Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

Family: A World That Lives In Us . . .

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 17 February 2009

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.

My grandmother died in April, 1988. We don't know if she was eighty-six or eighty-eight years old. Grandma wasn't sure herself when she was born . . . . The story is that a very callous stepmother never told a pretty little girl when her birthday was. We never knew either whether her birth-name was Sadie or Sarah or Pearl. But she was my Grandma -- She had a family and no death leaves those left behind unaffected.

Individual and very specific memories of my Grandma Sadie return to me sometimes with a force they could not have had while she was yet living. And at the same time the threads of her life are woven so closely into my own life that I don't know her as a separate person, but a piece of myself that makes my own life and passions come more clearly into focus. We are family.

Do you see how this precious woman is cradling the dog like a child!!?? Oh my goodness! The animal-lover in me is thinking, "No Wonder! Clearly this is a genetic thing!"
Surely my husband will understand now.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Don't you agree that Family is one of the greatest gifts God gave ever us?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Here's where things start to look bad: In a book entitled, The Death of the Family, a British physician suggests "doing away with the family completely because it is a primary conditioning device for a western imperialistic world view."
What???!!!

Kate Millet, is a very prominent feminist who wrote a book called Sexual Politics. In it she writes that the family must go because it oppresses and enslaves women.
Again, "What???!!!"

Dr. Armand Nicolai II of Harvard Medical School sees the trend to destroy the family as a "devastating trend." He points specifically to working mothers, the tendency for families to move frequently, an almost constant dominance of television and various media in the home, the lack of controls in society, the chaos of moral confusion, the lack of communication among families, and divorce. Let me quote from him. He says,

"These trends will incapacitate the family, destroy its integrity and cause its members to suffer such crippling emotional conflict that they will become an intolerable burden to society.

What about the future? First, the quality of family life will continue to deteriorate producing a society with a higher incidence of mental illness than ever before. Ninety-five percent of our hospital beds may be taken up by mentally ill patients.

This illness will be characterized by a lack of self- control. We can expect the assassination of people in authority to be frequent occurrences. Crimes of violence will increase, even those within the family. The suicide rate will rise. As sexuality becomes more and more unlimited and separated from
family and emotional commitment, the deadening effect will cause more bizarre experimentation and wide-spread perversion."

Wow. Sound a little like the nightly news?

In graduate school,
I studied the various approaches to family counseling: Contemporary Bowenian Family Systems, the Humanistic Approach championed by Virginia Satir, the Psychodynamic Approach that focuses on an individual's inner conflicts . . . and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. . .

Call me a skeptic of my own profession, but sociologists, psychologists, marriage and family experts, psychiatrists -- and even some who don't even have counseling credentials -- are scrambling all over the place to try to come up with some kind of solution -- some kind of "theory" or "counseling technique" to save us. They've been doing it now for a couple of decades with absolutely no impact at all!

There is no question that the family is under a major assault. There is no question that people want to redefine family in absolutely any terms they want. There's no question that we are watching a generation of young adults who have absolutely no socialization skills and no moral sense at all. It is chaos. This generation of young adults (and those behind them) have no idea what it's like to have a "world" of family living inside them.

Here's a newsflash for all secular family therapists -- AND the entire world: The idea and structure of the family comes from God's Himself and sets before us the example of a loving God to whom we are responsible. It begins and ends with FAMILY!

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you. . . because that's the way God created it!

Satan knows that if you destroy the family, the nation will follow. Sadly, even Christians who believe they are living by God's Word have given way and accepted the world's godless and abnormal patterns for families.

Too many people live in a world, but have no world living inside them. They have no connection to family. They have no precious threads weaving in and out of their lives connecting them to something bigger.
They may be an animal lover and not know why. . . .

God has so much to say about the family. So when we think about this whole subject, we must to start with His Word.

From there, we can start to talk about specifics. God's Word is a far better counseling theory than anything Ellis, or Bowen or Satir have offered . . . Oh sure, these theorists have some effective techniques, but as C.S. Lewis has rightly observed, to have a universal law, you must have a universal law giver. As the Creator and ultimate Authority of Family (and life itself!) only God can be the source of such law.

In the realm of Family, only God can prescribe the appropriate theories, values and principles to guide us in creating a family that can become a world that lives in us!


~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2009 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

This installment of InOtherWords is hosted by Nina on her blog: Mama's *Little* Treasures.

22 comments:

Denise said...

Amen my friend.

john burreson said...

Yes. Amen. Not only is He the author and finisher of our faith, He is the author and finisher of the family.
"Family Therapy" can never save us until God becomes the therapist. Wonderful Post.
ps I think Satir was a lesbian.

MiPa said...

"I don't know her as a separate person, but a piece of myself that makes my own life and passions come more clearly into focus. We are family."

This absolutely describes how I feel about my grandmother!

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

Ben said...

