Thursday, December 2, 2010

Family, Ministry, and Surrogates

Balancing life is hard.

There are many voices crying to be heard--and it is easy to lose the ones that need to be heard in the din.

What is most confusing for me, though, is when we lose sight of our primary focus and transfer that to others.

And so--here's the situation.

Family is first. Rule one.

We can argue about this, but we are born into families which are the core unit (created by God) of life.

People move through families--from child to teen to young adult to mid-life, to senior (the ones with wisdom). Families change with time and begin to include increasing numbers of generations. And generations replace generations as time goes on--those who change residence from the planet are replaced by those remain behind waiting.

At each step along the way--the person contributes or receives from the family. By the time one is a senior--they are contributing to the 2nd and 3rd generation behind them (grandchildren and great-grandchildren). These generations are the future and require the wisdom and maturity of the most experienced members of the family.

Sadly, I see situations where the senior members are eschewing the younger generations to focus upon surrogates more closely aligned with their age. This is a travesty and deprives the young generations of necessary interaction with the learned ones of the family. This is a false ministry.

Our primary ministry and focus must always be to the family and to the younger/youngest generations.

When we allow other factors to interfere--we are truly missing the boat. All through the Bible families and generations are mentioned in both good and bad examples.

Psalm 22:30-31 makes an interesting observation: A whole generation will serve him; they will tell the next generation about the sovereign Lord. They will come and tell about his saving deeds; they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished- NET Bible

The job of one generation is to teach succeeding generations.

Our primary ministry is to succeeding generations. When we deny our youth the access to the more senior members of the family--the transfer of knowledge and wisdom and relationships is stunted.

We become dysfunctional families and we lose sight of the primary ministry given to us and perhaps the most important ministry to which we are entrusted. Train up our youth.

Proverbs 4:1-5 (NET Bible)

Listen, children, to a father’s instruction,
and pay attention so that you may gain discernment.
Because I give you good instruction,
do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son to my father,
a tender only child before my mother,
he taught me, and he said to me:
“Let your heart lay hold of my words;
keep my commands so that you will live.
Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak.
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