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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: True bloodlines
By Karen Petty


What do you think of when you hear the word “family”? That word can bring forth a great many images. One may think of time spent together with loved ones on a special occasion, or the faces of tiny precious ones that you tuck in at night. It may be that the word “family” uncovers a sore spot within you due to a strained or severed relationship or even a death. We all have an idea of what we believe family should mean. However, many of us are not in an ideal situation. Some are blessed with large families, yet are without connection and support. Sadly, it is possible to be alone even within a sea of family members. That concept may seem foreign to those who unfortunately have no family present at all with which to cultivate friendship. Either way, it is a lonely place to be.

Three things come to mind as I ponder this predicament. The truth is that people are faulty and we are going to make mistakes. That’s just the reality we live in. Even those with the best intentions may let you down at times. You may have a very challenging relationship in front of you with regards to your parent, in-laws, or any other family member. Such is life. It wouldn’t make sense to cut every person who has failed or disappointed you out of your life (while there are some extreme cases where this may be necessary). I encourage you to look for the good in the person you may have a struggle with, while maintaining boundaries. You’re not required to allow someone to be harmful to you just because they are family. You can, however, pray for God to let you borrow His glasses and see that person the way He does. Ask God if there is anything that you need to do differently. In fact, it may require His strength to enable you to do whatever He instructs. Submission to His direction doesn’t mean that the path will automatically become easy. But there is a great rest in knowing that you are honoring Him on your end of the strained relationship. How about those not-so-strained relationships? Are their people in your life/family who you’ve not nurtured a friendship with (or have allowed it to withdraw over the years)? Maybe the time is now to extend an olive branch.

Secondly, “family” can move beyond the traditional bounds of blood relatives. There may be people in your life that you’ve chosen to bring in through friendship. These may be the ones you count on when you are going through something really tough. They are most likely also the ones with who you celebrate when you have good news or when something joyful happens. These selected core friends may feel more like your family than your actual family. If so, you are blessed just the same to be surrounded by people who love and care about you. If you are reading these words and are without close friends or family I want to tell you that God desires for you to have these type of friendships. I would encourage you to become a part of a church body that is alive to the truth of God’s Word. Churches are full of imperfect people; however, many times God opens the door for fulfilling relationships that you may never have anticipated. When we begin a walk with God, we immediately become part of a family that crosses borders, race, and social status. As believers we are each a part of the family of God.

Lastly, I want to offer the most important message about family. God is our Creator and Heavenly Father. Regardless of the example left by our earthly parents, God loves us in a way that our own families can not. Whether you’ve had positive or negative relationships with your family, God’s love for you is unconditional and never ending. No matter what choices you’ve made in the past or situation you may be in right now, He will not abandon or hurt you. God knows you better than anyone does and accepts you for who you are. He wants to embrace you. He longs to have a close relationship with you, His child all the days of your life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/06/07
I particularly appreciate the concepts in your last two paragraphs.

Your paragraphs are quite lengthy; consider breaking them into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Thanks for sharing some thoughts that are obviously straight from your heart.