This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (II Tim 3)
I am in the midst of doing an interesting and deep Bible study on II Timothy chapter 3. I became especially interested in the statement, “In the last days men will be without natural affection.”
A close study of the words, “natural affection” lead me to the original Greek word, “stergeo” which is defined as a form of natural love specifically between family members. Yes; it is talking about familial love; family love.
The biological family unit was created by God and still remains one of God’s greatest and most valued creations. Is it not any wonder that Satan has spent thousands of years doing his best to destroy the natural love that should exist between immediate family members such as parents and children, adult children and parents, siblings with siblings, and even grandparents, aunts, and uncles etc.?
Sadly, we all know that some of the worse hurt and abuse encountered occurs within the DNA family structure. Another diabolical plan derived at the hands of God’s enemy, Satan. God, have mercy and help us! But, just as sadly, modern-day culture has redefined the meaning of the family unit by encouraging everyone to simply, “love the one you’re with,” or love those whom you have much in common or shared interests.
These days, people love their neighbors (as we should!), their friends (as we should!) their peers (as we should), their teammates, and even their church family (as we should!) but show very little effort, time (if any!) regard, love and /or respect for natural or immediate family members.
People in this modern-day and time have energies and willful, blissful time to “hang” with friends and peers six or seven days a week but can’t find time enough to visit aging parents or grandparents much less family time with siblings and cousins, even during the holidays. In this modern-day, holidays, birthdays, and special occasions are just “red” days on the calendar to be ignored at all cost!
But, God designed and chose our DNA family for HIS plan, purpose, and will. I know that’s hard for some people to swallow! But, it’s through the ups and downs of natural “family” love, acceptance, and mercy that we learn to give and receive natural love to ourselves and to others as intended by God.
It’s not too hard to love those that love you back and think the same way that you do. But, it can be rather hard and challenging to accept “uncle” Joe for who he is or “aunt” sally for who she is. It’s also a challenge at times to accept our parents for who they are and for parents to accept adult children for who they are. But, growing and maturing in God’s Grace, Mercy, and Word is never, never easy. We must be willing , ready, and “fit” for the challenge. And, there’s no better place to start through this school of obedience than within our own immeidate family!
So, let me ask you a question. What appears to be the modern-day family’s pathway in these last days that God refers to as being, “without natural affection?” Here’s my answer: Separation at all cost; no matter who it hurts or who it bothers. Simply don’t call. Don’t text. Don’t email. Don’t answer the phone. Block the numbers of family members. Block social media. Don’t visit. Just stay away , stay away and stay away. Let day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year go by… After all, it’s acceptable in society that people are just living out their own lives the best way they know how doing what they enjoy doing…And, it’s accetable that none of us “owe” anyone in life anything; especially our family! Good grief that type of “thinking” is simply old-fashioned non-sense! After all, people simply have way too much on their plate to be concerned with family!
The modern-day answer for dealing with DNA family matters is this: Just don’t think about it…and never concern yourself with it. Lie about it. Make stuff up. Cover it up. Pretend you don’t know what your “family” is doing or what they might be going through. Keep a pretend smile on your face for the crowd and a cheerful tone in your voice for your “friends”…And, definietly blame the poor family member(s) who “tries” to reconcile any family differences you may have. Its even acceptable to tell your children that their “grandparents” are a bunch trouble-makers sowing seeds of discord because they try to intrude upon your busy lives. How truly sad for both the grandparents and the grandchildren!
Well, I don’t know about you, but doesn’t this sound a whole lot like the description of the “last days” when men will lose their “natural affection?”
Here’s the thing. A close, loving, forgiving, accepting biological “family” is the greatest revelation, gift, and application of “agape” love there is on planet earth. God made it that way. I believe what God is trying to show mankind is that when we learn to love, accept, and forgive those whom God has ordained (set aside) and naturally placed within our lives that we will mature and grow to accept ourselves and others for who they are. Thus, the stronger the family unit the stronger the church and the stronger our society.
When a child grows up loving, nurturing, and respecting their parents, siblings, and grandparents and continue along this path throughout their adult life they develop more of a loving “god-like” heart that shows a greater love and respect for authority and for society. Things that are taught in God’s Word, the Bible.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is no respecter of persons. We reap what we sow. Teaching our children to respect and value everyone, anyone, and everything else above immediate and extended family love is neither healthy nor Biblical.
No one’s family is perfect. Family can be the first ones to let you down and the first ones to pick you back up when you’ve fallen. But, since Family was one of God’s original creations, I think we should take careful stock in making sure that our DNA “family” is a vital priority in our lives.
Be assured, God keeps very good records. He is the original logistics Creator. There is a “family tree” in Heaven and one glorious day God will reveal to us our family line as far back as the day of Creation when we will see face to face our original parents, Adam and Eve. That my friend will be our “earthly” lineage.
But, there is second lineage that God has chosen for those who Believe. The linage of those “born-again” through the Name and Power of Jesus Christ; the son of God. For those of us who are born-again into that eternal family where the circle will never be broken we will spend all of eternity with our spiritual heavenly family; our spiritual brothers and sisters. This shows to me just how important “family” really is to God.
Today, we should all give thanks for our earthly family whom God has hand-picked for us according to His purpose and plan. As the Bible clearly teaches us to do, Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long. Thank you, Lord, for my precious family. Amen.
Remember, God Loves You,
Linda R Rollins, M.Ed.