How does marriage fit into the presence of God in our lives today? Families mediate God to children and to adults.
How has family mediated God to you? to your family?
This is what Dean Nelson examines in God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World in chp 5.
“Families can be microcosms of our relationship with God” (120). In seeing the suffering of an injury to his son, in participating in that pain and wishing to experience for and instead of his son, Dean Nelson saw something about God’s own vicarious suffering for us.
Cribbing from Robert Frost, Nelson suggests family is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.
Dean played sports non-stop as a kid; his own children didn’t and don’t. That’s part of family, too: the variety and diversity and difference and independence and freedom. Parenting, he suggests, can be like being a good host to a stranger. Controlling children isn’t the way to parent, he is saying.
Passing on the faith … part of family, too. The best way to do this is tell the family stories of faith. These stories “connect us to our beginnings, sometimes all the way back to the heart of God” (129).
Letting events become traditions … part of family, too, and these mediate God to us.
Loving one another, too. Nothing teaches us about God like loving one another, deeply and sacrificially. That kind of love unmasks who we are are reveals who God is.
Brilliant statement: “Family life in general is a series of small surrenders that move us downward, but actually lead us upward” (142).