Having waxed lyrical about ‘order’ I realise I need to bring you up to speed on why the subject has caught my attention. As I travel internationally I look for simple ways to communicate important ideas. In speaking about Family I realise that many people have lost sight of God’s intended design for the family. So I looked for an allegory which would convey the importance of ‘order’ in the family.
The allegory I came up with was that of the battery powered torch. If I were to pull a torch apart, the pieces are few and relatively simple. There is a casing. There are the batteries (assuming 2 batteries in the average torch). There is the lens at the front which focuses the light. Then there is the tiny globe.
If I were to spread the torch pieces on a table would I have a torch? If you say, “No”, I could protest and say that I have all the pieces, so what is missing? If you say, “Yes”, I could protest and say that I can’t get any light out of the pieces. You see, a torch is More than the sum of its pieces. A torch (and many other things as well) involves a set of pieces, but also the all important Order !! If the pieces are not in the right order then the torch simply will not work. It will not be a torch, but something that resembles a torch.
Assume, then, that I take the pieces and set them in order, except that I put the batteries in the wrong way round. When I turn on the torch there is no light. Why? Because I have the wrong ‘Order’. So, the missing ingredient in a set of torch pieces is the unique arrangement of those pieces in a special order that causes their sum to be much more than the mere sum of the parts.
Applying that same observation to a family, a dad, mum and kids could be sitting together in church. To all outward appearances they are a ‘family’. But a true family is not the collection of the parts. A true family is the parts configured in a divinely appointed ‘order’ that causes the lights to come on.
The children sitting with their parents may be in quiet rebellion. The wife may despise her husband. The husband may have lost all commitment to his wife. There may be little reality of true ‘family life’ among the family members. The marraige may be a farce. Yet to all who look on the appearance of a family persists.
If your family is nothing more than a collection of people then you are missing the wonder and the powerful result of establishing divine ‘order’. So, ‘order’ is a pretty big deal for me. But then, that’s where the messy part comes in. Order, which leads to productivity, then produces mess. And the two must survive in happy counter-balance. Interpersonal relationships mean that we bump into each other. Our self-interest bumps into another person’s wishes. Our impatience and intolerance hit those around us. It can get quite messy.
If you would like to see more how I have applied the concept of ‘order’ to the family check out my book, Family Horizons – Creating Families of Destiny. You will find it at the Family Horizons website – www.FamilyHorizons.net.