Family – God’s masterpiece

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A couple with children that becomes a family is blessed by God. The promised blessings: “The Lord your God will grant you plenty of goods, as to the fruits of your womb, and the fruits of your cattle, of your land, the land which God swore to your fathers to give you” (Deut 28, 11). The family of Abraham, God’s friend, brings upon himself the blessing of the Lord that takes the shape of a numerous posterity: “I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless you.” Breaking all earthly ties, Abraham goes to an unknown country with his barren wife. This is Abraham’s first act of faith, which God will test requiring Isaac.

This alliance-masterpiece questions faith and trust in a project in which we are inserted: I will make you very numerous. The Bible offers us models of families that are blessed by the Lord, which outweigh the difficulties of life, even the most terrible ones. This communion of lives cannot be understood only as a spiritual union. The physical and sexual component is fully exploited here, becoming one thing in the sexual encounter (50% of the couples split because they lack this harmony and look for other partners). For the Bible, even in the Old Testament, there is a positive understanding of sexuality that finds completion with the partners of the opposite sex (the theory of gender is a cultural invention. The male-female complementarity is natural.

The image of God is the couple: not the single man nor the single woman, but the male-female polarity, man and woman together. The Old Testament does not know the split human being with a double nature: spiritual and natural-carnal. This mutual gift becomes a generative gift. In Israel, children were considered a great honor and were ardently desired. Jewish families had an average of five or six children, despite the high infant mortality which characterized ancient peoples.

The novelty of Christianity is that men and women are put on the same level, whereas before that women were considered inferior. Also the bond has become steady and faithful, whereas previously the norm was to have more wives. Often, we make the gospel corny, spiritualizing, and this makes you lose the flavor, being the salt of the earth and light of the world. For the gospel, loving – that is honoring – each other, means acting concretely, acting seriously, acknowledges everyone their place in society. It is a practical behavior. Parents must be given the place they deserve. He who safeguards the commandment regarding our parents has hope.

Where people take care of the old, there is hope to safeguard peace. God is the Lord who frees and wants the good of His people, then requires good from His people. Also the people should do good thigs. Pope Francis says in the Encyclical ‘‘Praised Be’’ that “the social environment has its wounds. But all of them are basically caused by the same evil, that is, by the idea that there are no indisputable truths that guide our lives, hence human freedom has no limits” (n. 5). Patriarch Bartholomew I has invited to recognize the sins against the creation (n. 6). Those against the family are among the most devastating sins.

Taken from The Five Talents of the Spouses, Always editions

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