Family

Family

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B: Why should God care about whether families succeed or fail; i.e., what does God have to do with families?  Recall that all good things come from God, so if families are a good thing – that is, if they generally help people experience God’s kind of happiness – then they must have had their origin in God.  So are families a good thing?

A: Well –

B: Let me propose the following

Proposition.  It is within families that the greatest human love is generally found, and therefore the greatest joy and happiness, even God’s happiness.

This is not true in every particular case, of course.  There are many dysfunctional families, wherein love seems to be scarcely found.  There are also innumerable examples of unrelated people who are best buds, who may understand each other so well that they even love each other more than their own flesh and blood.  But you may have noticed that some of these “best buds” turn into families themselves when they marry each other.

But this is why the proposition speaks in more general terms.  What I’m basically saying is, that if you were to randomly choose family-sized groups of associates, and somehow measure the amount of love that they have for each other, and compare it to the love generally found in families, usually you would find that the latter has a stronger sense of devotion to each other.

A: Are you kidding me, buddy?!  Families are notorious for the quarrels they have.

B: You’ll notice, however, that despite the frequency and intensity of some of the quarrels native to certain families, a large percentage of them stick together.  It’s easy for a group of unrelated friends to disagree with each other, if they don’t have to live with each other; just “live and let live” is what they might use to get by.  But a family shows their true commitment – that is, love – to each other when they stick through “thick and thin,” the quarrels being some of the “thicker” times.  Or do I want “thinner?”

A (rolling his eyes, heaving a tired sigh, leaning the side of his face on his palm): Buddy, who cares

B: Because love is part of both of the top two of God’s commandments, and God’s commandments are given for our happiness, the more love is found within a family, the greater joy is found therein.  The reverse is true as well – the scarcer the love is within a family, the more discord reigns, and the family tends to be fragmented to some degree, and may even break up entirely.

God, being omniscient, knows all about the potential of joy found within families, and thus has established them among us.  The love required to keep families together even through extreme adverse circumstances is unmatched; as love is God’s greatest commandment, it is therefore most efficient for us to learn how to love at God’s level through having and being part of families.  Not only that, but as love is the basis behind all of God’s commandments, we become more adept overall in our obedience to Him.

Recall that God has perfect love.  It may even be that it is impossible to love as much as He loves except we have families of our own.  If this is the case, families become not only efficient in accomplishing our objective to experience God’s happiness, but completely indispensable.

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A: This contradicts your idea of God’s omnipotence, since He cannot take a person without a family and make him as happy as He is.

B: Remember that God being omnipotent means that He is able to accomplish all things that are possible, but not necessarily in every conceivable way.  What this implies, in consideration of our assumption of God’s omnipotence, is that every person without a family, who wants to be as happy as God is, must somehow become part of a family.

A: Are you saying that people who never marry or aren’t part of an ideal family won’t go to heaven?

B: If we assumed that the only chance we have to ever become part of a family is during this life, then yes.  However, I’m not convinced that we won’t be able to join families, if we aren’t already part of one, in the next life.

One of the reasons, I expect, that sexual immorality is so categorically outlawed by God, is because of its adverse effect on families, which I mentioned before.  Infidelity leads to distrust between spouses, and in exchange for what?  Some temporary pleasure.  Even those married couples who jointly give themselves leave to occasionally indulge in adultery may find that jealousies and other dissatisfactions may arise, which can only weaken their marriage.

Why should immorality not mix very well with the family?  I suppose it’s because at the very base of it, families are built on love and trust – wherein the stronger the love and trust, the stronger the family – whereas immorality is nothing but piles of the flimsy fluff of lust.  Indeed, lust is not love at all – on the contrary, it’s hatred, as we discussed before.  Hatred makes a poor foundation for a family, or for anything else intended to last indefinitely, for that matter.  For an example of this, one need only consider the Nazi Germany regime, which lasted for the twelve years of 1933 to 1945.  With an entire government built on principles of hatred, especially toward so-called “untermenschen,” it’s a wonder it lasted even that long.

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A: What if some couples are able to stick together even if they’re not sexually faithful to each other?

B: You can’t truly hide that from the family.  Even if family members don’t know what’s actually going on, they can still sense an absence of love, whether consciously or otherwise, and the family will not experience as much joy as they otherwise would.  As I said before, there will also be lack of trust.  The unfaithful spouse(s) won’t have their hearts in the marriage, meaning that there’ll be less devotion to go around.

Following God’s prescribed use of our procreative abilities often results in children, and how better could they be raised in love than through a loving family?  When “raised in love,” children themselves learn best how to love, enabling them to experience joy and best benefit society when they mature.

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