In Ephesians 3:14-21 we see that the family – as an ideal – is an expression of God’s great love for us, and a means by which we grow in the knowledge and understanding and experience of how wide and long and deep and high that love is.
As God is community – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – so God gives us community that we may never have to walk alone through the trials and turmoil of life; that there may be a place, a space, where we are truly and intimately known; that there may be for each of us an opportunity to experience an unconditional love which gives us a tiny glimpse at the face of a God who lived and died and rose for love that we might live life to its fullest.
The reality is that in many homes these days, horrific things happen. They are places of hurt and heartache rather than the safe haven that God intended because we have forgotten to root our family lives in the example and foundation of God’s love for us and to treat each member of our families as a sacred, precious gift to us.
And so moments where Christian parents profess their desire to raise their children in homes established by God’s love are particularly solemn occasions as profound promises are made:
Will you take Jessie to your home
and cherish her in the morning,
guide her in the noontime,
comfort her in the evening?
Will you show her the earth and all her blessings,
The kindliness of her Maker,
The grace of the Spirit upon each thing,
And the benefits of Christ’s healing Gospel?
So when she comes to leave your house to travel her own path
She may trust in the generous clasp of God’s own hands
And walk with God until her days’ end
And know her final dwelling place as her home from home?
With the help of God, we will.
(Promises written by Tess Ward)