Wednesday, August 28, 2013

God comes before family.

In today's lesson, I would like to draw from my experience in college. It was four of the best years of my life. I learned a great deal about Scripture, grew closer to the Lord, and made lifelong friends. It is where I met my wonderful husband. However, the one thing that made me uncomfortable was the amount of pressure I felt about finding Mr. Right within my Freshman year. 

I still wonder about some of my fellow students. They made me feel flawed for devoting my time to my studies instead of finding a husband. My studies barely left me time for socializing, let alone dating. The last thing on my mind was marriage. I had a degree to achieve and a ministry to begin. 

From where, may I ask, did this Christian obsession with family come? It didn't come from Scripture. It didn't come from Christ who remained single. It didn't come from Saint Paul who remained single. I don't condemn marriage, having children, or my brothers and sisters in Christ who've been married. I am merely questioning how far we go to encourage it.

Yet, Paul says in 1 Corinthians, "But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet, each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another. So I say to those who aren't married and to widows - it's better to stay unmarried, just as I am."

Though there is not much in Scripture that requires us to marry and have children, the Bible has plenty of strict instructions how to behave once the family has begun. Let us not confuse family protocol with family requirement. 

The most important point with which I wish to leave you is to follow your calling. If the good Lord leads you to stay single and move to the jungles of South America, then great! Go and be fruitful in ministry. If the good Lord leads you to raise a family closer to home, then that's just as wonderful. The miracle of new life is God's greatest gift to women. We should strive to be the greatest role models we can be for our younger generations.

What you should not do, what you should NEVER do, is allow your peers to distract you from your intended path. Only you have the power and the insight to determine your purpose. Just as long as you are fruitful in ministry. 

In John 15 Christ teaches us, "I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more."

Go and be fruitful! 

In whatever way best suits your talents.

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