ear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You and Your loved ones are happy and healthy. I trust that Your New Year’s resolutions are falling into place and that the end of the holiday season did not come as too much of a shock for You.
It may well be that You have a perfect family, whose members all get on and who rarely, if ever, argue about anything. This would put You in the rarest of positions. It has been my experience to see rifts and splits in the finest of families, which can or cannot heal. Similarly, I have seen seemingly happy families play out a charade for the good of one or another, and I am not sure which is worse. The season we have just passed through is when these fissures – hidden or obvious – come most into focus.
You can choose Your friends but not Your family. It may well be that You have little in common with Your family. It may be that a key member has died and with them the glue that held the family together has withered away too. Or it could be that Your family faces some crisis and those involved see the solution in different ways.
Try this year to mend any fissures in Your family, although sometimes they are there for sound reasons. In Jesus’s own words, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” In keeping with Old Testament prediction, Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword, “to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:34–36). Leaving one’s natural family behind, even literally, was regularly expected of Jesus’s first followers, at least for the duration of Jesus’s three-year earthly ministry.
If You feel that Your family is holding You back or You have suffered abuse from family members, then break away but be sure to still communicate with those You love. If You cause pain within a family, build your own having learnt the lessons of why your source family fractured as it did. If You cannot stand the hypocrisy of those in Your family then do the polite thing – tell them to their face or in writing what hypocrites they are. Always protect those in Your family, whatever it takes within the law.
Let us pray today for our families, who we shall always love deep down. When the moments of our life flash past our eyes at our death there will be many moments involving our family – they are, after all, our blood. God bless You all and have a peaceful Sunday.
Father, praise You for family. You tell us that it’s not good for us to be alone, and therefore have placed people around us that impact our lives and move us away from the loneliness of solitude. “The Lord is my strength and my song,” Exodus 15:2 reminds us. We must remember that the family we live with is not responsible for our happiness. They are not charged with the status of our hearts and souls. And they cannot control how we feel, nor leap into our minds in an effort to understand the depth of our emotions. When we are misunderstood, or a family member misunderstands us, we feel hopeless to plead our case. Help us to hold onto Exodus 15:2. You are our strength. The inability to filter our thoughts is a cue to hand them over to You. In the moments when silence is Your answer, help us to be patient. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, inspire us to recall who You say we are. Loved. Forgiven. Saved. Purposed. Unique. Thank You for the comfort of family. The warm embrace of a mother and father, siblings, and extended family. There is something about being related that earns our trust easier other relationships. When and if that trust is broken through abuse and/or abandonment, we pray for your protection physically, and Your guardianship of our hearts and minds. Empower us to seek help and counsel from You, and from others trained to help us remove ourselves from danger and harm. Anyone intending to harm us or treat us abusively is never someone You intend us to linger with. Lord, please hear our prayer.