Unity Begins At Home
One woman commented on my Women’s Page concerning a division in her church and wondered how to deal with her husband who was wanting to go with the split and her wanting to stay, because she saw no reason. The woman in this scenario is obviously distraught at the prospect of separating from the church, which she has grown to love and care for. I understand her pain. I have served many widows and sick in the church, which I left in 1995 because of heresy. My heart was broken, as many of yours were. It is akin to the feelings people have with a divorce, gut wrenching, emotional, lonely. Our hearts are intertwined with those we have come to love and then are ripped apart, yet it seems that today in many churches in our culture of “have it your way” mentality, we give division no more thought of being destructive than planning to move to a vacation home. Below is a “typical” family in the Western world. Let’s see how there is a pattern of separation that Satan has crept in unawares in our culture to try and destroy the family, both at home and throughout our churches.
When we have our newborns; oh how we cherish them. We hold them in our arms and care for their needs. We see each other face to face each day. If we’re lucky we have them for six weeks before we have to separate from them, most likely with tears in our eyes. We worry that they will miss us, and we long to hold them throughout the day. Then gradually the separation anxiety wears off as the days and weeks progress. We come to accept our lot in life.
Our children go to daycare, preschool or kindergarten. On the first day of separation, we kiss and hug our children goodbye. They look at us with eyes of fear and disappointment. “You’re going to leave me?” they look back at you, wondering why. Teachers give a reassuring smile. We’ll take good care of them. It does, however, not take away the feeling of anxiety and the gut wrenching thought, “I should be with them.” But as the days pass working and sending our children to school, our initial gut reactions to caring for our little ones fade as we purpose in our hearts that we must do what we do.
Would you allow me to digress just for a moment and perhaps bring into view our culture and why we may no longer feel that dividing is usually a wrong choice? We wake up in the morning; kiss our husbands as they rush out the door to work if we see them at all. Then we rush our kids through breakfast and go through the rushed routine of dressing, getting their lunches and ushering then out the door, perhaps to a bus that will take our kids from us to care for them – the day starting out stressed. We then take our little ones to daycare and leave them there. We go our separate way to work. We spend all day separated from our families, with sisters and brothers separated from each other in classrooms.
We come home for perhaps a quick bite to eat and then run the kids off to soccer practice. We drop them off, and then do our shopping, again separated. When we pick them up, it’s too late to have a sit down dinner, so we just grab something to eat as we try to catch a popular prime time show together in the front room, that is if we’re not again separated by a TV in each of the children’s rooms, thus cutting out time of communication even more.
With all the separation we experience during our everyday lives, we begin to accept this as normal., as what a typical unified family consists of. I’d like you to consider this. I feel this scenario is not “normal,” nor is it unifying as we think it is. Yet, we have convinced ourselves that this is the way that God has intended for us to live happy lives and have happy homes. We can delude ourselves into believing this is good because as we have put aside our feelings as we embrace our modern culture. Yes, days and weeks go by and we push aside those thoughts of our children being separated from us….I’ve seen this time and time again. I’m sure you have as well. If we do happen to have some time to be together, it is often interrupted by text messaging from friends or from work or other people. This interrupts our one-on-one conversation, thus weakening our families further. When we consider our charge of passing on the legacy of God’s covenant agreement, teaching them of God’s way, not the world’s culture and being there for them to imitate our teachings and spending time discipling our children, we find the ways of this world easily rob us of the time we so desparately need.
There have even been times at church where we whisk our kids off the Sabbath school or to “The Zone” at church camp, so that they can experience a sanctuary apart from the world. Ladies, the kids need to have “The Zone” each day of their lives in our homes. Note: Thankfully that has changed, and they now have deemed camp as a place that reinforces Godly family teaching and speaks of it to their young campers and voice those very words. The family unit is the place for learning God’s way and the camps are there to only be helpers in that design.
Has this “normal” way of living our everyday lives caused us to believe that we can become unified as one big family in the church, with each individual going his own way?
Do we realize that if we are continue to divide, people suffer in its wake, leaving behind perhaps those who need us the most, those invalids and elderly who desperately need someone to fill the void with smiles and hugs each week.
At times, we no longer consider that there would have been larger groups, so that many more brethren can participate in helping the younger single moms care for their children and give them a much needed break or help them with their homeschool needs or babysitting. There are very important needs that cannot be fulfilled if we continue to splinter. What we will have in the end is only ourselves, and that isn’t what God planned for His people. What we have is a group of Christians who believe only in the one verse about “if two or more are gathered in His name, He is with us.” We forget the verses that talk about “not forsaking the assembly of ourselves.” We forget that the “church” was praying together for Peter when the God heard their united prayers and the shackles fell off Peter’s and his companions in the prison. We forget that the whole church was gathered together at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down and filled them all with power.
In short, there are times when in general we have forgotten about each other because we have been blinded by society. So many of you know the pain of separation and how that rips at the very fabric of our hearts and minds.
I wanted you to consider that there is a lifestyle to learn the value and lessons of unity, and that is in the physical family unit. It does have an affect on our dealings with each other in the church culture. God’s pattern of unity, the family, has been ripped away by the society we live in. We don’t realize how destructive this separation is. Sometimes we think of it as a normal routine, just like our routines at home. Because isn’t the family at home a type of church family? As our families go their separate ways in the home, so goes the church, that is being destroyed in the Western world along with our families further down the road if we don’t change our hearts. God won’t come down and “force” us to unify. It’s up to us to stop the divisions. Wherever you are at, let’s not split further for the sake of our children and the future generations.
I feel as our families draw close to one another that it will begin to fill in the gaps of our church disunity. We need to start at home. What can we do now to bridge the gap in our homes? My hope is that we can give you some thoughts, via this page and other articles that our brethren write, that can bring our families together in unity more. I believe that if we are dedicated to finding more time with our family and using our church groups to come together even just a little more, so that our children can have a spiritual source to gain friendships and encouragement, so that they can learn to serve the elderly in our congregations, so that the poor can be fed and housed with our tithes. I know that it can’t be all accomplished in one lifetime, but I feel if we can pass on these goals that are in our heart and teach them that they are to be our future church, to teach them the beauty of unity for all the members, to encourage them to have strong families, to teach them the importance of family time, so that they can learn to walk as we walk on the path God has given us. I hope that you consider the above scenario. It’s not too late.
To be Continued….
Next Part II ~ Unity Begins in the Heart
Psalms 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”