Humans are unique creations. When you place them next to animals, you notice some striking differences: the ability to think, to reason, to read, to teach, to create; the ability to appreciate the arts; the ability to think in terms of morality—right and wrong. And though animals and man both require a male and a female to reproduce, animals do not marry or have families.
Sure, all baby animals have two parents. But when, say, a calf is born, the mother does not have to teach the calf how to walk, how to take its food, how to do anything. Very soon, the calf will be totally independent of its mother. Also, the calf’s daddy, the bull, is nowhere to be found—probably miles away.
There might be certain species of animals that come closer to a “family” unit than others, but still, marriage, family life, home life is utterly unique to humans.
Consider this. At whatever stage in life you find yourself, you are always part of a family—whether you are a child, brother, sister, husband, wife, uncle, aunt, father, mother or grandparent.
Every father you see with a little child was a little child at one time. Every mother you see holding a baby at one time was held by her mother as a little baby. Call it the circle of life. And that circle is bound with family!
Have you ever wondered why?
Why is family “built in” to the human experience? Why are you a part of a family (whether the family is together or not)? Why a mom? Why a dad? Why husband and wife? Why children?
The reason is so astounding, so exhilarating, the human mind hardly can comprehend it.
The first verse of the Bible states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The word for God in the Hebrew is Elohim. That word is a noun that is plural in form, singular in usage—meaning that the word itself is treated grammatically as a singular word (one God, or one Elohim), but it is made up of more than one part. Take the words group, church or family for example. There could be one group, but that group (in order to be a group) would have to be made up of more than one member. So this one Elohim is made up of more than one God Being. John 1:1 shows us that Elohim currently consists of two Beings: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
This Word, as we read down in verse 14, became flesh—Jesus Christ. God, through the Holy Spirit, impregnated the virgin Mary, and she gave birth to Jesus (Matthew 1:18). Through this process, God became the Father, and the Word became the Son.
When God and the Word created animals on Earth, they created each species after its own kind—the cows were created after the cow kind, the rabbits after the rabbit kind. But man they created after the God kind.
Notice: “And [Elohim] said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …” (Genesis 1:26). Man was created in God’s image because he is destined one day to enter the God Family. God is a Family! And man was created to be a part of that Family!
Here is how man was created in God’s likeness: We look like God, in physical form, and we also resemble what He is—a Family. God created male and female at creation. He told them to “Be fruitful, and multiply” (verse 28). He created them with the ability to have families! Undoubtedly the animals could be fruitful and multiply themselves, but God created within man this ability to have family—with marriage, love, commitment, joy—things the animals have no part of. Why? Because it is the exact replica of the God Family.
Notice these profound verses: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14-15). The family in heaven, named after God the Father, is the real family. That is not just an analogy. There is actually a Father. There is actually a Son. That Family is the real family after which the human family was patterned. You could say it is more real than your brothers, sisters, children, parents or grandchildren!
And those two Beings are procreating, or reproducing, themselves, just as humans can reproduce themselves. Those called into God’s plan of salvation now are to be the bride of Jesus Christ. So not only is there Father and Son, there is to be Husband and wife!
No wonder the Bible is replete with references to God as our Father and we humans as the children of God! No wonder God says we can actually be born into His Family as a baby is born into a physical family!
This is why humans—not animals—have families! This is why we have parents, why we can marry and have children. This is why the human experience is always connected with family—from the time you are born till the day you die. God wants humans to learn what He is like through actual experience—through family—and He intends the family experience to prepare us to be part of His Family.
For more depth on this astounding truth, please request your free copy of our booklet God Is a Family.