Community: Family is at the Core
Who is a part of your closest community? Did you just list your spouse? Other family? Let’s see why Adam says family should be our closest community.
Mark 10:6-8 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
A personal hero of mine, Jack Turpin, challenged my thinking of community a few years ago. We were at T Bar M Family Camp in our small group after the morning’s teaching time. We were discussing the priority of small groups, church, community, accountability, things of that nature. When Jack began to share he took a very different look. His wife was his accountability partner, the primary group in which he studied God’s Word was his family, and the focus of discipleship was his children. As he was talking I realized the heart of his community was his family.
Could I say the same thing about myself? I had to admit, probably not. If our family was literally all we had would it be enough to accomplish Biblical community? What if the community we desire actually lives under the same roof as we do and we have been looking for it in other places?
1. Confess that community begins with your marriage – This is how God designed it from the very beginning. The family unit is the center of God’s plan for community in our lives. He could have started with a small group. But He started with a husband and wife…for them to have community and to have children and share in their community together!
2. Have family devotionals – For your family to be the core of your community you must have time as a family to read God’s Word, pray, worship, and share. Just to be honest, my small group at church meets every Sunday night, but I don’t have a standing family devotional time every week. Shame on me! True community takes time, not 10-15 minutes. Set aside a large amount of time to cultivate community within your family.
3. Ask your spouse to hold you accountable – This is huge and very hard. Have you given your spouse the permission to call you out on your junk? Your spouse knows the truth. You won’t be able to lie your way out of this one! Here’s my warning, only do this if you want to experience amazing spiritual growth with God and your spouse. Now if you give your spouse this permission, don’t get mad at them when they call you out, because they will!
Now don’t get me wrong, community within our church family is very important, but God designed it from the very beginning that the family was to be the core of our community. Everything laid out in God’s Word can be fulfilled within our family. I needed Jack to show it so clearly to me, and I have never forgotten it. Thank you Jack Turpin!
Would you say your best friends are your sister(s) and/or brother(s)? Have you ever thought that your family will be the only relationships you keep your whole life? What are some things you can do to help strengthen your family?