The Gift of Family
Our family just returned from a fall break trip to the beach. It was good to get away and relax for a few days. Of the many hats I get to wear – minister, pastor, preacher, counselor, professor – the most important roles that I have are that of husband and father.
On the trip, I started reading an insightful new book by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks titled Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. Sacks is a well-known British rabbi and a public intellectual. In the fourth chapter, he talks about the fragile state of the family. He says, “Marriage is fundamental to society because throughout history it has been the most fundamental way in which we recognize something beyond the ‘I’ of self-interest: namely the ‘We’ of the common good, cooperative relationships, shared identity, and collective responsibility.”
Unfortunately, we have seen a significant breakdown of the family in Western culture since the 1960s. Sacks unpacks why this happened and the ongoing effects on our culture. He says, “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that family breakdown must be part of the explanation for the sharp increase among young people of eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, stress-related syndromes, depression, and actual and attempted suicides.”
Having lived through challenging times in my own family of origin, I know exactly what he is talking about. I have always believed the church plays a very important role in supporting and in being there for families when things fall apart. We must be a place of healing, love, and support.
As a culture, we must also continue to place a high value on marriage, family life, and healthy relationships. It’s why we are offering a Wednesday night series right now. When we have friends who go through a divorce or a traumatic situation, we must do everything we can to help pick them up and carry them forward.
I was thankful to be away last week, and I always treasure the time I have with Megan and the kids. As we all know and young parents are reminded, children grow up very fast!
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