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Why “Chosen Families” Can Never Replace The Family

(Breakpoint) Particularly “in the L.G.B.T.Q. community, it’s not uncommon to find a substitute family, colloquially known as a chosen family,” Dani Blum recently wrote in an article in The New York Times. According to Blum, a “chosen family” refers to the “intense, intimate relationships … people form apart from their biological relatives; it is the kinship you create outside of a traditional family structure.”

Chosen families are not a new phenomenon, nor are they exclusive to LGBTQ people. But in an age quick to write essential relationships off as “toxic,” they are increasingly common and consequential.

Relationships were designed by God to be a gift of His common grace. Certain relationships, like the intimacy between a husband and wife or the bond between parents and children are distinct in purpose and unique in function, irreplaceable in their roles as building blocks of society. Friendship, from our deepest commitments to common neighborliness, is to be treasured. All of these relational arrangements are increasingly rare and disordered in a techno-driven culture, captive to utilitarian concern.

And it is important to remember that Jesus taught of a tie that binds the redeemed beyond blood relation, secured by His blood. He asked in Matthew’s Gospel: “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Then, pointing to his disciples, he answered: “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”