In a society and world of much divorce, abuse, abandonment, and hatred, God has blessed me with a great Christian family. Although we have our share of fights, strife, doubts, drama, and faith struggles, at the end of the day, we believe in God and in the importance of family. Perhaps you do not have the family relationships you desire. Perhaps you come from a broken home. Know that there is no shame in that. We are imperfect people. Know that God created a family far greater than genealogical blood ties; He brings us together as a family united by the blood of Jesus. Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families.” The family of God is the most important group to which you can belong.
I asked my mom (Linda) and 22 year-old sister (Leah) questions that I think can help people from all different home situations. Our family is certainly not perfect, but I hope in sharing our responses that you can become a more focused member of God’s family and prepare yourself to help lead your own Christian family someday.
Why is a Christian family so important to you, to the church, and to God’s kingdom?
Leah: They are the people around you that influence me the most and that will help me get to heaven. They represent Christ’s body and are God’s kingdom until we all get to heaven.
Linda: I can’t imagine a life without God and it is my responsibility to teach our children about Him. It is the foundation upon which every action, reaction, and principle in life is lived. With respect to the church and to God’s kingdom, it doesn’t take but one generation to get away from the church and the Christian family fortifies the likelihood of the church remaining.
How do we make it work and (usually) get along well?
Leah: We make it work by attempting to be patient with each other. It is not always easy, but being kind and patient are the keys to helping.
Linda: Well, it all goes back to Christian principles. If I am jealous, angry or resentful of someone in my family, that goes against every Christian principle and particularly the one to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Also, I believe that pretty much my whole life I have held onto the teaching to “not let the sun set upon your wrath” and this encourages that we should never go to bed angry and should work through any problem or issue. Life is too short not to have peace.
Caroline: We are all very different, but can truly be ourselves around each other. We’re family. We can let down our guards and just relax. Sometimes this means we take out our anger and frustrations on each other, because we know we’re family and we’re stuck with each other. It’s refreshing to be yourself around someone. This is what God has in mind for His body.
Linda: I think that we have been a family who opened our home to others and that people feel welcome here. At least I hope they do!! Also, I think that the dad in our family is the best man I have ever known and he has made our life peaceful. I do believe we love each other and pray that this is a bond that will never be broken…no matter what.
What have you and dad done to lead us? What were your specific goals for our family?
Linda: Well, I can only hope that it has been by example but since our children are the offspring of two imperfect people we can only hope for grace and forgiveness. My specific goals for our family are simple: that our children:
- Are all baptized (and they are!) and that they remain faithful to the Lord and the church
- That each child completes their education
- That each child find a Christian mate who will aid them in their journey to get to heaven and that their intent is that their children will be faithful Christians also
- That each child will find joy in life.
What about our family reflects Christ?
Leah: I see Christ in Mom and Dad every day. In their actions, in the way that they treat other people, in the way that they raised us, that they took us to church. Basically in everything that they do.
Linda: I hope that because our basic foundation of Christ is based on how we treat and love each other that this is a reflection of Christ. Also, I believe that we are committed to serving God and doing His work here in however we can help others is a reflection as well. We always have room for improvement.
What advice do you have for girls who are struggling with Godly relationships with their families or with their family situation in general?
Leah: The best advice that I can give is to turn to the Word. Remember that life is but a vapor. Remember that as important as it seems, Jesus the one that we can rely on. When we put our faith in people, we are always let down, but when we put our faith in God, we are never let down.
Linda: I think if girls or anyone who is struggling can only see that life is so much bigger than the moment you are in right now. For example, a girl may be mad at her Mom and Dad because they don’t like her boyfriend and say something about him. Unless the dynamics of the family are unhealthy (and the daughter might not like it), she should know that her folks CAN see the big picture. Also, if a girl IS in an unhealthy family situation, she should realize that with God’s help, she CAN get out of a bad situation. She can, with God’s help, survive. She can, with God’s help, thrive and ensure that her family IS healthy. In other words, no one HAS to let their path be determined for them because with God’s help, she CAN overcome!!