Family, I had been opening this style of sermon with a definition from a dictionary then commenting on my feelings and hoping to make you think about what the word ment to you and how it fit into your life. I’m approaching this on a little differently.


I believe in the present society the meaning for the word family has changed. The traditional family seems to have almost gone away. The thought of people all connected through a blood line is only one part of family. Family seems to have hinged around marriage. That union of two people in a bond of love until they can’t live with each other so they divorce. Then associated with the children/pets that they had, being divided up with what seems like the best method to punish all of those concerned. 


Then we introduce step family or adopted family. Then tie it up with a possible second marriage to be followed by a second divorce. Then well, when do the  family values become a part of it all. I was raised by my Mother and Father until the day I joined the Air Force. I didn’t come from a “broken” home. My parents later divorced. I think they just stayed together for the kids. Both are much happier now. I love them I think they did a better then average job raising me. We were not rich I knew when I got out of high school that there was not money for college. I celebrated my 18th birthday graduating from basic training.


When I grew up one side of the extended family didn’t like the other side of the extended family. To the point that there were separate areas for each at holidays. I don’t think that was really family.


I’ve been with other people that made friends family. Awarding them titles like “uncle” or “aunt”. They earned those titles through loyalty to the family. “The Family” reminds you of The Manson “Family” or the Mob. Gangs tell members we’re your family now. In those thoughts the idea of family is associated power and control. Did the traditional family have this “power and control”? Children obeyed out of fear / respect? Then the beatings had to stop then there was the time out or the old stand by emotional pain and guilt. What were/are what you consider family values? Family traditions?  Then lets throw culture into the mix. What do you think are examples of a family values. The these also cultural values? Here is and example: A young man is picking up a young lady from her residence, He has met her parents on another occasion, in a middle class white culture it is not appropriate for him to pull up and honk the horn for her to come out. In an african/american culture there is often not an issue with this behavior.


Now wondering back to the original question what makes a family? Blood? Values? Traditions? Love? People that raised you? Can pet be part of your family?

 Think about what it means to you and why. Is that what you want it to mean to your children?

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