We are birthed into families. God decides where to place us and we have no say in the matter. It is different with friendships as we can pick and choose them. God has given us free will and choices to decide if we want to build up or tear down the relationships in both of these circles.
Family members share a history. Kids are raised by parents and share memories at meals, on trips or summer breaks, through hardships, rules, traditions, and faith. Our families mold our personalities and determine whether we learn unconditional love and trust.
Later, when grown, we decide whether or not we want to stay attached to our kin and work through the redefining of our roles as we move from childhood to adulthood. This transition is rocky at first, but eventually settles into a new relationship with our parents and siblings.
Others of us decide to cut the chord with family, especially if it was abusive and/or dysfunctional. We question why a loving God would put us into a family where the adults abused their power over those so young and in need of their protection. Safety was a job they neglected.
With the holidays coming up, there will be family get-togethers and invitations to dinner. For some, it will be a delight seeing those we love and rarely get to visit. For others, and this is most of us, it will be a challenge to remain clam, patient, and forgiving. Self-control will be a gift of the spirit necessary to make it through the day of over excited children and over-bearing relatives.
Then there is the group of us who decided long ago to stay clear of the dysfunction and celebrate alone, with friends, or with just our personal family of wife/husband and child.
What you decide to do over this Christmas season is between you and God. I will just throw out a few questions for you to mull over and reflect upon.
1) Why do you think God birthed you into your personal family and what did it teach you? How did your childhood family affect the way you are raising your own family?
2) His own brothers mocked Jesus. James, good old “CAMEL KNEES” did not believe at first in his brother’s claim to be the Savior of the world. It was only later that he became a leader in the Christian church. How did Jesus respond to James and his change in attitude, behavior, and faith?
3) Do you think anyone in your family can change and benefit from a renewed relationship with you? What is your responsibility to your family members?
4)Does unforgiveness with kin hinder your relationship w/God?
5) Nothing is easy when it comes to forgiving wrongs done to you from the past but the hardest lessons in love are often our biggest and most life changing lessons.
I am not telling you what to do in regards to a family gathering or a family relation. I am only asking you to ponder and pray. If God gives you instructions, then try to follow them and trust that He will bless you for your obedience.
“The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation.” ~ Adrian Rogers
Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother. (NIV)
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.