Surely you have noticed that the Bible contains many genealogies. For many of us, these chapters represent a break in daily reading–when we come to it we can just skim it and meet our reading goals more quickly. Why are these chapters in the Bible?
Our culture does not understand the genealogies, but they are valuable. While the West highly values individualism, the rest of the world places greater value on community, and it seems that ancient cultures favored community as well. That’s at least part of the reason for genealogies in the Bible. It is a wholesome and holistic view of self.
No man is an island.
We were created as communal, and our trends away from it in our culture are unhealthy. We need each other. Family is still important. I’m not talking about Internet family (which is attempting to replace the real family). Our brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, parents, and grandparents. These people are perhaps more important now than ever before because they help us understand who we are.
Every family has bad history, things we would rather no one learned. But the identity prescribed by family is what helps us to mature. While we learn to deal with the “baggage” of family, we learn to understand life and we have the support and confidence that comes from knowing that no matter what happens in life, there is always someone in your corner, rooting for you to succeed.
Genealogies give us something to live up to.
We see the humanity of our ancestors, and we see their greatness. We learn what it means to be us, and we are encouraged to make that “us” even better for future generations. Oh how valuable!
While we are thinking about it, we might consider our spiritual family as well. Sometimes it is the only family we can have. And while being a Christian is never an excuse to avoid your physical family, we also know that our spiritual family is far more important. And what joy when the physical is also spiritual family!
Don’t forget your roots. Who you are is not simply the sum of the parts of your life, your foundation and roots also help define you. Thankfully, God can fill in the gaps where family has failed you in the past. He can give you a greater foundation that can transform your life and the lives of your descendants.
Give your descendants something better.
Leave a legacy for your future family. In three generations they may not know your name, but they will be family, and you will be part of their identity. How do you want them to be seen?
Can we help you in your walk with God? Let us know!