God placed us in families so that we would know unconditional love and grow up learning how to love others unconditionally. It was a great plan … in the beginning.
A child learns who they are and how valuable their life is within the loving gaze and warm embrace of their parents. Every life-affirming hug defines love and acceptance for them. Every encouraging word empowers them to climb higher and accomplish more than they first thought they could. Every brother a supporter and protector, every sister an inexhaustible billow of encouragement; a trustworthy keeper of secret hopes and impossible dreams. Within the construct of family is a microcosm of the world. Master life there and the world will reap great blessings and rewards.
In God’s beautiful design there are things we are meant to receive from our family that we can’t get anywhere else in the world. So what happens when we don’t?
This world is filled with wounded children who grew into adulthood having not received the blessings family is supposed to be rich with. They weren’t shown unconditional love so they have no idea what unconditional love is. They were taught to hate their own flaws so they refuse to tolerate the flaws of others.
Trying to find favor in their parent’s eyes, siblings step on the necks of one another hoping to come face to face with praise. Any reward of affection given to one was seen as a portion stolen from another.
Rather than living in the abundance of love, they are raised in the poverty of never enough. The childhood originally designed to culminate in a healthy person prepared to go out and bless the world… became distorted by the pain of disappointment and unmet needs.
Some go out into the world ever searching to find what they intuitively know they require to be whole. Others go out into the world demanding what they need from others but offering little or nothing in exchange. Living lives without healing, these wounded children grow up to perpetuate and recreate their brokenness everywhere they go. Their children inherit it at birth then grow up with no idea why they are so insecure and unhappy.
One child grew up and wrote this: “I feel like I’m a giant puzzle that was laboriously put together, only to find that right smack at the center, there’s a piece missing. And I’ve tried my whole life to fill that in, but I still struggle. Sometimes when I am quiet and reflect upon myself as a little girl, I become quite sad for her, knowing that all that “mother’s love” and attention she craves simply isn’t there, and how confusing that will make so many other things in life.”
“Family” was a great plan but it was designed before sin entered the world.
So, what now? This world is crawling with the walking wounded who didn’t get what they needed from their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Where is their hope of healing?
Enter, The Church. God’s provision for the broken family and the wounded child.
God is our Father. We are the sons and daughters, sisters and brothers. We aren’t just ‘called’ the family of God, we are to BE God’s family. A family committed to being a source of love, support, encouragement and healing for one another. A place where we practice and learn what unconditional love is and discover the amazing things unconditional love can do.
Few people think of their church as family anymore. We mostly come and go as strangers on similar but disparate paths. It’s a shame, really. We could accomplish so much more if we saw ourselves as interdependent yet deeply connected the way healthy families are meant to be.
A child of God learns who they are and how valuable their life is within the loving gaze and warm embrace of their church family. Every life-affirming hug defines love and acceptance for them. Every encouraging word empowers them to climb higher and accomplish more than they first thought they could. Every brother a supporter and protector, every sister an inexhaustible billow of encouragement; a trustworthy keeper of secret hopes and impossible dreams. Within the construct of church is a microcosm of the world. Master life there and the world will reap great blessings and rewards.
In His Love and service,