What’s the purpose of family? If you ask people, the answers vary, but they often center on ideas like love, support, care, companionship, and even fun. While those answers are good, there are bigger ideas that we need to rediscover.
Family is a unit. Some in the past have called it an institution, an institution in the sense of school, government, a business. It has all of those functions. Family as a unit is first and foremost designed to pass on values so that children can take their place in society as contributing adults.
And the idea is that our children will have children who will undertake the same role. They will train their children in a set of values to take their place in society as contributing adults. As each successive generation accomplishes its task, we build a more beautiful world.
Telling the next generation
Unfortunately, we have many negative examples of generations that failed to do this. They did not pass down the stories and values that were meant to guide the next generation.
For example, Judges 2:10 tells us: “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”
How could this happen? Why was it that one generation failed to tell the next about the God who had so spectacularly rescued their nation from Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land?
In contrast to this tragic generational disconnect, the Bible paints a clear picture of each generation of the people of God instructing the next generation about the work of God in our lives. Here are several verses that flesh out the theme of telling the next generation:
- Deuteronomy 32:7: “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.”
- Exodus 13:14: “In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
- Joshua 4:21-22: “And he said to the people of Israel, ‘When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.”
- Psalm 145:4: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
Family is meant to be multi-generational. There are no families that say they set out to ruin their children. One of our greatest hopes and desires is that our children will continue with the same core values that define us.
What’s the purpose of family? To be a multi-generational force for good.
“One of our greatest hopes and desires is that our children will continue with the same core values that define us.”
Take Action: Explore Resources Through Vyne Legacy
Come discover how you can create a legacy that lasts. At VyneLegacy, we provide coaching, courses, consultations, workshops, and other resources for individuals and families seeking to define their vision and values. Start here to see which resource may be the best fit for you.