I’m glad that many now of days make a big push for a strong family life, but I have my concerns. My first concern is that many are all talk and little show in this regard. Another is that the pressures for excellence placed on children often achieve quite the opposite of the intended good; and are a sorry excuse for parents trying to build their image vicariously.
My biggest concern on family values is that it turns families into idols. Every expense is justified. Every other social obligation excusable. All other hopes differed. Whether or not people truly love their family above all else is a case by case determination, but even among those who don’t, family is a culturally acceptable “get out of jail” card for anything else you don’t want to do.
Consider I Corinthians 7.29-11
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
We are called to live with a strong eschatology that releases everything in this life – even our families. God wants us to love, build, and celebrate our families, but not hold them as though we get to keep them. God called me out personally about eight months ago to be a bigger dad and husband, but he’s also putting this calling into perspective.
Let’s let God script our priorities, and see where families lie. I believe our families will receive a fuller investment from each of us when we place them in proper, non-first place, order before God.