Is there any Biblical precedent for putting “family first?” I would submit that this is a myth and a hindrance to true Biblical stewardship. In my knowledge of scripture I can’t think of an example of any biblical commands that would say that we are to put our families needs above the needs of others. Yet, I see plenty of biblical mandates to put others needs on par with our own: “Love you neighbor as yourself.” “whatever you do for the least of these, you’ve done unto me.” “if you have two coats, share one.”
I’m aware there are stories in the Bible of families lovingly sacrificing for one another, but there are also plenty of examples and commands of caring for those we are not related to, indeed even our enemies. The reason I think dispelling this myth (if indeed it is) is so important to the topic of stewardship is that I think it is commonly used as a justification for a life of stewardship that is directed primarily at our immediate family.
If we believe in “family first” as a command then we feel justified in spending time, energy and money making sure our kids go to the best schools, live in the “safest” neighborhoods, and have a significant college fund saved up. But what about the other kids? What of our neighbors, whom we are supposed to love as ourselves?
I am not suggesting we neglect the needs of our children to serve others, but rather seeing our neighbor (locally and globally) and their needs with the same heartfelt conviction and commitment that we do our families needs.
Since March of this year, I’ve had a draft blog post tentatively titled “Yelling from Outside the Church Doors” sitting unpublished. That post was mainly about my inability to find a place where I fit in the church context in the past three years. The same church struggles and disconnectedness are to blame for my writing less then 20 blog posts here since April when I used to write several a week. I’ve been a bit disillusioned the past few years as to where I belong in this “body” we call the church.
I should saw right off the bat that this hasn’t been the source of depression or anything, I’m loving life and all that I’m doing. I just couldn’t find a way to join the church club so I’ve got involved elsewhere. But this post has a bright spot. I think I’m beginning to find a place in the body again. I’m not sure quite what that will look like in the end, but I’ve found it refreshing to be included .
Being part of the conversation is the reason for me coming out of this blogging hiatus. In April, I’d made the shift to focusing Trying To Follow to be just about faith topics and suddenly I felt like I had nothing to say. This blog has always been a place to process my thoughts, but it was mostly an extension of conversations I was having in real life. Lacking those lately on topics of faith and Christianity, I had little thoughts to process in blog form for a while.
All this is just to say two things: 1) I’m getting involved in our church a bit more and I’m enjoying it. 2) I’ve got thoughts to share on this blog again. So stay tuned for more. I’ll probably still keep it to once a week, so look out for next week.