I’ve been thinking about family. What it is and what it isn’t. I have also been thinking a lot about God’s family.
I know those who set great store in their genealogy. They take great pride in ancestors long dead. For some the dead take emotional precedence over the living. I have never quite understood that. Perhaps that is because I don’t seem to have anyone all that noteworthy in my family tree. Perhaps I’ve had enough trouble just keeping up with the living to spend much time thinking about the dead.
I am not discounting the importance of family and tradition and multiple generations coming together. It is important to have a sense of history. But it needs to be just that-history.
Family is more than blood ties. Family is about who one chooses to love and include in the day to day job of living. There is family and then there is family.
My stepsons were just in. They have removed themselves from our family. The younger of the two (both young men now;no longer boys) still harbors resentment over our marriage,and later the adoption of his brothers and sister. He follows his grandparent’s ideology that family only contains blood relatives and no one more. It makes me sad at how much he has missed out by maintaining this attitude. It makes me sad about his grandparents as well. They could have influenced seven other children and now five great grandchildren and they chose to close their hearts instead. The children wished it to be different. It was the choice of the adults not to love. They passed that value (or lack) onto their grandson. Instead of being a part of a large extended family,he is isolating himself with just genetic ties. It breaks his father’s heart. It breaks mine as well.
What is family then? My mother is still my mother even though she has disowned me. I haven’t disowned her. My father on the other hand is an integral part of my life. He is family. My youngest son is still my son even though he cannot live at home. I choose him even if he does not choose me. I love him. He is my son. There is no difference in my intensity of love for any of my children-even the stepson mentioned above. I find it ironic in a sad way that it is my children who were abused and/or abandoned by their family of origin who understand the concept of family the best. They understand what family truely is. It is a bond that is stronger than genetics. It is a bond that God has created.
God’s family seems to forget who we are without Christ. We some how think our bloodline is purer than others.In fact we are nothing but mongrel dogs. We are trailer trash. We only have value because God loves us. We have all been adopted. Some acknowledge our position in God’s family. Some try and pretend we are royal in and of ourselves.Some choose to remain trailer trash.
If I am grieved by my family members who refuse to acknowledge our family in its entirety,how much more is our Father in Heaven grieved by our lack of love for each other?
When we refuse to love children,sisters,brothers,grandchildren and great-grandchildren because of some perceived superiority,are we not refusing to love Christ?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
“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. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ”
Family is who we love.