May 03, 2012
Modern Family?
A couple of weeks ago, my church started a new series called, “Modern Family.” As it so happens, we invited a couple of our friends to church that weekend and sat in the family chapel with their 2 year old – kind of gave me a taste for what life will be like in a few short months. Anyways…since I took the last two weeks off (with regard to my faith posts), I thought I’d start at the beginning of the series: “What Happened to the Family.” Warning, this is a long one. 

Let me run a few statistics by you that our minister shared during the lesson: 
  • 40% of people believe marriage is becoming obsolete…which would explain why nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Furthermore, more and more divorce attorneys state that social media is the reason marriages come to an end. 
  • 32% of teenagers admit to underage drinking and 39% admit to using marijuana. Unfortunately, the statistics don’t seem to change much between kids going to church and kids not going to church. 
  • 70% of teens walking around the church have probably had premarital sex before the age of 19. 
  • 26% of kids are raised by single parents – 80% of those households being single moms.
I’m pretty sure I missed a number of other statistics that you can hear in the live message (click HERE), but the point is that the family as God originally intended hardly exists anymore. And if you don’t believe me, just turn on your television or read the paper.  Long gone are the days of “Leave it to Beaver.” 

However, God’s original plan for us as a family has never really come to fruition. If we back up to Genesis – yep, Adam and Eve…God created male and female in his own image (Genesis 1:28). He further created the family such that (Genesis 2:25), “man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Sure we were naked, but we didn’t really know what that meant…so there was no shame in our game. 

Unfortunately, within a few verses, we break a perfect relationship with each other and with God. We all know the story of the serpent who tests Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge (Genesis 3:1-6). In that very moment, sin entered the family. As a result, we now live with three consequences: 

1. Shame 

Genesis 3:7 says, “they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Verses 8-11 describe how Adam and Eve then hid from God in fear because they were naked. Up until that point, humankind had never experienced shame…but it’s something we live with today. 

Interestingly enough, I bet we’ve all had naked dreams…perhaps fears of speaking in public…being caught with our pants down? It’s normal to have these fears – especially considering that no one wants to be seen naked when everyone else is fully dressed. No one wants to be naked man on campus, right? However, Adam and Eve were the only two people around – what did they have to be embarrassed about? It’s not like the animals were wearing the latest fashions.

When shame entered our lives, God was certainly disappointed. However, in his forgiveness (Isaiah 61:10), “he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness.” He does this because Satan feeds off our shame. Therefore, the only thing that can cover our shame is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

So yeah, shame definitely wasn’t part of God’s original plan for us as a family…but he also doesn’t leave us hanging. 
By Wisdom a House is Built RS
2. Blame

Genesis 3:11-13 says, “And he (God) said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me —she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'”

What you see here is Adam blaming God and Eve…and then Eve blaming the serpent. It’s no wonder that when kids do something wrong, they immediately want to point a finger at someone else rather than accepting responsibilities themselves. Actually, I’m being generous considering that we’re all inflicted with a case of “it wasn’t me.” The blame that started with Adam and Even follows us today…except most times we house it in therapy as we try to figure out why we’ve done something or why we are the way we are. I’m often amazed when someone actually takes responsibility for their actions because we’re so quick to cast blame on someone else.

Of course, the consequence of our actions consist of a painful childbearing experience (makes ya kinda curious what it could have been like if we just followed the rules, right?), our husbands to rule over us (we were designed to be servant leaders to one another), the men in our lives to work long days to make a living for the family…and of course, we die.

3. Fame

The other night, I was watching the movie, “Fame.” The movie follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting “fame”…the kind that comes only from talent, dedication, and hard work. Much like our own lives, this journey is also plagued by self-doubt as each student’s passion is put to the test. I think there’s a part of each of us that wants that fame…at least the desire to be recognized for something we’re passionate about.

Once again, it all started with Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3:20, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” He immediately separates himself from his wife. In fact, up until the fall, her name was not Eve – notice…God did not name Eve, Eve…Adam did. God created male and female…I think a much older translation refers to them as Adam-man and Adam-woman. They were one. But Adam sets himself a part…he labels Eve and tells her what her purpose should be.

As a result, for thousands of years, women have believed that their #1 purpose in life was to bear children. When that purpose has been fulfilled, many women aren’t quite sure what to do with themselves….which of course can lead to depression and marital conflict. If we try to imagine God’s original purpose for us though – being a mom was not our primary purpose. Yes, God has a plan for each of us…and prior to the fall, it may or may not have included child-bearing.

Men sometimes have a hard time believing that women have a purpose outside of the home. Let’s be honest, if a woman is away from home, then her attention may be distracted from the needs of the man. But everyone (man and woman) has a calling…when the kids are home and when the kids are away. Our highest calling is to be a child of God…not a mother, not a father. It just so happens that so many of us have the opportunity to be parents.

With all that said, God isn’t necessarily happy about any of this: Shame, Blame or Fame. Much like we’d do with our own children though, there are consequences for all actions. However, in Christ, the curse is broken because Jesus came to repair our families.Without him we’ll always be competing with one another and failing to live up to God’s truth.