What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ladies Night Part 2

But there’s this tricky thing that goes on sometimes in Christian sub-culture: we place a high value on family.

There’s Focus on the Family and lots and lots of other Christian ministries that really push and fight for legislation and develop studies and books and Bible studies on the importance of families. This is a good thing. Families are good things and God has given us the family as a blessing.

In fact, if you’ve been around for a while, you know that I show a picture of my family just about every time I speak—here’s a recent pic of my great kids! I show pictures of my family because they matter to me more than anything else in the world.

But here’s the flip side of that and a danger that I want to avoid. The danger of me showing pictures of my great kids and family is that it somehow sends the message that this is the model of what a Christian life should look like. The danger is that you might see this and think that this is the goal of the Christian life—to have a marriage and 2.5 kids that all have big round faces.

In other words, the message that you might be tempted to get is a Christianized or baptized version of the Jerry McGuire quote: You complete me, that these great little people and my beautiful wife complete me and that you need the same thing in your life or else you won’t be complete.

Let me say something here very clearly: I would die for my wife or my kids without even thinking twice about it. But this is not the goal of the Christian life. The last thing that I want to do in showing pictures of my family is to re-create the myth that anything here on earth can complete you or me.

My completion is found in Christ. Your completion is found in Christ. This is the goal of the Christian life: single, married, kids, whatever. For some of you, you will never be married or maybe married but not have kids. If this is the life that God has for you than any grasping for anything else would not give you life but only lead to death.

And as much as I love my family, they do not make me whole, only God can do that. If I put the pressure on them to make me whole, I start to use them instead of love them.

If you have this internal voice that says apart from a relationship you will never be whole, you will use people instead of love them. Here's the good news: we are in the process of having Christ work out his completion in us. We don't have to use one another in order to be whole.

Let's move forward with fresh freedom and joy into God-honoring cross-gender relationships, to know one another as image-bearers, that we might have a fuller understanding of who God is and might serve and bless one another with the grace of Christ.

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