Who is my family?
If I consider biology alone, my family consists of my mother, father, and sister. When I include legal relationships, I add my adopted brother and my husband. Reflecting on emotional ties, my family embraces international students who’ve stayed in our home, plus tried and true friends. Anytime I need extra support in a difficult situation, I immediately turn to my church family. I also recall my Christian brothers and sisters who served as co-laborers on mission trips in various parts of the world.
Many individuals, if honest, admit they have stronger emotional ties with fellow Christians or faithful friends than with their biological family. Birth into the same household does not guarantee mutual love and support. Those blessed with strong, positive relationships on all fronts bask in those multiple ongoing benefits.
A surface reading of Jesus’ statements about His mother and brothers sounds harsh and uncaring. Digging deeper reveals a more profound truth. When Jesus said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother,” He wasn’t renouncing His biological family. Rather, He was declaring the greater connection available to all who become a part of His faith-based family. Discipleship surpasses, but does not necessarily replace, kinship.
In addition, if family seeks to lead us away from God’s service, we must give God priority. Granted, that can be difficult. Yet by demonstrating unconditional love and respect for these individuals, even if we reject their behavior, we may eventually love them into God’s growing family. Then how sweet our relationship will grow.
When we accept and act on God’s will, we become a part of His family and share joy with this kaleidoscope of kin.
Thank God for the privilege of being His child.
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