Nice tribute to your grandmother.
Family is a world unto us by the Creator and it is under attack. No question.
Good writing.

sara said...

as usual...a great post! As I sit here and my beloved Aunt is failing and my son asks me this morning if her time is short, this sentence hit me so hard..

"I don't know her as a separate person, but a piece of myself that makes my own life and passions come more clearly into focus. We are family."

I am so blessed to have a strong relationship with my Aunt and the rest of my family. I am so happy a "world lives in me."

Karen said...

That was great. A little scarey at first reading people's quotes that attack the family. We need to stand strong and hold on to what God intended to be, the family!

Patricia said...

Ok, I can tell that I am going through one of those times...where growing in the Lord becomes exquisitely painful. My family is all around and in and through me...yet I am at times profoundly alone. My search for really living in Christ took my reading of this quote in a completely different direction.

I love how you pointed out the value God Himself places on the family. What a wonderful advocate you are for Biblical living! Thanks for the gracious words of encouragement.

Rachel said...

You know what I don't understand? The secularists and feminists want to do away with family because of the supposed "indoctrination" that comes from it. But they see no problem with forcing their own worldview on impressionable children and teens through the ever-guarded public school system. Since WHEN is it OK for strangers to teach societal and cultural worldview to children THAT DON'T EVEN BELONG TO THEM but it's NOT OK for the PARENTS to do that????

(I get a little heated on this topic, in case you couldn't tell.)

We need to be in prayer for the restoration of the traditional GOD-SANCTIONED family in this country. Satan is attacking on all fronts!

Barbara said...

oh friend, this is beautiful. I feel what a few other commenters feel about that description of becoming one with your grandma.
"threads weaving through me. . . "
That's good writing.
Total agreement here over the falling apart of the family that God ordained.
Good post.

Betsy Markman said...

Amen. Very well said. It is frightening to see the assault on the family, and to know that the day may come when my children are considered property of the State to be taken away at the State's whim. I am so grateful to know the sovereignty of God!

Kate said...

Total agreement here too.
God is the Great Physician and the Great Family Therapist.
As much as some may disagree, I think healthy families start with submission in marriage.

I did not know you were a counselor.
Great post!

Kate said...

Total agreement here too.
God is the Great Physician and the Great Family Therapist.
As much as some may disagree, I think healthy families start with submission in marriage.

I did not know you were a counselor.
Great post!

Laurie Ann said...

Great post, Esthermay. Your grandmother sounds wonderful.

The attack on the family by the secular world just never ceases to amaze me.

writingcanvas said...

Satan knows that if you destroy the family, the nation will follow. Sadly, even Christians who believe they are living by God's Word have given way and accepted the world's godless and abnormal patterns for families.

Ohhh . . . .isn't this so true today.

Thank you so much for your very pertinent words.

Susan said...

With each post I'm tempted to say, now this one is my favorite.

I can't, because each one is!

Too many people live in a world, but have no world living inside them. They have no connection to family. They have no precious threads weaving in and out of their lives connecting them to something bigger...

Just incredible! I love the relationship you had with your grandmother.

I had that with my mom, who I miss dearly.

Thanks once again for serving up such a delightful post.

You amaze me♥

Solace said...

You are 100% on target with your assessment of the decline of the family.
I appreciate that you point out that people who have no business calling themselves "counselors" are doing it and pretending to have answers.
The world is dumbed-down and dependent on psychology because it's going to dumbed-down fake counselors with 2-yr and 4-yr degrees from secular state colleges (even some Christian colleges)that teach the feminism and the western imperialistic world view. I know several "counselors" like this. I'm sure you do too! LOL - Youth Pastors? HeLLO
We're past the "If my people will humble themselves" phase.
American IS BEING JUDGED.
Bold Post.
I appreciate your writing so much.

Hi! I'm Grace said...

I am touched with the story of your grandma being not sure of her name and birthdate. And yes, the way she cuddle the dog is funny, like holding a baby. :)

Loved the Agape way said...

I praise our Lord for FAMILY. It's the best comfort He gave us. But I also believe that we can make our family.

Terri Sue said...

I had a great grandmother also! Thank you for sharing your heart today.

Be blessed.

LisaShaw said...

On each line if I had a voice I would have shouted but instead I'll just write, AMEN! AMEN! You're writing on a topic that I feel very passionate about.

Your dear Grandmother was adorable just like mine. I miss both my Grandparents. They were really like parents to me and had I not had them I would not have learned a sense of family at all!!

I hold my dogs the same way! I thought that was normal :)

FrankandMary said...

Lovely tribute to your grandmother. The step-mother who doesn't tell her her own birthday? Yikes, I don't want to think what living with her was like.
I am not religious. I am not married. I do not have children. And I still don't understand why anyone would want to "do away with family." It is beyond sad, and some it stems from jealousy.
My parents were the 2 most important people in my life.~Mary

CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE said...

A great post and an awesome tribute to your grandmother. You are a very gifted writer.

Blessings!

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