are symbols of a heavenly reality—they point to the marriage between Christ and his Church, and to the relationship between God the heavenly Father and his spiritual children.
It’s clear that families have a huge part to play in God’s plan for the world!
Why not expand your vision this year by working through Families in God’s Plan from Youthworks Media. It’s currently available for digital download—simply download, print and read!
Harriet Connor is the Content Editor for Growing Faith and the author of Families in God's Plan: 12 Foundational Bible Studies and Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life (Wipf and Stock, 2017). She lives on the Central Coast of NSW with her husband and four sons.
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