What makes a family? There is a great emphasis put on family relationships in the scriptures. But, what exactly is a family and what makes a family? As we study the life of Jacob in the book of Genesis we see several building blocks of a family.
Marriage (29:1-30). All families must begin with a marriage. The very first God-ordained institution is that of marriage and family. Marriage is a sacred institution. In order for a man to build a family, he must first find a wife. Proverbs 18:22 says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor from the Lord.” Why is marriage such a favorable thing in the eyes of God? Ephesians 5 shows us that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. In fact, as the church, we are the bride of Christ. The first building block of a family is marriage. The first building block of being a part of the family of God is being born-again, birthed into the family of God and being a part of the bride of Christ. This entering into a marriage relationship begins with faith. A husband must have faith in his wife and a wife must have faith in her husband. To be a part of the family of God, you must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Children (30:1-24). Jacob has many children. One of the building blocks of a family is to have children. It is a blessing to have children. Look at what is says in Proverbs 127:3-5. Children certainly are a blessing. Now, not everyone is able to have children. However, for those who do not have children there is still a responsibility to invest in the lives of others. Just as we are to procreate and expand our earthly families, we are also to expand our spiritual family by producing spiritual children. We have a responsibility to encourage others to come to Christ and be a part of our family. Just as a mother and father are to teach and nurture their children, so a church family must teach and nurture one another. We are called to make disciples of Jesus by teaching and mentoring others.
Vocation (30:25-43). Jacob had a job. His family was not complete unless he provided for his family. To have a real family, there must be a marriage, children, and a job. For the believer, we also have a job to do. As the old preacher says, ‘God did not save you to sit on a pew’. As part of the family of God, your vocation is to use your God-given talents, gifts, and personality to bring others to Christ and to edify the church.
What kind of family are you building? Are you building a family that honors God? Are you focused on increasing the family of God by sharing your faith with others?