God has taught the church his creational wisdom. This includes how we build families. It’s a way that nurtures, that brings about safety for the weak. This way of marriage and of sexual morality becomes our model for a healing way of life. The nurture the family provides says to us, “Learn how to provide this nurture for others, for those that are broken, those that are hurting, those that are sinners.”
The marriage model of Genesis doesn’t teach us self-righteousness. It teaches us nurture. It teaches the wisdom that rebuilds a world which has been devastated by abuse. We have abused that world and the people in it, in our pursuit of self-fulfilment. We have put ourselves first, and told ourselves this is the best thing for the world. “If everyone learned to be themselves, then everyone would be happy.” That isn’t the wisdom of God.
The plan of creation, the God we see in creation, is one of love. He brings together a creation that is carefully nurtured for our wellbeing. He put us in families, to continue this nurture. He says, that this nurture is the way creation is sustained, and when it falls, the way creation is rebuilt, healed and made new.
A Nurturing People
We Christians should be nurturers of a world in need. If we don’t learn this self-giving nurturing service from Genesis one and two, and apply that to the broken world around us, then we are more blind than the others. We aren’t here to judge others by the Genesis code, but to allow that Genesis narrative to call us to help, to remould us into nurturing people, who care for others, outside our family unit and group.
The way Genesis has often been used, is for those who agree with it to stay together, apart from the rest of the world. The rest of the world looks on at us, and sees our lack of care, and wonders about the God we preach. This isn’t what God did. We are using the Genesis story the wrong way. We haven’t yet learned what it is saying to us?
God spoke to a world in darkness, and the darkness fled. How did he do this? He sent his word to heal us? How did his word come? In human flesh, among us, and on the cross. This is what Genesis is telling us about the world, about how God builds his creation. This is how God is calling us to drive back darkness.
Not to stand on Mount Sinai calling the world out, but to hang on the cross and show the world that love is about others, and not ourselves. We can’t preach this, we must show it. Jesus taught for three years and no one understood. He died and that started the largest movement in the world. Let’s regather the true character of that movement, and take over the world in agape.
There is so much brokenness all around today. There are broken families, broken marriages, broken individuals. We are all broken in some way. Our doors are to open to all people. More than that, we are to walk through their doors and care about others where they are and learn to walk together, so God can heal us together, and heal our environment.
God sends the church into Rome, bearing its cross, healing ourselves and Rome. The body of Christ is the family of God, and is to take its example from the Genesis family. Just as God founded that family to nurture lives, so the church is a big family, called to bring that nurture, wisdom and agape to his whole creation. This is Adam and Eve’s commission, still operative in us through the gospel.
Let’s be that family and get on with the work of God, of loving and healing a fallen world, ourselves included. Let’s apply the patience that is needed, to love and forgive people who are angry, who mess things up around us, who put our home out of place. Let’s follow Jesus.