Family… what a wonderfully loaded word! There are so many varieties of families, from in-laws to extended relatives, from close friends to our own children. Our family members can be our biggest cheerleaders and our harshest critics. But God intended for them to be a beautiful picture of blessing. To Adam, Noah and Abraham, God blessed them and told them to multiply. He blessed them through multiplying. Family is intended to be a blessing, a picture of the relationship between our Father God, our brother and savior Jesus Christ, and each other as believers.
Hebrews 2:11 says Jesus is proud to call us his family, “For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why He is not ashamed to call them brothers.” As believers we are a family, called to love Jesus and one another.
Sadly, we live in a broken world and Satan has targeted families in his cross hairs. It is becoming more and more important for us to recognize the value of a unified family both biologically and spiritually. As a family with Jesus at the center, we can build each other up in love, truth and encouragement. We can offer grace and forgiveness. We can be self-controlled and humble towards each other. We can seek to serve one another in love. We can appreciate one another for our differences and our similarities.
We are all sinners at the mercy of an incredibly merciful Savior, let us honor Jesus’ words: Matthew 10:8b, “Freely you receive, freely give.” (ESV)
Let us give mercy, grace, and love freely and sacrificially, just as God gives us. If we allow Him to work in our marriages, immediate families, extended families, friendships, etc. He can restore and renew. He can bring healing and happiness. He can bless.
Maybe you can take a moment to drink in stories from loved ones that offer wisdom from a time long past. Maybe you are feeling the need to intercede with intentional prayer on behalf of a family member who is suffering. Or maybe you should simply reflect and appreciate those who have touched your life with encouragement and discipleship.
I hope you are reminded that while family may be tough at times, they are truly a means for God to speak into your life and they can be such a blessing.
I pray you are blessed by your time together with your loved ones, whether it is your friends, your church family, your family of origin, your children or your spouse. But most of all I pray that you revel in the love your Father has for you.