Family | Lutheran Life Issue 121

Issue link: https://discover.cph.org/i/1360696

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Page 1 of 31

What Is Family? COVID-19 really opened our eyes to the importance of family—especially when senior citizens were isolated from their children and grandchildren, and when ex- tended families were forced to celebrate holidays and special occasions apart. The pandemic has caused isolation, loneli- ness, and separation. We all look forward in hope to the day we will no longer be separated. But what is family? Biologically, it's a group of people who share a common ancestry. Genesis 2:20–25 gives us the origins of the family: Adam had no suitable help- er among the animals, so God made him a helper, Eve, who was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. That is why "a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). God established marriage as the basis for all human civilization. From Adam and Eve (and later through Noah) all people on earth find their familial begin- nings—all 7.5+ billion of us. So even if you don't know your biological parents or you have only half-siblings or your parents are deceased and you are the only one left from your family, you are still connected to every other human through the spiderweb of familial relations that came from Adam and Eve: the whole human family. A secondary explanation of family is a group of people living together at the same location. This definition of a family as a household has never been more highlighted for me than it has during the coronavirus pandemic, when one's place of residence and the number of peo- ple in contact there are key considerations. If I live with a friend and my parents are across the country, who is considered my family? Those who share a bloodline or those who share a kitchen? Perhaps there's a place for both. We can celebrate those to whom God has con- nected us genetically and those He has placed in our lives through other experiences. Throughout this issue, we'll consider family as those living under one roof, and usually under one head, whether all residents share a common DNA or they have been brought together through other means, such as fostering, adoption, or remarriage. Specifically, we'll focus on Christian families, which Dr. John Eckrich identifies as "the incubator for instilling and encourag- ing humble, compassionate servanthood." 1 Regardless of how your family became family, each Christian home is a place where its members can practice giving and 2 Lutheran Life

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