The Family That Is Open To All
And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more…. 1 Thessalonians 4:10
Here is something we need to stop doing: We must stop asking people, “When are you going to start a family?” when what we’re really prying about is whether they hope to marry or have children. Married people without children are families and single people are part of families too. The family of Christ needs to be less concerned with matchmaking or hurrying baby making. Our highest priority is to include every person and constantly be baptizing more people into God’s family. Excluding anyone limits the church’s role in God’s design.
Examine your community thoughtfully – are most gatherings geared toward traditional family units, mothers, or an age group? If so, simply making new groups for elderly single people, divorcees, or those who have never married isn’t the solution.
Can you imagine if widowed Ruth in the Bible or Jesus Himself walked into your church and you thought only of how to set them up with other single people? Or if everyone went home to barbecue with friends with kids the same age as theirs and no one invited the Apostle Paul?
Community means you bond with the person sitting next to you, the stranger in front of you, and your neighbor next door. It tolerates no “cliques” or “inside circle of friends,” but reaches out to all of God’s children. Let’s integrate our communities, encouraging children to be learn from and serve the elderly, and couples to eat together with those who aren’t married. Everyone is welcome in God’s family.
Resource reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12