Family Matters

Over these past few years our family has gone through some interesting experiences; a few summers ago all three of our kids got married within a period of 98 days, nephews/nieces have had babies, parents are getting older and needing more care, siblings are making changes, and even an unexpected death. What experiences has your family gone through? A lot happens in a family and those experiences affect us, and we have the opportunity and obligation to participate because our family matters.

The reality is God designed us to be born into the family we have. He gave us our mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so on…yes even the good, bad and a little weird. (I know some of my family thinks I’m just a little crazy!) Yes, family matters, and we have gleaned this reality from what God says to us in the Bible.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”– which is the first commandment with a promise– “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
1 Timothy 5:8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

These are but a few verses on family and there are others like the ones on marriage (Ephesians 6:22-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7), yet all the other Bible verses that deal with our relationships with others also include our immediate and extended family.

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

See, family matters and as we go through the various stages and experiences with family we are to love ‘family’ like Jesus all the more. That means we take the initiative to notice and contact and take time with our family. Sure it’s inconvenient at times, and there may be a lot of emotional baggage needing to be dealt with (I’m talking about the baggage you might have, not the baggage of the other family member you are thinking of), but get help and take the initiative to express love. (Don’t worry, we all have that family baggage stuff and getting help means to take time to pray and take these matters to God…you may even want to talk to a friend or counselor). I know for Kristi and I now that are kids out of our house, it takes more effort to initiate family dinners and time together and adjusting schedules just to make a few minutes together, but that’s what love does. Jesus took the initiative to love us.

1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.

Why not love your family like Jesus and initiate something with your family; a note, a call, a family dinner, some time together, a little gift, flowers and a balloon (there is just something fun about a balloon floating in the air on a string…it just makes people smile!). Your efforts will make a huge difference and is important because family matters.

Seeking to Love Family like Jesus, because Family Matters,

Mike

P.S. As you take the initiative to show love to your family, I would love to know what you did and their reaction. Just respond to this email or leave a comment on this blog. Your post will encourage others.

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One Response to Family Matters

  1. My 92 year old dad has been going through a lot of changes and I have become very protective of him. There are the usual things like making sure the food in the fridge has not become a science project or that he really did do the laundry and make his bed. However this week’s challenge is getting him through the funeral for his ex girlfriend/companion of the last 20 years. As in most families the anti-assets of all involved blossom i.e. this sibling is being nasty to my dad, that sibling threatens to storm the cemetery gates, and I had told my dad that I didn’t think going to the funeral was a good idea. Well, I had to learn once again that my dad is still a grown up and he is still very sharp and aware of all the dynamics. He asked me to go with him to the funeral and to follow his lead, re-assuring me that he will know when it is time to “head for the hills”. Sometimes love means letting the other person step out in confidence rather than being over protective, knowing you will be there for them no matter what. That’s love – just being there no matter what

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