The Truth About Family
I recently went on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for my family’s 26th year reunion. Every two years my extended family that lives in various areas around the globe, gathers together for several days to spend time with one another. This family reunion was filled with lots of fun, food, and fellowship. I will say, it was very memorable trip for multiple reasons. The first day was meet and greet night. As several members of the family arrived, we gathered around in a conference room in our “rep our state apparel.”
The room was filled with lots of laughs, hugs, and smiles as everyone greeted one another. It was a chance for some family members to catch up and a time for other family members to get newly acquainted with one another. The rest of the weekend was filled with site seeing as we visited some of Atlanta’s world renown tourist attractions such as the King Center, CNN, Centennial Park, the Coca-Cola Center, and the Aquarium.
The following days were filled with activities such as our wonderful family banquet, our family picnic, and it ended with us all gathering to worship together on Sunday. This family reunion was truly a blessing and for me, it was life changing.
The reason I say this family reunion was life changing is because for the first time in a long time, I saw my family through a different lens. During this trip I laughed and smiled A LOT. But I also cried A LOT as well. Some of my tears were tears of joy and some of my tears were filled with deep sorrow and pain. Through this trip, God revealed so much about the concept of “family.” I just want to share some of things that God has graciously revealed to me about family.
God created family for relationship.
At the foundation of family is “relationship.” God created us in His image. God is a relational God, so He created us to be relational beings. For family to operate how God intended we must seek to cultivate and grow relationally with one another. It’s more than just carrying the title of “family” but it’s opening up ourselves, our hearts, and our time to the people God has chosen to give us as our family. This family reunion I decided to seek to get to know family members I didn’t relationally know and even now I am challenged to continue cultivating the relationship now that the reunion is over. You see, there is no family with no relationship. Cultivating relationships is far from easy. It requires time, it requires consistency, it requires sacrifice, and, in many instances, depths of vulnerability. However, no matter the difficulty of developing relationship, God will equip us with what we need. He is the very one who created family, so He is the One that has the power to guide us in developing our family relationships.
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness..” So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” -Genesis 1:26-27
Every family has dysfunction.
I’ll write that again, EVERY FAMILY HAS DYSFUNCTION! There is no such thing as a perfect family. Contrary to popular belief, we all have some craziness in our genes. I’ll be the first to say, that sometimes the craziness, the depth of the dysfunction, and the pain that the dysfunction has birthed seems painstakingly unbearable. Many of my tears during my reunion was produced by looking at the dysfunction that was present. Behind the laughs and smiles, I saw the pain, the anger, the bitterness, the mistrust, and hopelessness in some of my relatives’ eyes. Years and generations of dysfunction was present. But on the cusp of my despair, was a hopeful expectation in who my GOD is. You see, the gravity of the dysfunction further revealed the gravity of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. At the root of dysfunction is SIN, and any dysfunction in our families has the power to be healed by our amazing God. We just have to be willing to put JESUS at the head of our families so He can help us function how we ought to. Reconciliation to God is the antidote to the sin of dysfunction. If GOD is truly first, a healthy functioning family will be produced. IN GOD there is HOPE!
“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that , just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”-Romans 5:20-21
God wants us to LOVE our families.
Yes, God wants you and me to love our families, right where they are, and as they are in this very moment. Loving our families is not an easy task. Quite frankly, some members in our families make it VERY difficult to want to love them. But God did not tell us to love our families if it’s easy, if they have been kind to us, if they are a joy to be around, but He said love them. Period. Point. Blank. True love is not about self, but it’s about others. It’s about doing and seeking the best for another’s sake. True love has healing power, not only for the person extending the love but the person receiving the love. True love has the courage to move forward even when no one else moves towards it. True love has the strength to stand up and speak truth, live truth, and lovingly correct with the truth. God is love. God has called us to show our family, LOVE (HIM). We are to show our families that is it GOD that our hearts need at its core. So, love your family right where they are, trusting that the LOVE of God has the power to transform the hearts of your family.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”- 1John 4:7-8
We should cherish our family.
In family there is love, there is loss, there is change, there is transition, there is joy and there is pain. There are moments of laughs and moments of tears. There are moments of faith and moments of fear. Family was not designed to be perfect but to allow us to relationally demonstrate the love of God to one another. May we cherish our families and be thankful for them. May we cherish those who are here and those who have gone on. May we cherish the sweet memories that we have and the present joys and sorrows we have experienced. May our thankfulness for our families overflow into a deeper appreciation for our wonderful God and Heavenly Father. Family is not everything, but family was designed to draw us to our everything… “GOD.” For with God our families will be all they were all designed to be. That my friend is the TRUTH about family! Be encouraged!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, given thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18