Have you ever wondered what the biblical understanding of family is? There are lots of politicians and religious leaders who what us to believe that they know the exact definition. Lately I have begun to wonder if these definitions are based on fact or fantasy.
Think about it for a moment.
Adam and Eve raised Cain, the first murderer.
Abraham, the father of Israel, had two sons by two different women.
Joseph’s father, Jacob, had 13 children by four different women.
Kings David and Solomon, arguably the two greatest kings ever to rule Israel, each had multiple wives and concubines (extra women).
This list could go on and on. What is the biblical model for family?
Maybe Jesus had a better definition. Look at Luke 14:26, “Whoever come to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.”
Is it possible that Jesus did not have a “traditional” understanding of family?
Is family more than biology?
As I read the biblical story, the idea of “children of God” seems to emerge as God’s primary way of understanding family. When we use “Christian” to define who we are one of the things we are saying is that we have become part of a new family, a big family, and an inclusive family. This family is full of non-traditionals.
I am not saying that there is no place for the two parent family. I am saying that family also includes so much more. When we try to restrict our definitions of family to what makes us comfortable, we miss out on God’s vision for family.