“Remember: your family first.”–Mark Merrill of Family Minute
First of all, let me give a disclaimer: with most of the morals associated with the term “family values,” I agree. They are good things. But, at the same time, I hate them. Check out the quote above. Can you believe that this is what passes for Christianity these days? Please don’t be offended. I will explain further.
There is a phenomenon I refer to as “Family Values-Centered American Christianity,” and I don’t think it is a good thing. For you see, in real Christianity, Jesus Christ is the center. I get the feeling that sometimes in conservative America, being family friendly is more important than being Christ-like. You see it everywhere: on commercials, billboards, in the mall, on the radio. All the advertising world is playing on your emotions to get you to shrink back into your own little unit of people, selfishly protecting your personal pride and joy. The conservative man is the strong father who provides for his family above all else. The conservative mother is the eternal support, the perfect wife and cook. It sickens me.
Some of you may now be outraged. “Joel,” you say, “aren’t all those things Biblical roles? Isn’t Family the primary institution God uses to do His work on earth, etc.?” In those cases, I actually agree with you. Family is an amazing thing. One day, if the Lord wills, I will be a husband and father. And it will be good. I have faith that it will be good. I believe our error doesn’t fall on Family’s existence, but on the priority we place on it. If we let it take the place of God, we fail greatly.
Consider this with me: if Family is our god, it must be perfect. If Family is what we live for, what we glorify with everything in our lives, there must be no flaw found in it. What happens when it’s not perfect then? Marriage on the rocks? Divorce. Unplanned pregnancy(or fetus with a birth defect)? Abortion. For nothing can stand in the way of Family. All sacrifices must be made to Family.
Jesus said to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well. I believe family is one of those things. But family must not be first. God must be.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”–Luke 14:26