1. notleia says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a Young Whippersnapper, but I’m pretty okay with people drawing their own circle around who they include as “family.” Because as I see it done, it’s meant to release you from toxic and/or abusive people and include people who are loving and important to you.

    • Notleia, I understand where you’re coming from but God uses the image of family so much in the Bible, especially about Himself and us. Of course we’re adopted, so He has a big circle of His own. I just think we lose some understanding of what a father’s love looks like when there’s no father in the home.


      • notleia says:

        Maybe, but your father figure doesn’t have to be your biological one.
        I see the concept of “father love” used more as a stick to punish single moms than anything else, from people who value rules over other people, so it makes me wonder if it’s really important to have specifically “father love” rather than enough “generic” love to make sure the kids aren’t emotionally neglected, especially if the bio dad is an abusive bunghole. Plus it unintentionally(?) poops all over adoptive parents and step-parents to hold genetics as mattering more than love and care.
        The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, after all.

        • notleia says:

          Addendum that may be relevant or not: There are other cultures who refer to pretty much everyone in the community, related or not, as auntie/uncle, grandma/grandpa, big brother/sister. In Navajo culture the maternal uncle would be the “father figure” to a boy-child.
          The current idea of the nuclear family is a recent addition to the cultural lexicon, so if we find it insufficient, why not follow or adapt other models?

        • You actually have made my point, Notleia. When families are dysfunctional, what do the kids think about God who reveals Himself as a Father?


          • notleia says:

            I do not grok. Having a father in the picture does not automatically make it NOT a dysfunctional family.

    • Autumn Grayson says:

      To an extent, understanding some basics of what, say, a good father, husband, etc. should be is actually what can help someone escape an abusive situation. A lot of times, abusers like to pass their behavior off as ‘normal’ or ‘deserved’, and one of the important steps victims need to take is to realize that abuse is not normal. In this case, learning what a good, normal father figure should be would help them realize that they are in a situation they should be trying to escape, because no matter what the abuser says, they are not matching up to what a healthy parent or spouse is.

      Recognizing things like that doesn’t have to disregard adoptive families, etc. It just helps us understand types of relationships better. Even if someone doesn’t grow up knowing their biological father, for instance, understanding what a good father is can help them understand and appreciate it more when, say, an uncle steps in and mentors them like a father normally would.

  2. Steve Taylor says:

    There’s a lot of good points in the article but since family seems to be the reply topic I’ll comment on that.
    For years now companies like Disney have redefined what a family is and unfortunately the millinials have fallen for it. A family will always be father, mother, children, grandchildren etc. Adoption is a sad fact but a fact non-the-less in this world so therefore it’s an extended family due to circumstances beyond the child’s control. Just like a marriage will always be husband and wife no matter what the government says it is. They don’t make the definitions.
    Is it perfect? Heck no! But it’s how God has designed it. Those that I call close friends that I may or may not love more then my own blood relatives are still my friends and not my family. I’d give my life for any one of them. In fact, there are those in my family that if it weren’t for the that fact they were family I’d have nothing to do with them. Most of us have at least a couple in our families. But BECAUSE they are family I don’t give up on them. They need Christ and it’s my responsibility to make sure they see and hear it from me. Most friends come and go but family stays together.

What do you think?