Family Is Forever

“The Father,  from whom every family . . is named.” Ephesians 3:15 NKJV

“Family is meant to be a holy and healthy place for people to grow into God’s image.”

My thoughts today are that “family is forever.”

I guess anyone’s particular experience shapes their thoughts and emotions about family. I am sad that some have found that less than God intended. Family is meant to be a safe place of love, acceptance, security, protection, forgiveness, and empowering. The Bible links your family directly with God; “The Father,  from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” Ephesians 3:15.

Let me tell you about our family. My Mom’s love was unconditional. My Dad’s belief in me and encouragement to me were constant, often hearing him say, “Allen, you can do anything that anyone else can do, if you have the same opportunity and benefit of experience, and are willing to work as hard.” I trust that I have shown the same to all of our family.

I have been most fortunate. I regret that some have not been. Be assured, your story in grace has not yet been fully told. There are chapters still to be written. My Dad loved and served my Mom. From humble beginnings, she became what he always believed her to be. My Mom loved and cared for My Dad, and he was safe and secure in her love. Mom and Dad loved me and my younger sister, Renee, all the time. Boundaries were clear, but usually non-negotiable. Discipline was firm, but always fair. Love was given freely and consistently. Behavior never determined belonging.

Our home was where I learned the truth about God, and was taught to love Him. The life my Dad lived at home echoed in his sermons from the pulpit, and taught me about the character of God; my mother’s songs at the piano at home taught me the joy of loving God and serving Him. Our home was modest but full of love and laughter, always a welcome place for lots of interesting friends. It was a healthy and happy place for a child to grow up. We never had much, but never lacked what we needed. Church and ministry were consistently at our family’s center, but were its blessing not its detriment or distraction.

Family is where I learned about God, and life, and love, and church is where I learned that family is expansive enough to make room for others also. Robert Frost wrote, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” American poet 1874-1963. That’s the way God is. Family is the kind of place where God includes you, with whatever faults, frailties and failures you bring. That’s the kind of family God has. The Bible makes it clear that “whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister.” Matthew 12:50.

I love the Old Testament where God describes Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” That tells me that God leaves out no one. A person may not always live up to their best, but God does not stop loving and wanting to include them. When God was willing to identify Himself with Jacob with all of his faults and flaws, He was assuring you that He would be your God and Father also, whatever your struggles or failures. That is what family is really about.

Family is not only about your experience growing up, it is about the expression of family your home can be as your children are growing up. Read Psalm 78:3-8 NIV. A Godly family is forever! You are the one to help God make that possible.

My prayer for you today is that you will prize family and feel safe and loved always!