Tony Evans — The Divine Purpose of Family
Maybe you didn't know this. Maybe you knew it and didn't do anything with it. But on the authority of God's Word, if you will let God redefine who you are and your role, you'll begin to rule instead of being ruled by everything that's happening in this culture, in this society, where our children are being taken over by the devil.
Well, friends, I'm back, and I hope you're glad of that. I'm glad to be with you and looking forward to our time in God's Word today. We're gonna talk about the divine purpose of family. There is a kingdom reason why God created family. And I think you'll find it maybe a little unique, a little different than you're used to, but I think you'll find it biblical and challenging as you examine your understanding of family in light of God's purpose for establishing it.
This is Dr. Tony Evans with "The Urban Alternative," and I am so glad to be coming your way. The greatest need in our society today is the building of the family, the way God created it. We've gotta return to that though. Let's start today in God's Word where it all got started in Genesis chapter. Let's get straight on the divine purpose of family.
It is clear today that there is family chaos in our world. Fifty percent of all marriages today end in divorce. Most of the other % stay together for children, money, or convenience sake, not necessarily because they want to be there.
The family today is in disarray. Forty percent of all children in our culture and in our country are growing up without a father in the home. If you're African-American, % of our children are being born to single parents. Now, you can't sustain a community where the men are nowhere to be found. We're living in a chaotic culture where the meaning of "family" has been redefined.
The media has its definition, and that means anything goes. The culture has its varying definitions, and now we're living in a time when the government wants to redefine it. For now, family can be anybody who decides to become one, whether you are a different sex, or whether you're the same.
Our design will be to define the family as God defines it, not as you define it, not as your mama defined it, not as your daddy defined it, and not as your homeboys define it. We want to lay a groundwork on how God defines it and asks us to adjust to him, not him to adjust to us. Everybody's worried about what's gonna happen in the White House when they ought to be worried about what's gonna happen in your house.
Because the issue on the floor today is the survival, and it is the key issue of the family. The family is constructed and instituted in Genesis chapter. In Genesis chapter, God establishes the family and establishes his authority over it by virtue of creating it. We've seen in verse, God said, "Let us make man in our image," in our likeness. Verse, "God created man in his own image. He created him; male and female he created them."
He made this. So his instruction manual comes with what he made. He made this institution called the family, made up of individuals, male and female, who were to be fruitful and multiply through the magnification of offspring.
He made this. He is the Creator of family and, therefore, he is the standard by which family is to be defined. Now, it says, "Let us make man" — because God is a triune — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — three individual persons who make up one unified reality, the Godhead, the triune God — "Let us make man."
So it's no wonder, when he creates man, he creates man like him — male, female, offspring. These three make one family. What he wanted to do was create a Trinitarian expression in history of his Trinitarian reality in heaven. So the family is supposed to mirror the Trinity. "Let us make man, and let us make man like us--" male, female, offspring-- a unit, a family, the family grouping, the Godhead.
He created him in his own image. And image is a mirror. A mirror. So he created mankind individually--body, soul, and spirit--to mirror him. And then he created them as a unit to mirror him. So the goal of family of people, in general; but family, in particular, is to mirror God in the visible, predicated on his reality in the invisible to be an image and a likeness or to be a mirror.
So the goal of family is to be a visible photograph of God. Now, he says, "This is my creation. Let us create it." Is not a social institution alone. It is a spiritual institution for society. So while it's in society, it wasn't created by society, and so society can't give you your warranty. Your warranty has to come from the maker, the manufacturer.
And I will submit to you, if you will hear what God has to say, based on his Word, that you can start-- but you may not be able to fix all of yesterday, but you can certainly start today to have a better tomorrow. Now, here it is. Why was the family created? That's the question. Yes, we're to mirror God, but why and how?
He gives the answer in verse. "Let us make man in our image and let them rule." The goal of the family is not your happiness. See? Right there. There's a lot all up in there, all up in there, all up in there. The goal of family is not your happiness. That's a benefit of family. The benefit is living happily ever after.
That's a benefit. What we have done is made the benefit the goal. So when the benefit's not workin' out, we quit, leave, move on because "I'm not gettin' the benefit out of this that I thought I should be gettin' when I got married. I'm not gettin' the benefit that I'm supposed to get." Your happiness was never God's first concern. It is a benefit of God's first concern.
If you get back to its first concern, you can get back to the benefit. But if you focus on the benefit without getting back to the purpose, you may lose the purpose and the benefit. So the question is what's the purpose? He says the purpose is "let them rule." He says, "I have created family for them to rule on my behalf."
He says--God blessed them in verse , and said, "Be fruitful and multiply." Okay? But when he said, "Be fruitful and multiply," have babies, he wasn't talkin' about "Why don't y'all have somebody who look like y'all"? So you can look at them and say, "They look like me." No. He wants to fill the earth with him.
See, the purpose of raising children is not to have look-alikes. It is to replicate the image of God so that, as they spread, the image of God spreads. He wants the replication of his image. And so he says, "I want you to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with my image. And, yes, they will look like you, but I want them to reflect me." So that's the reason for family.