President of the global Adventist Church Ted N.C. Wilson reflects on “Family Togetherness Week”

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Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on September 4, from president of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson and his wife Nancy Wilson. Elder Wilson will release a new video each week. You can see past messages here.

Ted Wilson: Hello, Friends! Today we will be talking about a very special topic—the family! And I’m delighted that my beautiful wife, Nancy, can join me. It hardly seems possible, but on September 14, Nancy and I will be celebrating 45 years together—and we thank the Lord for every precious day that He has given to us!

Nancy Wilson: Yes, those years have gone by quickly! And during that time, God blessed us with three

wonderful daughters, and later on three dear sons-in-law. Together, they have blessed us with 11 precious grandchildren! We are so grateful to the Lord and consider family to be one of the most important gifts God has given to human beings.

TW: It all began in the Garden of Eden when God declared, “It is not good that man should

be alone . . .” (Gen. 2:18). Shaping Eve from a rib taken from Adam’s side, God presented her to Adam who declared in delight, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!” (Gen.2:23). And in the first-ever marriage ceremony, God blessed the happy couple, encouraging them to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

NW: Of course, we know things did not remain happy as sin was allowed to enter into this first family and affect the entire human race. Nevertheless, God had a rescue plan. He cares about individuals, and He cares about families. The hope of a coming Savior gave hope and courage to our first parents, and it continues to give hope and courage to us today!

TW: Even though we live in a fallen world and experience the many challenges that brings, God designed the family to be a shining light for Him. We read in The Adventist Home, p. 15, “Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are ‘the issues of life’; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.”

NW: “Home should be made all that the word implies,” we read further in Adventist Home.“It should be a little heaven upon earth, a place where the affections are cultivated . . . Our happiness depends upon this cultivation of love, sympathy, and true courtesy to one another.The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Spirit of the Lord presides.” Of course, you cannot have the home God wants you to have without having Him as the main component.

TW: One of the best ways as a family to do that is by taking time, morning and evening, to have family worship. Family worship is a great time to involve children! Make it interesting, enjoyable, and not too long. Sing together. Read together. Pray together.

NW: God can help bring peace and joy into the home, and He can help everyone to work together. When I think of families, and how it can become very complicated as you are pulled in so many directions, I realize how essential it is that children feel they are part of the family unit—that they aren’t just passive members being cared for. Involve them in age-appropriate home tasks, helping to keep things clean and running smoothly. Involve them in family discussions. If kids learn early to have responsibilities, they will have a sense of ownership in the family, knowing that they are an important part of the family.

TW: While God designed the family unit, He also created the larger family—the family of God—where we are all brothers and sisters in Christ! The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a wonderful worldwide family of more than 21 million members around the world! One of the joys Nancy and I experienced as we traveled to various places—before the coronavirus, of course—was to experience the joy of this worldwide family of Christ first-hand! To be able to sing and worship together, and to see how the worldwide church family was ministering to those around them and sharing the good news of Christ’s soon return, was thrilling to see! And now even during these challenging times, the worldwide Adventist Church family is coming together in new and exciting ways, encouraging one another, and reaching out to a world desperate for hope.

NW: And now, more than ever, it’s so important to be a “home missionary.” Ellen White tells us, “Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can be home missionaries in their families and neighborhoods. There are many ways in which church members may give the message to those around them. One of the most successful is by living helpful, unselfish

Christian lives” (Adventist Home, p. 485).

TW: This is a wonderful way in which we can all, as members of God’s family, come together in service for Him. In fact, this coming week is “Family Togetherness Week.” Organized by the Family Ministries department of the General Conference, this is a special opportunity to spotlight the family—both individually, and as a Church. Resource materials are available at the link shown at the bottom of the screen.

TW: May the Lord bless and encourage you just now, knowing that you are a part of His family—that you are his son, his daughter, and that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Let’s pray together. Father in heaven we thank you for creating the family unit; creating an opportunity that we, together, can not only enjoy each other but that we can give a wonderful testimony to so many around the world, that when Jesus is central in our lives and our homes, that You can make our families one of the most powerful testimonies on the face of the planet. Thank you for hearing us, and, Lord, bless in a special way this family togetherness weekend and focus. And may every day be a family focus on togetherness, all through Your power until we see You coming in the clouds of heaven and we will be home forever in God’s precious family. In Christ’s name we ask it. Amen.

This article originally appeared on Adventist News Network.