What do you think of when you think family?

For me it’s the people that live in my house: Tricia, Kaitlyn and Adeline.

Thinking of family in this way is a fairly recent shift. Even the name nuclear family is a tip of the hat to this. Nuclear wasn’t a word until the mid 19th century, after J. J. Thomson we discovered the atom (1897).

Before that, people though of family as a much wider concept. In Greek the word is oikos, like the yogurt. It was blood and non-blood relationships including servants and slaves as well as aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, parents and grandparents. Oikos doubled as a family business. You can study the way these family business’ run. We call it oikonomics — or economics if you prefer.

In ancient Hebrew house was the same concept. When people said House of David, they were talking about an entire people group. This was everything from business to battle to public relations. David was about building a house. So was his son Solomon who wrote:

Saying 21

By wisdom a house is built,

and through understanding it is established;

through knowledge its rooms are filled

with rare and beautiful treasures.– Proverbs 24:3-4

It doesn’t matter if the family you’re building is you and a spouse, 2.4 children, or a company the size of Walmart (currently 2,300,000 employees) it is best established through understanding.

Arguing is easy.

Criticism is easy.

Understanding is hard.

If you tend to fall into arguing or criticism, try this: Before you argue or criticism state the other person opinion in a way that they agree it’s actually their opinion.

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