Family First

Phil_mcgraw_1Here's an article I received by my friend Mike Steele:

I went to the book store today and found a book that surprised me. Dr. Phil, famous for his TV counseling, has written another book. The title jumped off the shelf at me . Family First! Here’s what Dr. Phil says on the book cover.

I want to talk to you about Family: Yours and Mine.

I know and feel that as parents, you and I share some very important priorities. Just like you, I love my family more than anything in the world and I want us all to be safe, healthy, happy and prosperous in everything we do, both within our family and as we go out into the world. Cynics will tell you that it is just an old-fashioned, lost concept, getting buried in a busy world of “enlightened” people. I’m here to tell you that that is not right, not even close. Family is even more important today than in generations past, and its erosion is unacceptable. This is a fight we can and must win. …. Your children are the stars in your crown and it is time for them to shine; it is okay for them to shine and, if you do your job, shine they will.

More than any other metaphor, the metaphor of the family is used to express the heart of the Father toward His beloved creation, man and woman. In his book titled, “ Paul’s Idea of Community”, Roger Banks, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, shares, “ Although in recent years Paul’s metaphors for community have been subjected to quite intense study, especially his description of it as a ‘body’, his application of ‘household’ or ‘family’ terminology has all too often been overlooked or only mentioned in passing. This presumably stems from the fact that terms like ‘household’ occur so rarely in Pauline writings. But, alongside this term, a number of related expressions are present that must be taken into account. So numerous are these, and so frequently do they appear, that the comparison of Christian community with a ‘family’ must be regarded as the most significant metaphorical usage of all. More than any of the other images utilized by Paul, it reveals the essence of his thinking about community.”

While Dr. Phil is speaking of a nuclear family, in most cases, the Bible speaks of family in an extended fashion. In Paul’s’ day, family included the extended family of today as well as the servants to the family. Today we might talk about our neighbors and those in our sphere of influence; people at work, at the Y, or any number of other places where we contact people regularly. The family was the center of daily life (after Christ) and out of which many were released to start new families and go out on mission with the Lord.

Our desire at Dawn is to see multiplying gatherings of “families” all over the country who fall in love with Jesus and share it with their extended families; their friends and co-workers in their sphere of influence. Christ’s love, flowing out of healthy families will be one of the major ways God will work to start church planting movements across this land. Hopefully we will see a move to develop this foundation in Christ that will produce healthy “families” across the country and extend the Kingdom from coast to coast. Join me in praying for a change in our thinking that will embrace the heart of the Father to see “families” multiply across the land with the love care and compassion of Jesus.

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