Waltons or Cleavers or Simpsons?

As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”


“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”


“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

  • 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

“Each of us has a fantasy that our family will be like the Waltons, an expectation that our dearest friends will be our next of kin.  Jesus didn’t have that expectation.  Look how he defined his family: ‘My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what God wants’ (Mark 3:35). …

“Let God give you what your family doesn’t.  If your earthly father does not affirm you, then let your heavenly Father take his place. …

“{And} don’t lose heart.  God still changes families.”

  • Max Lucado, He Still Moves Stones

Max Lucado picked a pretty good family to wish to emulate, but the yelling ‘good night’ to everybody could get rather old.  It’s funny.  When our boys realized that my wife and I were sorry that we had started a ‘tradition’ that became tedious after a while, the boys latched onto it until we said, “Enough is enough!”  I cannot remember the ‘tradition’ now in hindsight.  In a way, I don’t want to remember.

But as I read this quote from Lucado, I thought of the idyllic families of my childhood – on television.  I think everyone in my age group dreamed of having a Cleaver family.  A mother that had the right answer to everything.  A father that sat you down without raising his voice and explained calmly what you had done wrong.  Kids that actually listened, sometimes listening to the wrong person, but they listened.  If you didn’t have some mischief, the TV show would be boring.

But too often, I think most families resemble the Simpsons.  A father that would love to strangle his kids at times, one of them all the time.  A mother who has no answers to anything, but second guesses things, only after they have turned sour.  And kids constantly causing trouble.

Of course, there have been a multitude of other fictional TV families over the past sixty years to choose from.  The Nelsons may have been a real family, but the show was scripted.  The problem is that these families were not real, even those in the latest sit-coms and dramas.  Things do not always work out in the end.  Bad behavior, both from the children and the parents, in one generation gets passed on to the next generation.  Is it genetics, environment, or frustration?

Yet, Lucado is right.  We can be part of God’s family.  The Apostle Paul says that God has invited us to be part of His family.  Paul is quoting 2 Samuel 7.  God will not fail us.  He speaks to us in a quiet voice.  We must tune into that Voice to hear Him, and His message rings true.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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