Family for a Purpose

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When my husband and I first got married, we bought a book by Gary Thomas titled Sacred Marriage. The premise of the book is “what if God designed marriage to make us holy more than happy?” A great question indeed.

Our sermon this morning was from Mark 2, where the four men bring their paralytic friend through the roof of a house in which Jesus is teaching. Because it was too crowded, they had to go to desperate measures for the healing of their friend. And yet Jesus takes one look at the crew, sees their faith, and chooses to forgive the paralytic of his sins, not heal his malady.

The pastor emphasized how Jesus cared for the spiritual need first–that which was more important–even though the man expected Him to heal his physical need. He did, eventually, cure the man’s paralysis, but only to emphasize His ability over the spiritual.

We often see marriage and family as physical needs–we need relationship (true). We have a desire to have children. We want love. But I think above all of those needs, we have family to meet our spiritual needs: to teach us truths about Jesus.


If you’ve been married for more than five minutes, you’ve probably had arguments, wanted to leave or hit or throw a temper tantrum. You’ve wanted to hole up and not share how you feel and pretend everything happy. You’ve had great times and crappy times. You’ve endured struggles together and felt closer for it.

If you happen to have a willful toddler like some people I know (ahem), you might find yourself saying things like, “Why do you only want to play with what you can’t have!” “Why won’t you just listen to me?” “Why do you push me away when I just want to cuddle you?”

The marriage relationship mirrors how God wants us to grow in love with Him. In hard times, you will grow closer. You’ll learn to rely on Him. You’ll be able to be mad at Him and yet not turn your back or run away.

The parent-child relationship shows us how God must view us. No sooner do those above phrases slip out of my mouth than I can hear God speaking those same words over me. Why DO I push? Why do I want what He doesn’t want? He is teaching me every day through a little child who makes me both love insanely and cry angrily.

While this is nothing I haven’t heard and I’m sure you’ve heard it before, too, it strikes me differently each time I realize that we have these relationships for a purpose. Will we take the chance to let God mold us and draw us nearer to Him?

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8 thoughts on “Family for a Purpose

  1. That's a great, well-timed post! I had a really frustrating day with my family today…guess it's time to take a deep breath and see what I'm supposed to be learning.

  2. Thank you for commenting! Wonderful post. I find opportunities to grow in love and faith through so many relationships, and I find that my relationships with others often mirror my relationship to God. I'm so glad I found your blog, I'll be adding it to my reader! I've found so many lovely blogs through Giving Up on Perfect.

  3. Awesome post, Jessie. And, then there are those days when I feel like a 3-year old child and say "But, God, I don't wannaaaaa…" and stop my feet angrily.

    Or cry uncontrollably and then he calms me down.

  4. Great insight. Thank you!
    working on being available to be molded during this season of Lent. IT is scary but a baby step at a time and I am learning to trust Him…

  5. Your post could not have been better timed. I was reading a new book and had just finished the chapter on Jesus' miracle with the paralytic when I put the book down and decided to get into my Reader. I have been having tremendous trouble believing the Lord still heals, still performs miracles. But miracles happen everyday…especially everyday with a toddler (which I have). Your post was music to my confused soul. Thank you so much.

  6. @Tricia–Thank you! God can even work through blogs, huh? Glad He is using me some.

    Thanks, everyone else, for your compliments! Press on!

  7. So, so true. Seriously…especially how many times I've opened my mouth & said something to my son && gone, "Oh, God's probably trying to tell me the same thing."

    Thanks for the reminder that relationships are a mirror.

  8. Oh man! I am so right there! God has totally been reminding me of these truths lately. Why do I kick and scream, when all He wants is my best (i.e. His holiness)? Why do I have to whine and complain when things don't go exactly as I had wanted and expected? Thank you for this truth today. Truly. 🙂

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