What is theology exactly? Is it the study of God? The written Word? Theology actually is the study of God and His relationship with the universe. It is the study of the doctrine of divinity and the specific form and system of this study.
Theology is something we study to pass the truths of God on. It took me five years to attain a degree in theology, only three to become a psychotherapist. There is much depth to the study of theology.
What about the definition of faith? Faith is the only avenue of coming near to God. You cannot overemphasize the fact that faith is essential to one’s relationship with God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and all that we obtain from God is given to us through our faith in Him. It is a vital component to being in a relationship with God. Now, what is a family? Family is not simply parents, offspring and siblings. Families are those you live with, visit, love, go to church with and grow with. Family is our nuclear family, our extended family, our church and blended families.
It is with these ideas in mind that Family Faith is written — how do we integrate our faith into our relationships with family and God; knowing it is the only way we can approach God, and thus, one another?
It does come down to theology. The attributes of God are at play: God is omniscient (all knowing); He is omnipotent (all powerful); He is omnipresent (everywhere, present at once); sovereign (He does things according to His will, yet not illogically. He gives man freewill). God is all of these things and more, yet, we do have freewill in our choices, but with certain limits.
Then there is the fact that God created us in His image for reciprocal relationships: to love and be loved, to give and be given to. We give our worship to God as a sacrifice of praise. God gives us peace, protection and eternal life. We love and give to our family, friends and church family; maybe it’s emotional support, or praying for them. And likewise, those we love are there for us: perhaps in a time of crisis. The point is, we love and are loved, we give and we receive. This is reciprocal. This is why God created the concept of relationships.
So how does this all come together for a column like, Family Faith? We look at His theology (the truth of God); we look at what faith is (without it we cannot have relationship with God); we look at the truth of the relationships, “the family,” God has placed us in; and then we reflect upon God’s attributes applied to His plan for us to be in reciprocal relationship — with Him and those we have around us. Then we apply love, grace and the fruits of the Spirit in which to live life in harmony with others, staying within God’s will, obedient to Him, for our emotional and spiritual health, and living a life of joy, purpose, and peace, despite the many hardships that will come our way on this earth.
This is why this column is written: to assist in helping its readers take a few minutes out of their day to focus on some theological truths that may change their outlook, help them grow in their walk with God, and help them co-exist in harmony with their fellow man and family. I pray we all take the time to reflect on these truths today.
The Rev. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN can be reached by e-mail at Kimberlie.Zakarian@gmail.com or by mail at Holy House Ministries c/o the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, M.S. La Vie Counseling Center, 650 Sierra Madre Villa, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91107.