When God created Adam, he knew that man needed a companion. In giving Eve to Adam, God also instituted relationships: “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18 NKJV). God knew that man needed community. We need other people for companionship, learning, growth and development. Adam and Eve brought to the table of their small community, two different personalities, viewpoints, emotional make-ups, and even backgrounds.
After all, they came into existence in two different ways. Adam came via a comment from God, “Let us make man in Our image,” and an action: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 1:26;2:7). Eve came via Adam’s rib, to be presented to him by God: “Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He presented her to the man” (Gen. 2:22).
Being two distinct persons, with differing skills and intelligence, Adam and Eve were to raise a family together and impart to their children God’s will for their lives (Dt. 4:9; Eph. 6:4).
Theirs was not even a near-perfect family. They experienced failure, conflict, dysfunctional behavior and tragedy – all due to sin. There’s so much that we can learn from their family life. One thing we know for sure is that despite Adam and Eve’s sin, God meant for them to be together. We also know that their children were placed in that family by God!
Whatever kind of family you were born into, you were placed there by God. If you are from a dysfunctional family, a non-Christian family, or an intact Christian family, you’re in that family by God’s will and for His purpose. The part you play as a family member is important. God wired you to be effective in your particular family. No one has your temperament, personality, abilities or gifts. You were uniquely designed, and placed in your family.
When you are under the Holy Spirit’s influence, you can fulfill your role in a way that pleases God and benefits your family. Even as a young person, your place in the family is evident to the other members. Notice what you’re good at and how it affects your family. God deliberately wired you for the effect he wanted you to have in your family.
Pay close attention to the members of your family, and you’ll see their needs and the part you can play in meeting those needs. One family member may be more sensitive and caring. Another may be more outgoing and energetic. You may not be wired the way they are, but look to see how you can compliment them, work with them and minister to them.
Outgoing energetic people need support as well as those who are emotionally sensitive. If you have family members who are limited, challenged or incapacitated in some way, you can be sure you have something they need to enhance their lives. You can help family members become productive, even if it’s only by encouraging them.
Whatever your skills, abilities and spiritual gifts, they were given by God to build up His body on earth (1 Cor. 12:6-7). Although these verses first apply to the Church, they also apply to the family. Even if family members are not yet saved, you can be a powerful testimony to God’s grace when you meet their needs. And when you meet the needs of others, you get your needs met as well! Your family experiences can help you develop a better understanding of how to help others. God places us in families before we come into His family, the Church.
It’s important to learn how to deal with the differences in others. God desires that we adjust ourselves accordingly in order to live in peace and harmony with others. The place to learn this is in the family where God placed you. “As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18). The family structure is the training ground for dealing with others. Whatever we are to our families, will spill over into the Church! It can mean the difference between strength or weakness in God’s family.
Finding Your Fit
We are all unique, yet God fits each of us into our family. There will be problems from time to time because we are human. But even these times can help us learn how to better accommodate the needs of others, if we pay attention.
Since God has strategically placed you in your family, you need to be aware of your part in it. You may be a care-giver, consoler, counselor, co-worker or manager. Whatever your contribution, God put you there to bring wholeness to the family.
Put any personality type under the Spirit’s control and watch His beauty shine forth! God can do great things through you. He has given you something special that your family needs. There is real blessing in discovering what that something is, and using it to help your family.
There are many ways we can minister within our families so they can grow and flourish in ways that bring honor and glory to God. Find your fit and get to work!
By Pat Stuart
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org