Second Only To God: Family Comes First

Today’s topic came naturally out of my morning quandary about what to wear.  As I stood looking at my closet I had in mind that I was dressing not just for church, but for a lunch-time family gathering with almost all of my family of orientation followed by supper with my family of procreation and my father-in-law.  A full day of activity and social contact, this would normally be just my kind of day, but if it weren’t church and family I would be begging off and spending the day resting up for the coming work week.

If you have been with me from the beginning, you may remember my post about priorities titled What Would You Have Left if You Lost Everything?  In that post I talked about an exercise I do with my classes in which they write down the six things that are most important in their lives, and then one-by-one they have to choose which of them to lose.  It can be pretty difficult when you get down, for instance, to the choice of God, your spouse, or your children.  It also shows just how unimportant things like our cars and our homes are for most people.

Back to today.  The only time I skip church is if I’m away or if I can barely stand due to illness, and there is certainly no way that I am going to miss a chance to visit with my brother and sister-in-law who only get to town once-a-year.  That takes us up to supper time (the evening meal).  We make a point of going to see, and eat with, my father-in-law on Sunday evenings.  It is vital to us that our kids have a close relationship with their grandparents.  They see my parents regularly at church, but their paternal grandfather goes to a different church and so we have, since they were little, gone for weekly visits.

Continuing to prepare for the day, I was putting on my rings.  First I put on my wedding band and engagement ring, an obvious priority in my life.  After that I had choices and I got thinking about the fact that almost everyone would put a ring they bought for themselves in a different category than one that had belonged to a now-deceased family member.  There is more meaning to my grandmother’s wedding ring than the cute ring I got when I finished my lay ministry course. 

In the Bible we see that God created people as man and woman.  He saw the need for us to have helpmates or partners.  When human children are born they are uniquely dependant.  Unlike all other species, humans are not able to fend for themselves until far beyond a year.  This fact made families of whatever configuration necessary for their survival,  and continues to do so.  The cycle continues when we leave our parents and “cleave to” our own life partners.

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