What makes a family?

The Bible reflects many different types of families and households.  A little detective work can turn up more than 40 different family constellations in the Bible—and God was powerfully present and active in all of those families.

Jesus gives a powerful example of an expanded view of family. In the gospel of John (19:26-27), Jesus sees his mother and the disciple whom he loves at the foot of the cross, and he says to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”  He then says to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour, the disciple took Jesus’ mother into his own home.

The definition of family, in this instance, is simply people who are committed to loving and caring for one another.

The Affirming Family Diversity handout contains excellent information

Some people are estranged, separated, or pushed out of their families of origin. When this happens, we don’t have to hang on to the customary definition of family as people of common ancestry or related by marriage, birth, or adoption. We—like Jesus’ mother and the disciple—can create families.

So what makes a family?  Sharing love, values, commitments to one another, and the desire for the well being of the others in the family?

  • What do you think makes a family?
  • What are the key components that define family for you?
  • How can we broaden our view of family to include the rich variety of families?