Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Family Begins with Fathers and Mothers

Does it bother you, too, to hear people on TV and in movies deny their blood/marriage/adoption families and tell a group of friends, "You are my family." Usually this involves not including the people they are related to in an important life event and instead asking coworkers or friends to step in. Family? No, good friends. 

I'm not naive enough to think that every family member is willing, able, or even deserves to be included. But family is the people we are related to.

I guess my problem is the way our society wants to redefine family as any group of people who love each other. I'm thrilled that people can have friends who will be there when they are needed, but they are friends, not family. In our culture, we often live far away from people we are related to, so we do need to have others who are not family around us. And God provided for that by placing us in the family of God with people we are related to by adoption

For example, Jim and I just returned from a trip for Emmaus International to five countries and stayed in the homes of Indian, American, Jordanian, and Dutch believers. We also had meals with Lebanese and Egyptians. Each one generously and happily welcomed us into their homes for a meal or even for weeks. They put everything they had at our disposal and served us the best things they could. What love! Family? Yes, God's family.

Meanwhile back home, my dad came down with pneumonia and a neighboring believer came over to help my mom get him to the hospital. My children and another member of God's family made sure she did not have to stay overnight with him as they took it on themselves to do that. (Dad has severe memory loss, so needs extra care.) Mom had visitors every day from our local church and texts and phone calls from Christian friends and family all over the U.S. Now that they are home, people from church are helping me provide some meals for them. Family? Yes, both God's family and earthly family.

I can't begin to say how privileged we are by being a part of these families! God has provided so many Christians to enrich and help us along the way. God's plan for families and the provision of His family is one of our greatest blessings on earth. But when it comes to who should help my mother care for my dad--while I'm thankful that the family of God can be called upon when I'm not able to be there--they are my parents and I have the responsibility and privilege of being their daughter. We are family.

And mothers and fathers are where families begin. As I look at the earthly family God has given me I am amazed by the strength my mother has shown as my father needs more and more care. She gently and wisely has taken over the things my father used to do in ways that continue to give him dignity, love, and show her respect for him. Yesterday at the hospital he was not supposed to get out of his chair because of tubes attached to him. The third time we had to tell him and the third time he said, "I want to go upstairs," she lovingly asked him, "What do you want to do upstairs?" instead of just snapping (as I might have), "You can't! You are in a hospital." I recognize that I am blessed to have come from this kind of earthly family and to have a mother like her as an example. Not everyone does. 

And so, I want to honor God for creating families and giving us His family. 

And I want to honor my mother for allowing God to work in her life to make her the woman she is today.

Perhaps Mother's Day is a difficult time for you because your mother was not there for you either physically or emotionally or because you are not a mother and you want to be. But if you know the Lord, you have the best Father of all and have been adopted into a worldwide family--a family you are related to. 

Get connected with your family.

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1 comment:

  1. I have to say I don't understand some of our youth in disavowing their birth family and most want no part of God's family. As a society something has gone wrong.



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