Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, January 31, 2011

Model Families

Model families, like model parents, are not perfect; none are. The question is not whether we have a model family made up of really fine members but what kind of person are we? What would your family be like if everyone were like you? Would you want relatives like yourself? The reason that this is the proper question to consider is because the only person we have direct control over is ourselves. We cannot change other people. We can change ourselves (with God's help) and as a result have indirect effect on others.

With these thoughts in mind, let us shift from thinking about our physical families to the spiritual family--the Church. All who have God as their Father have each other as brothers and sisters. Together we belong to God's household or the family of God (see John 1:12, 1 Timothy 3:15). The Church is to be a model family for all who are entering it, for those who are part of it, and as a witness to outsiders. We are supposed to be different. We are to represent the new reality of being "in Christ." As with your physical family, what would your spiritual family be like if everyone in it were just like you? Would it be a better church if everyone were like you?

Families consist of a variety of people; young and old and in between, male and female, mature and immature. Larger extended families often include people of different ethnic backgrounds and races. The Church consists of a wide variety of people in a range of ages, personalities, and diverse backgrounds. This is a good sign that we are inclusive and reaching out; but it is also a challenge. Dealing with similarities is easier; differences can be more difficult--even a stretch. The world needs to see and have modeled for it family life. This is definitely a need today and where else will they see it if not in the church? Forget the media--they generally fail to show functioning families and what they do portray (individuals, singles, couples) is often negative. Like a physical family, God has provided people who are mature or grownup and who have the responsibility of providing support and direction. The leadership of the Church (pastors, elders and deacons) function like parents (see 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Hebrews 13:7,17). Along with church officers there are also the older and more mature members who have the responsibility of training the younger ones (see Titus 2:1-15). This should occur in our various groups as well as through personal relationships.

Lastly, everyone is to be considerate of each other (see Philippians 2:1-4). We are to model Christ's attitude and conduct. We are to work for the good of the whole family and seek unity (see Ephesians 2:1-4). Are we doing this? Jesus' great concern in Gethsemane was that the Church would be united as he and the Father were "one" (John 17:11,22). This should be our top priority, since it was His. Does your life reflect this?

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