I remember when I saw the first previews for the sitcom Modern Family, I was appolled. I mean how can they call the people represented in this show family? The implication of this title was that this is what family looks like in the year 2012. In my mind the writers were trying to redefine what a family SHOULD be and that was intolerable.
Well, recently I was listening to the Kidmin1124 radio show on CMConnect. This particular episode featured Amy Dolan and was about how the church could do a better job of ministering to the modern family. Through the course of this radio show I came to realize that my view had been a little too narrow. Maybe the writers of the show Modern Family were not trying to re-define family. Instead, perhaps they were just commenting on the reality of what family really looks like these days.
Now, before I go any further, let me say that I do believe in the biblical view of family to mean marriage between one man and one woman and the kids that result from that union. However, we have to be realistic, not all families look like that these days.
Are families that don’t fit this mold in any less nedd of our ministry than the ones that fit the mold? When we look at it like that I think most of us would quickly say NO! However, would our ministry reflect this?
As I think of this I am reminded of the time that Jesus dined with Levy and the rest of the “sinners”. When the Pharisee accused him he said, “it is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick.” If we believe in this Biblical ideal for family, then it would seem that Jesus is saying that we should concentrate EVEN MORE on the families that don’t meet this standard. However, the vast majority of our churches are set up almost solely with the “standard” family in mind. I’m not saying that we have CHOSEN to ignore “non-standard” families, but our neglegence of them speaks louder than anything we might say.
I’d love to say that I have the answer to this dilemma. I’d love to say that MY church is doing a great job with this. But, I don’t have the answers and we are not doing a great job. However, I believe that if we are going to find the answers we have to first be aware of the problem. We need to closely examine our ministries and look for areas where we can be more friendly to families, even if they don’t look like what we think they should look like.
Come back tomorrow as we look at what modern family looks like.Matt Norman
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