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What's the big deal about Young Living

Making Family an Idol?

I love my family.

Aside from my relationship with my Lord, they are my priority above all other things.

That means that I love my kids more than I love your kids. And I’m not even ashamed to admit it.

I would wrestle a full grown bear if it came after my kid. And if that bear went after your kid and my kid while they were playing together in a sand box? I’d  totally save my kid first. And honestly? I wonder about any mother who wouldn’t.

I love my kids more than any team sport, more than 4-h, more than Vacation Bible School, more than the youth group.

That isn’t to say that I have anything against those things. It’s just that if I have to choose between what is best for my family and what is best for any of those things, well… I’ll chose my family in a hot hurry.

I have heard it said that this is making our family an idol, but I disagree.

God gave me as a mother to my children to nurture and protect them. He gave mothers the natural instinct to do those things. If I am not an advocate for what is best for my child, who will be?

Admittedly, we don’t live in danger of bear attacks, but there are other menacing dangers that someone must be watchful about. Pornography, drugs, disrespect, laziness, and on and on. That someone is me. I don’t want a village raising my child. I’ll take that responsibility myself, thank you.

If we lived in a cave and kept to ourselves, making sure not to interact with others, I could see how it might be said that we were making an idol of family.

But we don’t live in a cave. We actually interact with people together as a family. We serve people together. We talk to others about the gospel… together… as a family.

I don’t think that is making family an idol. I think it is making God’s work an integral part of our family, and not letting anything this world has to offer stop us from doing that.

What do you think? Is making family an idol a danger?

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this!!
    It grieves me whenever I read articles about “idolizing the family” because I wonder if those of us who are taking God’s Word to task in taking full responsibility for our children’s upbringing are being shunned for not giving that up in exchange for the activity-driven life, yes even in the church.

    I’m sure it’s what people who train for marathons feel like, or Spelling Bee participants, or Olympic athletes… even those who decide to lose 25 lbs… there will always be naysayers, but it’s perfectly healthy to set a goal and devote your time to reaching it. When it comes to raising our families, we can’t second guess our choices in favor of activities that take us away from the prize.

  2. AMEN!!! I agree 110%.

  3. Amen! Loved it.

  4. Thank you for writing this post. I have been struggling with a decision for some time. I have been putting off doing something because I don’t want to but this post put in my heart that I need to for my family. Thank you..

  5. I love this post! and you are so right, there is nothing wrong with activities, but Family are most important! The heart of your family is important! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Unless you are making your family more important than God in your heart, I don’t think it *can* be an idol. We are given a directive by the Lord to raise and nurture our family. I agree with you!

  7. I think families can be idols if they are put before God. I think of anything that is put before God as an idol. However, families and the ability to love and serve our families is a gift from God. Thanks for the post – It provided a good way to look at this issue. Love your blog. I only have three kids, but love getting organizational tips & seeing how a large, God fearing family does things.

  8. I agree with Billie..as long as God is higher on the priority list than family, family isn’t an idol. I watch some of my friends who are busy with activities almost every day, and I can’t imagine being so busy, and losing so much family time!

    I think in “the old days” it would have been great to have the “village raise the child.” In those days, however, the people in the village has the same morals and values as the neighbours..so there was that consistency in raising and training up the children from all of those the kids interacted with. Now we need to protect our kids from a lot more, and sometimes (ok, often) that involves protecting the kids, or at least teaching the kids to recognize and flee from, the bad influences from those around them.

  9. This is such a ludicrous question! And especially ironic in a culture that fully expects us to make idols of ourSELF(ves)!! If we spend tens of thousands educating ourselves, dedicate our lives to pursuing the almighty dollar, man’s esteem, and the elusive “success” that’s not only acceptable but COMMENDABLE, yet if we dedicate ourselves to a life of service to our family in obedience to God we are committing idolatry????

    (stepping off soapbox)

  10. I was unsure where you were going with this post, but I love how you ended it. I believe if at all possible, family should be doing things together in Jesus’ name. The lesson is brought home when the family is together. I’m not sure if I’ve interpreted the beginning portion correctly, but I don’t think it hurts to help others or put someone else above the family for a specific thing. For instance, let’s say you had some money saved up for a family vacation, and you hadn’t taken a vacation in years, but the Spirit spoke to you and wanted you to use that money to help a family who was really struggling. If you chose to go on the vacation anyways, then I believe that is an instance where you’re idolizing the family. I believe God has given us enough energy and love for all of His people (not just the ones related to us). This is coming from someone who doesn’t have 7 kids though.

    tiannamae.blogspot.com

  11. One more thing. I do believe it is the parent’s job to do the raising of their children, but let’s face….everyone needs help. Your village may consist of your neighbors, parents, and sister who can help cook when you are sick, or pick the kids up from school that one time you ran late, or someone to schedule play dates with. That’s what I think of, when I think of a village helping to raise children. Lastly, some kids don’t even have parents, let alone a village, so I think as Christian’s we’re partly responsible to help them out however we can. I don’t think it takes anything away from your own family to help someone else out. If it does take something away from your family, God will restore it ten fold.

  12. I agree that family can be an idol and the test is if you put them before your relationship with God. I think the idea of a mother who doesn’t pursue a career and outside the home fulfillment is foreign to our culture. Anything foreign or unknown is always met with skepticism and negativity.

  13. This is so true, Connie! God has tasked me with the care of our family…it is my calling to serve them. They are my first priority after my relationship with Christ. Serving them in this way in no way makes them an idol.

  14. I found myself reading this post aloud…to myself. I have always told my family that we are free to go out into the world and come back to the safety net of home. But, we have complete control of what we allow to enter into our home, through media, technology, guests, etc. When we care for our family, we are God’s arms and legs extended!

  15. It’s funny, a few days ago I wrote a blog post and included an image of a mother bear! So I get you, totally.

    If I were to put family before God, that would be a sin. For example, if one of my kids were to leave the faith and pursue an unrepentant course of serious sin and were disfellowshipped, according to several scriptures I would rightly shun that child. It would probably be the hardest thing I ever did.

    This is happening right now to my sister. :(

  16. My husband says I put myself in a bubble and live happily there. I have never heard of the family as an idol before. Food for thoughtful discussion with my girlfriends. I find I agree completely with your post.
    Of course each person must search their hearts and make sure the intent is to raise their family to serve God, and not as a status symbol like a pharisee, claiming Godliness for the world to see but not being right in their hearts with God.
    I am glad this subject was raised hopefully it will better my life and strengthen my convictions.

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