What Defines A Family?
Harold, Mandy, Dan (top) Henry, Landon, Sabrina (bottom)
Thanksgiving Day, 2010
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Melissa & Danny
Ask the question, “What Defines A Family”, and you are apt to get nearly as many answers as there are stars in the sky! And this very question seems to be a front and center topic of debate right here in the United States as everyone from Presidential Candidates to the PTA adds their two cents to the “Family Values” pot! Now I am not going to debate any person’s definition or belief one way or the other. It is not my place to bring any personal feelings I may have on the subject to the table for discussion. But what I do have is the power to introduce observations and explore various examples as a means by looking at the subject through new eyes! And if I can get all of you to begin opening up and talking with one another about this very thing, exchanging ideas and thoughts together, then I have accomplished something huge, in my book!
So, let’s begin again! “What Defines A Family”? Well we know what the moral majority views as a family unit. Think about the traditional view of a family unit when seeing things from their perspective. You know to what I refer. Think mother, father, and children! But look at other cultures who view extended family members as an intrinsic part of the whole. Such a view is common in many Asian households that see the multigenerational families the norm rather than the exception. For years, Dan’s Uncle Joe, an unmarried bachelor lived together with Dan’s grandmother. Were they any less a family because this mature household did not contain the patter of little feet? They were just as much a family unit as any other because they shared household responsibilities as well as expenses and ownership of property. And any combination of monogamous partnerships which cohabit together, whether secured by the legally binding piece of paper that a marriage license affords, is also a family. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn come to mind as two committed loving partners who do not draw their unity from a legally binding contract of some sort, but rather, choose the companionship of the other for every waking moment of their lives and they have done so since 1983….almost 30 years! Finally, think about pro football player Michael Oher, a young African-American teen with no family to speak of (remember the movie “The Blind Side”?) who became a member of the Le Ann and Sean Tuohy family, after the Tuohy’s learned of his plight from their biological children attending the same school in Memphis, TN. This family took him into not just their home but their hearts, as well, when they formally adopted him a short time later.
Families are not just born…..they are created. They don’t just pop-up out of nowhere…..they are nurtured into bloom. They come from the union of people of all shapes, sizes, ages, sexes, religions, ethnic origins and just about any other defining characteristic you can think of. There is, however, one singular defining characteristic that transcends all of the others as being the sole force behind every single one of these diverse family units. LOVE! I so love the word LOVE! It is the not just the capacity to feel its magic that defines humankind but it is also is the one thing that is most definitive of Christs heart too (and by the way, there are many who view the relationship Christ had with his Disciples, as a family unit. They were, after all, just as nurturing and committed one to the other as any other we have discussed). After all, once again, I must point out what Jesus saw as the greatest of the commandments. Matthew 22: 36-40 says: 36) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37) Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38) This is the first and greatest commandment. 39)And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40)All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Exodus 20: 12 KJV
31) Therefore now pray thou for us, because thou art a godly woman, and the Lord will send us rain to fill our cisterns, and we shall faint no more. 32) Then said Judith unto them, Hear me, and I will do a thing, which shall go throughout all generations to the children of our nation.
Judith 8: 31-32 KJV with Apocrypha
Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry