The ‘Genius’ And ‘Job’ Of The Family


Several years ago I read about the death of Steven Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Incorporated. By many accounts, he was a great genius of our time. He revolutionized the communications field. He was relatively young, 56, when cancer took his life. His ingenious works will long leave an imprint on this world. In reading about him, I was again reminded that even geniuses are in need of the emotional stability that family life can bring. He was reportedly, a complicated man, prone to mood swings and an unpredictable character. Maureen Dowd, of the New York Times quoted in her column from those who knew him best.

“He was abandoned by parents who conceived him out of wedlock at 23, and he then abandoned a daughter for many years that he conceived out of wedlock at 23. Chrisann Brennan, the mother of Jobs’s oldest child, Lisa, told…that being put up for adoption left Jobs “full of broken glass.” He very belatedly acknowledged Lisa and their relationship was built…on “layers of resentment.”…“The key question about Steve is why he can’t control himself at times from being so reflexively cruel and harmful to some people,” Hertzfeld said. “That goes back to being abandoned at birth.” (“The Limits of Magical Thinking”, NY Times, Oct. 25).

Of course there are many people with similar backgrounds, as Mr. Jobs, who emotionally adjust and live productive lives. And by all accounts Mr. Jobs himself lived a “very” productive life. Yet, sadly, for him, he carried a burden that vexed him throughout his life. This life gives no certainty as to the circumstances by which we enter this world. It is controlled by the agency of others, our biological parents. But, it is clear that the Lord has taken a “position” on the organization called the family. Some may not like the position, or some may dispute it, but the position of the Lord, at least to me, is clear. It’s been spelled out since Adam and Eve partook of the apple.  His position on the formation of families has been around long before we came to this earth. Years ago our leaders even sent out a proclamation, not just to us, but to the world regarding the prescribed way that families are to be organized. (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”) Ideally the family would consist of a lawfully married man and woman who are then “authorized”, and commanded, to reproduce. Life isn’t perfect and the Lord knows some will not choose to follow his prescribed pattern. However, if we are born under less than desirable circumstances, that needn’t predicate that we repeat our parents actions. Yet sadly, for many it does! Often, children repeat the sins of the parents, as did Mr. Jobs.

The family, if organized and run properly, is the key to happiness in this life, and the eternities. May we not be fooled by the secular thoughts of the day who continue to make the “family” in their image. An image that if adopted, is more likely to lead to misery and pain for all mankind. The joy of this life is found in following, to the best of our ability, the patterns that the Lord has revealed. They are true and their adherence will more likely lead us to happiness in this life. The correct nature of the family unit is crafted after God’s eternal family.  It is the ‘genius’ and ‘job’ of the family.

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