God created man in His image with a desire for relationship. And so, He created a garden home in which mankind could be set in a family in perfect relationship with Him, each other and creation. God’s first social institution was marriage and His first command was, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28).
Even after the Fall, God chose to place humankind into families in order to provide a safe environment to experience our first relationships, where our identity would be formed; where we would feel accepted, cherished and experience His love.
We may recognize many of these qualities in our own earthly families, but most likely, not all of them or at least not to the level of perfection God intended. Mankind’s sin - our sin - has tainted our reality. So, have we lost God’s design for our families forever?
No indeed! In His mercy, Our Creator offers us a way to redeem our families and ourselves. He did this by sacrificing His family - His own Son (John 3:16). God’s plan is that we become blood-related, that is, related through the blood Jesus shed for our sins - and be adopted into the family of faith. “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5).
In the family of faith, God desires us to view Him first and foremost as our Father. He wants us to know He always has our best in mind and that He loves us unconditionally. He will never abandon us. He wants us to call Him, “Abba, Father” – “Daddy”. He desires we would know Him, spend time with Him, trust Him and His plan for our life. He longs to demonstrate His forgiveness, love and compassion for us. As the father in Luke 15:20, He’s waiting for us with open arms. When we run to Him, He gives us His Spirit so that we can model in our earthly families the kind of sacrificial love He models for us.
So, regardless of our natural family experience, God invites us into His family - a family whose common DNA is our faith in Him as our Father and Jesus as our Brother. And will then discover we have brothers and sisters that number the stars of the sky!
- Kathi Fritz (A sister and contributing writer of the COBI family)