By David Snell,
The basic building block of society is the family. Life begins in a family, and it is in the embrace of a family that children learn and grow. Throughout time the family has been the molder of lives for those who come forward to enhance the culture. The family of the child whose birth we just celebrated offers a model for us all. Mary and Joseph were specially chosen to provide the Christ child with a family. We don’t know much about His early years, but His wandering off to visit with the elders at the temple tells us that He was probably quite the handful. He was devoted to His family and His family to Him, although they weren’t quite sure what He was up to when He started His ministry. One of His last acts, as He was dying on the cross, was to entrust His mother’s care to a disciple.
Because of the importance of the family to society, the most important structures in any community are the houses in which families make their homes. Raising children is a daunting task in the best of circumstances. Children require a great deal of care if they are to grow into all that they can be. This is a challenge for those who live comfortably in houses that keep them warm and safe. For those who live in meager circumstances or who find themselves homeless, the challenge becomes overwhelming. It’s estimated that over a billion people around the world live in poverty, in environments that make it exceptionally difficult for children to prosper.
The essence of Jesus’ message is that we love one another, that we care for one another, and that we reach out to those in need. What more significant demonstration of this love can there be than to help a family to have a decent house in which to make a home.
Anything we can do to strengthen the family will strengthen society, and one place to begin is with the home. That’s what The Fuller Center is all about. We’re dedicated to the notion that every child ought to have a decent house in which to grow up. The house itself won’t make all the difference — families do the heavy lifting, learning to love and affirm one another and to help each other grow. But if they have a decent house to do that in it’s so much easier.