In his newest book, The Storm-Tossed Family, Russell Moore “teaches readers whether you are married or single, whether you long for a child or are shepherding a full house, you are part of a family.”
For many, that is surprising to hear. Too often, when the subject of family comes up, we quickly pigeonhole people. “That’s a topic for newlyweds” or “that’s for married people raising children,” people think.
Even in church life, we often rope off people who deal most directly with family. We sometimes segment people into various age-stage ministries, in which we unwittingly wall ourselves off from one another, thus missing opportunities to grow and learn about family life together.
Yet unlike sports or even politics, the topic of family is not one that can be dismissed, diminished or defined away for any of us. For better and worse, family life is life.
Moore said, “Family can be the source of some of the most transcendent human joy, and family can leave us crumpled up on the side of the road. Family can make us who we are, and family can break our hearts. Why would this social arrangement have that much power, for good or for ill, over us?”
To answer these profound questions, Moore takes us back to the heart of the Gospel and biblical truth. He said, “The church is a household economy, where all of us use our gifts for the sake of the mission. The fact that every person has a gift for the upbuilding of the rest of us is one more way of God signaling to us that we belong. We are wanted. We are loved… We are family. That means no Christian lives alone, and no Christian dies alone. There’s no such thing as a ‘single’ Christian.”
Moore’s book, then, is an important reminder that we are all in the family together. His book will be a centerpiece of an important conference. Hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission National Conference on Oct. 11-13 in Grapevine, Texas, “The Cross-Shaped Family” Conference has a lot of to offer (see www.erlc.com for details).
With speakers including Beth Moore, Russell Moore, Danny Akin, Jen Wilkin and others, the topics for the ERLC Conference are wide-ranging. Consider just these few: “Building a Peaceful Home,” “Christ-Centered Parenting,” “Educating Children for a Complex Word,” “Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age,” “God on Sex: The Creator’s Ideas about Love, Intimacy, and Marriage,” “Screen Time and Family Time,” “Gospel-Centered Student Ministry” and “Finishing Well: Grandparents, Widows and Caring for Family in their Final Days.”
Moore’s book and this conference are reminders that families today are facing cultural stormy weather. He said, “You are in a family crisis, right now, whether you know it or not.” But we know that has always been the case, because family life is spiritual warfare. But it is often through the storm that God speaks to us most clearly. It is the greatest joy to know that, even amid life’s worst storms, we have a Savior who calms even the winds and waves and gives us an everlasting peace. And His promises are available to all in the family who call on His great Name.