The Family as God Created It By Andrew Murray, 1887So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he createdthem; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them,"Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over thefish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature thatmoves on the ground."
Gods purpose in the creation of man was to show forth and make visible tothe universe His own unseen glory and perfection. He was not only to havesingle points of resemblance to God; in all he was and did upon earth he wasto prove that he was indeed created in Gods image and after His likeness.The traits of that likeness were quite varied and most wonderful. In thedominion he was to have over the earth, he was to exhibit the power of God asKing and Ruler of the universe. In the wondrous mental powers with whichhe was endowed, fitting him for this work, there was to be seen the image ofGod as the All-wise. In his moral powers there was to be some reflection ofthe light that is inaccessible and full of glory: Gods righteousness andholiness were to be revealed.But then there still remained one trait of the Divine perfection, the veryhighest, to be set forth. God is love. As Infinite Love He lives not for Himselfalone, but finds all His blessing in imparting His own life. In His heart He hasthe Son of His love, begotten of the Father from eternity. In the Son He haspeopled the universe with living beings, that upon them the fullness of Hislove might flow out. As the Loving One He is the fountain of life; as the LivingOne He is the fountain of love.It was that in this, too, man might bear the image of God, that his whole lifemight be a life of love, and that in loving he might give life to those on whomhis love might flow forth, that God created man in His image, male and female.In the home on earth, in the love of husband and wife, of parent and child,were to be reflected the love and the blessedness of the Fathers home inheaven, were to be imaged forth the deepest secrets of the life of Godhead inthe fellowship of the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit.It is to this last and highest trait of the image of Divine perfection - manscreation, to shadow forth the mystery and to enjoy the blessedness of a life inlove - that we want specially to draw attention.
In undertaking the study of Gods Word for the sake of discovering what itteaches us of the parental relation, we must ascend the true Mount of Sources,and follow up the stream of Divine truth to those hills of paradise where theyall take their rise. We will find the sure foundation of the family constitution,its purpose, its law, and its glory, in the teaching of Gods Word. "God createdman in His own image: in the image of God created He him; male and femalecreated He them."Let us think of it for a moment. In Gods love, and the Fatherhood whichsprang from that love, we have at once the highest glory and the deepestmystery of Godhead. Because God is Love, He must have some worthy objecton whom His love can rest, in whose fellowship His love can find itsblessedness. Because He is God, the only and all-perfect One, that Son must bethe only One, the Fathers image, and the Heir of all things. Before the worldbegan, from eternity, God was in Him the Most Blessed One. In GodsFatherhood of Christ is His perfection and His blessedness.Man was created after that image of God which was seen in Christ. When manhad fallen, Christ came to take us up into the fellowship with Himself, to giveus a share in His Sonship and Heirship, to make us too the children of God. InHim, and His life given us in regeneration, we too become the children of God.Gods Fatherhood of believers is the deepest mystery, the highest glory, theperfect blessedness of redemption. The Fatherhood of God is the summing upof the incomprehensible mystery and glory of the Diving Being.And of this Fatherhood the father of the family on earth is to be the image andthe likeness. In the life he imparts to his child, in the image he sees reflected,in the unity of which he is conscious, in the loving care he exercises, in theobedience and the trust he sees rendered to himself, in the love in whichfamily life finds its happiness, the home and the fatherhood of earth are theimage of the heavenly.What a solemn and blessed view this truth gives us of the relationshipbetween parents and children. What a sanctifying influence the right
understanding of it would have on its privileges and its duties! How muchbetter, in the light of this Divine origin and purpose of the family, we canunderstand and value our relation to our children! And how, on the otherhand, all our fellowship with them would strengthen our obedience and ourconfidence towards the Father in heaven! We would see how the action of theheavenly and the earthly home on each other is reciprocal.Every deeper insight into the Fathers love and the Fathers home wouldelevate the relationships in the home on earth, and enlarge our expectationsas to the blessing the God who appointed it will certainly bestow upon it. Andevery experience of what the love and blessing of a home on earth can bewould again be a ladder by which to rise up and get closer to the great Father-heart in heaven. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..." -the two in correspondence with each other - the home in heaven with theFather there, the original of the home on earth, and the father there.How terrible the curse and the power of sin! Fatherhood in the likeness ofGod, the communication to another being of a life that was to be immortal andever blessed, and the establishment of a home of love like that in heaven, wasto have been the high privilege of man, as God created him.But sin came in, and brought ruin. All members now have a sinful nature.Often the father feels himself too sinful to be a blessing to his child, and thehome is too often the path, not to heaven, but to hell.But blessed be God! What sin destroyed - grace restores! In thesemeditations we follow Gods revelation in regard to the family, we shall findthat all the purpose and provision of Gods grace point back to the restorationof what at creation was intended - the fatherhood and the motherhood ofearth, with its love and its home, its care and its training of the children, thereflection and the fellowship of the home and the love of the Father in heaven.
Let every parent who feels conscious of his own shortcomings, and longs forwisdom and grace to do successfully the work entrusted him, look back infaith and hope to the heavenly origin of family life.The God who created it has redeemed it too, and creates it anew. He watchesover it with tender interest, and meets with His own father-love and blessingevery parent who desires to be the minister of His holy purpose. Would youtruly be this, begin by making Gods thought your thought; the fatherhood andthe family on earth the image and the likeness of a heavenly original. Look toGod as the Author of your family life; count upon Him to give all that is neededto make it what it should be. Let His Father-heart and His Father-love be yourstudy and your stay; as you know and trust it in adoring love, the assurancewill grow that He will fit you for making your home, in ever-increasingmeasure, the bright reflection of His own.PrayerOh great and holy Creator! You have placed me in the wondrous relation ofparent with a child owing its life to me. You would give me also the happinessof living a life of love, the Divine joy of loving and being loved. You haveplaced me in a home which is to be the image of the home in heaven, wherethe Father and the Son dwell in everlasting love.Dear Father, I humbly confess that I utter these words with shame. How littlehave the perfect love and joy, the purity and brightness of heaven, beenreflected in the home given to my charge! How little I have even understoodmy calling, or truly aimed at the high ideal you have set before me. Father,forgive me for Jesus sake.Please hear me when I ask you to guide my meditations, and to help me in thestudy of Your Holy Word, that I may learn more fully to realize what yourpurpose is with the fatherhood and the motherhood of this earth, and withwhat interest and love you look on each home given up to Your protection andguidance.
Teach me to know You in Your infinite Fatherliness, that the study and theexperience of that Divine Original, after which the parents hear was created,may fit me to be a true parent to my child. And let a Fathers love and blessingrest on our home.In the name of Jesus I pray,Amen This e-book is the first chapter of a book by Andrew Murray called The Children for Christ , Thoughts for Christian Parents on the Consecration of Home Life Copyright 1887 It was adapted by http://www.oldfashionedhomemaking.com Graphics by http://vintageimagesfree.blogspot.com