Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I am hoping that You are well and healthy. As We march through autumn I pray that You have found the time to pray and ponder. I hope that You do not worry too much or get downcast as We see less of the sun.
This week I would like to focus on family. Likely You have seen a lot more of them of late! Or perhaps, because of lockdown and other restrictions, it has been a while since You hugged grandchildren or met up with brothers and sisters.
“Family comes first” is a saying that makes some sense but not for all. There are some people who blossom inside families and others who flourish well away from them. I have known brothers who have not spoken to sisters for decades who, later in life, one day found they had so much more to say and much more reason to be in contact. No one family is the same and each family has different strengths and weaknesses. Yes, blood is thicker than water but do We share the same blood as our wives or in-laws? Should We love them any less? Families are highly complex and subjective entities.
We are shaped and fashioned by what We love not by what We are supposed to love.
Yes Christians consider family life to be a blessing and value the stability of marriage. We believe the Church should be a model of family life. We should support and encourage marriage and regard the breakdown of a marriage with sadness. Christians believe that marriage is a covenant before God.
Yes, that is what We as Christians should believe. But what do You believe? How do You feel about Your relatives? Cut or bond? Call or ignore? How is Your marriage if You are married? You can name Your favourite football or rugby team but do You even know the names of Your nieces and nephews?
Try Your best to be in touch with Your family. That is my best advice. They may need You even if You do not need them. It is better to know the living than ponder the dead. If life were long We might be able to repair all bridges but life is short enough to attempt to heal at least a few rifts. Life can get very complicated but God is good. If You feel bad about family then at least offer them a way to You to understand why. Gentle words are better than emotional hurricanes. Letters are better than emails. Cups of tea better than bottles of wine.
I wish You all happiness and the best of luck with Your family. I pray for You and Your families this sunny autumn morning. Please pray for mine. God Bless You all and stay well.
We pray that You would restore the bonds that have been broken with some of our family members. We know, God, that there is nothing You would want more than feuding relatives to reconcile with each other. But we also admit, Lord, that we cannot do this on our own. For that, we ask Your Holy Spirit to surround us with Your love. May we be filled to the brim with love, that it may overflow and we may share it with our families. Allow us to be instruments of Your blessings to them. In due time, Lord, let our relationships also be restored. All these we pray in Your Name, Amen.