What is a family? A family is an economic unit – willing to live in conditions “better and worse” in different times of life, expecting to have ideas and a pioneering spirit of approach at times, but also having a deep understanding together that the family is not floating alone in an impersonal universe with no one to appeal to. We understand that God is there, and that the family members can, together as a unified group, come to Him and say with honest belief and expectation, “Please, God, do a new thing for us as a family, such as You speak of in Isaiah – make a way in the wilderness for us, and rivers in this desert” ( see Isaiah 43 vs 19). Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?
This was an interesting chapter. I didn’t remember it from my earlier reading of this book. She delves into the economic realities of making family work. She writes about the specific challenges of facing financial hardship, and then reminds us that you can have money, but without a “family” or a “unit”, you still come up empty.
So let me share a few additional thoughts.
1. Fill your life with perspective. One of the rare privileges of where we live and how we live is that we’re surrounded with perspective. In some of our arenas, we are viewed as poor – we don’t drive the right cars, our clothes aren’t quite right, we live in a shack. In other arenas, our friends don’t own a car, Target is a distant dream, and our home is a palace.
2. Keep it simple. Try adopting a “less is more” philosophy for a year and see what happens.
3. Teach your children the privilege and responsibility of resources. Children need perspective as well. If their bubble is demanding they have the latest fashion or game, exit the bubble.
4. Give and serve, be generous.
5. Be accountable. We’ve spent time thinking about the Parable of the Talents here in this blog space, many of those thoughts are applicable here. We simply don’t know who has five talents, who has two, who only received one. It just doesn’t matter. What matters is that you become aware of what you’re holding in your hands, and you learn to multiply it over and over.