Chaplain’s Corner: Transformational families – God’s design
By Chaplain (Capt.) Domenic Grotti, Fort Benning
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 5, 2016) — I remember growing up trying to build model cars. One year I got my very own Pinewood Derby Car. I started whittling that bad boy into the coolest rocket shaped red, white and blue racing machine I could imagine. There was no stopping me. Except it didn’t turn out like I planned, it looked more like a doorstop on 4 wheels, and poorly painted at that. Still I brought the car to the race and when I got there, I realized just how bad it was. The car didn’t even finish the race!
Design is a “purpose, planning or intention that exists behind an action or material object.” In the case of my car, there was no real design. There was no map, no method to get to the desired end state. It cost me big time.
Often we live our marriages and families much the same way. We have no design to follow, just a vague idea of what we think it should be. Expectations don’t match reality, and our poor design proves to be very costly in the relationships we hold most dear. However, God’s given us His plan for what family should be. When we follow His design, then we become a family who truly transforms the world around us. To see His design, let’s look in Genesis 2.
First, trust the designer. Adam was created alone, and yet to fulfill God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply,” he needed a partner. So God gives Adam a job. Name all the creatures you rule over and look for your partner. In the process, Adam recognizes there was no suitable helper in all creation. Adam could not fill his own need, God alone provided for him. Psalm 127:1 tells us that, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Even in our families, it is God that builds our homes. After Adam came to this realization, God created Eve. Adam realized Eve was exactly what he needed, and only God could create her. She was one with him in nature, out of his bones and his flesh. God leads the husband and wife to be together as one. No one else will meet that need in our lives. We must trust our designer in whom we search for, and how we search for them.
Second, follow His design. The two became one, and they were “both naked and not ashamed.” These two phrases lead families to transform the world when we understand what is meant. They were statements of unity and trust. Families that are of one heart and one mind work together, and families that truly develop an intimate trust are built to endure. While unity and trust don’t come easy, they are worth the effort. It is only the unified families that trust each other that can survive the tests that will come. And it is only families that humbly submit to His plan that will follow His design.
So what now? It’s simple. Live out the Lord’s design for your family. Become the man or woman of God you are called to be so that you will live as your spouse’s provision. Follow His design. Are you living in unity with your spouse even when they don’t deserve it? Or do you work against each other? Are you trustworthy in every relationship within your family? Where does God need to work for you to be both of these things to your family? Ask the Lord to build you into the man or woman of God you are called to be.
Trust Him as the designer, and follow His design with a unity and trust that causes others to glorify His design for the family.