Country Bible Church will be focusing much of its adult education program as well as the messages from the pulpit on the issues surrounding family values. The central biblical focus regarding family and every other relationship you can imagine is creating, developing and maintaining healthy connections with other human beings. Although it transcends the idea of physical family healthy relationships always begin there. The biblical model for the family and all human connection has been under severe attack for the past 50 years. Yesterday, I called the half-century, (1960-2010), “The Day the Music died.” This is not to say that it hasn’t always struggled with acceptance in every civilization, but that from the beginning our nation was founded on the bedrock of the biblical model of family and family values. The advancements in every area of science, technology, agriculture and the arts have not left the biblical family model intact. The social movements in our nation have also impacted the acceptance of the biblical model for marriage and the family. It has even become hostile to those promoting such values.

I read this week that First Lady Barbara Bush was invited in 1990 to give the commencement address at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Hundreds of angry coeds protested to Mrs. Bush being chosen as the speaker since she was a woman who had invested her life in being a wife and mother instead of in a career. But she went anyway and spoke up for timeless values of family and relationships: “The … choice that must not be missed is to cherish your human connections, your relationships with friends and family. For several years, you have had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work. This is true, but as important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer, or business leader will be, you are a human being first, and those human connections—with spouses, with children, with friends—are the most important investments you will ever make. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”

The most important value to God is love. The greatest commandments involve this one value. We are called to love God and then to love others. It is as Jesus said, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). Our relationship with God is the most important thing in life. Yet it gets very little attention in the life of the average individual. Further, that relationship with God, according to Jesus, is fleshed out in our relationships with other people. John tells us in his first letter, Chapter 4, verses 20-21, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

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