They say family is the oldest religion in the world. Which makes sense. If the etymology of religion is “to tighten or bind,” then family members have always been bound together by common stories and rituals. This continues today, every time we rewatch home videos, rehash old jokes, and comfortably fall back into familiar roles like a well-worn sofa.
Yet as Ben Maddison writes in this issue, even if our parents and siblings love us well, every family is ultimately cruciform in shape. Even the best ones point us to a need they cannot provide.
Fortunately, God is in the home restoration business. We’ve compiled a few HGTV-worthy examples here, in the hopes that they provide consolation and hope. We also have interviews with psychologist Harriet Lerner, education & parenting expert Alfie Kohn, and Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick. We’ve got essays about foster parents and surrogate parents, preacher families and estranged families. We talk about divorce, dogs, apologies, teenagers, and the church’s incessant focus on families. And that’s not all.