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The Creator's Design for Family Life

posted Aug 10, 2015, 9:20 AM by Kelly Griffin
Jack returned his chain saw complaining it didn’t work. The sales clerk pulled the starter rope to see what might be wrong. Jack said, “Hey, what’s that noise?” The moral: to work properly, things must function according to their creator’s design.

So family is on my mind today. Family matters. This institution which has been the bedrock of society since the beginning of time is now threatened from every conceivable angle. We are constantly assured that it is not nearly as foundational or important as we thought. But time will inevitably demonstrate that the further we stray from the intent of the Creator, the higher the price we will pay.

We’re all aware of the recent Supreme Court decision which by one vote assigned higher value to human wisdom than divine revelation in determining what defines marriage -- the heart of family. While we can have compassion for those who genuinely wish to “normalize” a same-sex relationship, our ultimate accountability to a transcendent God must place a higher value on His design and guidance than on our flawed experience and passions. 

An unbiased review of His design revealed in Genesis 1-2 clearly shows marriage is intended as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman with the fruit of children being one critical potential outcome of that union. But I’m also thinking beyond that to families that have been ravaged by divorce, fathers who have abdicated their God-given leadership role, parents who have been paralyzed by societal pressure against imposing reasonable discipline and boundaries for fear of causing permanent emotional damage (recent studies to the contrary), and children who freely act upon the cultural mandate that their personal needs and desires supersede those of the family unit or the Creator’s expectations.

Add to that the exponential growth in the influence of social media -- which could be of infinite value, but more often makes every man (or woman or boy or girl) a king and glorifies self-indulgence to the point of harmful excess -- and we have trouble with a capital “T”. What rules most homes? Social media. Pity the parent who suggests boundaries to kids who are captive to instantaneous connection to their peer group, addicted to time-wasting and amoral (at best) electronic games and believe it their God-given right to be constantly entertained.

Does it have to be that way? No, but it will be unless leaders and parents take pre-emptive action. Anything left to its own devices finds its lowest denominator; value increases with conformity to the Creator’s design. Marriage and family is no exception. This is not a prophecy of doom. God is in control and working all things according to His sometimes unfathomable, but always righteous, purposes. But that only benefits us personally to the degree we conform to His divine plan. 

That plan is found in the Bible. So we must start there to gain understanding into how to build a family life that benefits every participant and culture as a whole. To that end, I’d recommend a “Family Matters” seminar to be held at Zoe’s Café (931 16th Street, Greeley) on September 26-27. Dr. Jon McNeff, senior pastor of North Creek Church in Walnut Creek, CA, will be presenting on marriage, family, and parenting issues. Cost is $25 including lunch. If you want to know more about God’s design, this is a unique opportunity. Find more information at

Winston Churchill’s daughter Sarah was once married to a music-hall entertainer named Vic Oliver whom Churchill disliked intensely. One day, Oliver asked Churchill which leader he most admired during WWII. Surprisingly, Churchill replied, “Mussolini.” Oliver said, “Mussolini – but why?” Churchill replied, “Because he had the courage to have his son-in-law shot.”

If you’d like a better solution to family matters, join us for this challenging seminar. You’ll find that Father knows best!

Dave McNeff is pastor of the First Congregational Church of Eaton

Published in The Tribune on August 7th, 2015.