Discovering Your New Family Home

Discovering Your New Family Home January 11, 2006

Discovering Your New Family Home

Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
(Mark 3:31-35 NKJV)

Have you ever had people from your home family come to you and ask you to do something to help them? Perhaps your brother or sister came to you and asked for money. Perhaps they came and said: It is time for you to go back and work in the family business. Or someone said to you, “When are you going to go back home and take care of your parents?” If you have had to answer any of these questions, then you have been in a similar situation as Jesus. Jesus knows what it feels like to have demands placed on you by your home family. Before we look at His response, let us get some foundation clear.

The Bible teaches that there is a natural process that happens to the family. A woman and man come together in marriage. This forms a family. They have children, and this expands the family. When the child grows and becomes an adult, the roles in the family change. The child as an adult loosens the bonds to his/her birth family. This is part of the natural cycle of mature growth for everyone – no matter if the person is a Christian or not. This is clearly taught in Genesis 2:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24 (NKJV)

The man or woman leaves the original family and forms a new family unit. But what is the relationship between this new family unit and the original parents? Many times, the relationship is defined by cultural factors. Here are two major cultural structures of family:

FAMILY AS ROOF

Family can be considered as a roof, from under which anyone can come and go as they wish, where decisions are taken for one’s personal best with no final responsibility for anyone else, although there may be concern. Individuals tend to be independent in their thinking and decision making and pay little attention to fulfilling the needs of their parents, siblings, or in some cases children.

FAMILY AS ROOT

Members take their social nourishment from the family, and are always attached to their parents in some way. Vertical lines of power are concentrated from grandparents parents to children more in Asian countries. Lateral lines of power, where unity is found between brothers and sisters are more often found in Arabian and African families. The individual family members tend to be dependent or interdependent. Marriages are sometimes formed, not for romantic reasons, but for functional reasons with specific roles for men and women. Within this framework, couples have a role to play in the larger family context, whether they want to or not.

The answer to the question posed to Jesus: “When are going back home to take care of your parents?” His answer was simply: When I have started my new family.


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