Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church – Jesus’ focus was on the family of God, not the biological family. by J. Hellerman
I’ve been saying the same thing on this blog the last few years: American Christians have turned the Nuclear Family, and all that goes with it – Marriage and Children and Parenthood – into idols.
American Christians have done so to such a degree that anyone who is not part of such as family, anyone who is single or childless, is marginalized.
By the way, Facebook group SCCL posted a link to this same editorial (link to SCCL discussion thread). Unfortunately, many of the participants in the thread have chosen to take the editorial the wrong way – they think it’s rude, inappropriate, or weird to ask or expect Christians to make spiritual family (other believers) a priority to them, over their biological family, or in addition to.
The posters at SCCL clearly do not understand – you have people (such as me), with little to no biological family, and people such as myself (older singles with no kids) are side-lined, minimized, all by a church culture that hypes and deifies “the nuclear family,” children, and marriage.
I do not think a Christian should so prioritize his church that he ignores his biological family, but we have the opposite problem in many churches today – people who are widowed, never married, divorced, or childless are treated like trash, and their needs go unmet, because too many churches cater to the traditional family unit, something Jesus expressly forbid them from doing.
… American adults, according to (Link): a recent Barna study, are “most likely to point to their family as making up a significant part their personal identity.” Country and God come next. Christians are no exception; natural family has usurped God and his family as the primary identity marker for most church-goers.
Most of us prioritize our commitment to family above our commitment to the church. This is unfortunate, because the Bible offers us a different set of relational priorities.