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Spirituality and the Family Oct 17, 2009
In "Building Your Family to Last" Kari Torjesen Malcolm reminds us that this world is not our home, but our life here is a journey we walk with our loved ones as we move toward the City of God. Any distractions from this journey toward God's city ultimately reroutes our priorities and leads to difficulties down that road.
Our marriages are the starting point and a Christian marriage begins with commitment, "the decision to act lovingly even when you don't feel like it." This Christian marriage is marked by mutual respect and understanding which births a mutuality in marriage and ministry.
Malcolm exposes those things that slow down our walk: sex, money, and power. She uses Scripture to reveal God's heart on these issues. The responsibility for the nurturing and upbringing of our children, she stresses, are both the mother's and father's biblical mandate.
Using principles found in Deuteronomy 6 she gives practical insight on teaching children basic gospel themes. Christian disciplines such as prayer, meditation, time with God, confession, forgiveness, worship and celebration are values formed early in childhood and nurtured through God's word and godly examples.
The family that teaches and daily lives out God's grace, love, acceptance, and forgiveness will shine this light on others. Community is born in the family and stretches out to reach others as consciousness of a global world begins to penetrate our understanding.
Malcolm has much wisdom to offer on the support and encouragement found in the extended family. Here was a fresh perspective for me, as a pastor's wife living in the pasonage with four generations of my family. Malcolm goes on to say that in the extended family there are opportunities to love and care for a loved one when they have been through a divorce. Opportunities are present for healing and reconciliation, love and forgiveness to be learned. Child care can be given and financial sacrifices are made based on unconditional love. Widows are looked after and come to know their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
"Building Your Family to Last" is no more than 144 pages. It is well worth reading. In fact, it is written for all families at different stages of life's journey. Simple yet beautifully written, powerful but humbly presented, these biblical truths are meant to bring transformation to our families and glory to him who sits on the throne. "Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever" (Rev. 5:13b,NLT).