I believe one reason God put believers in families is so he could shape them into the image of Jesus.

Families – blood families or even church families – are good for rounding off the rough edges and polishing us up to a warm glow.  Theoretically, it’s possible I could go through life as a hermit without doing anyone any harm – or good.  But would I look more and more like Jesus?  Perhaps, but I don’t think so.

I’m feeling pleasantly philosophical because, along with my wife, I have been basking in the warmth of family – our children, their spouses, and grandchildren – the last week or so.

I am blessed in that my family is a loving family.   I recognize that isn’t true for everyone – through no fault of their own.  Very good parents may have children who give them problems or fine children may have abusive – or cold – parents.

But whether we live in loving or harsh families, God uses family members to teach us and mould us.

The lessons I have been taught by my family are more about me and my character.  I have learned that there are many things I didn’t know about myself – quite a few that I have regretted over the years.  I have also learned how much family means to me.  I pride myself on being calm and self-controlled, but family can ignite passions I didn’t know I had.

But God has put the spotlight on my weaknesses to teach me that I need Jesus.  I am not self-sufficient.  I am often wrong in my judgements and in my actions.

Thankfully, my family has been very forgiving.  But if they were not, I could still count on God to forgive me.

That is the key, isn’t it?  I am imperfect, but God loves me.  He loves my wife and children and their spouses and children.  We could not love each other without his first loving us, as the apostle John says.

And he is calling me to love as he loves.  I need to seek forgiveness for my mistakes and to forgive others as he forgave.  I need to humble myself as Jesus did.

Families are good for that.  They teach us what love really is – the cost and the joy of the love of Christ.


1 comment so far

  1. Stephanie on

    What was there ever to forgive?

    Love you, Dad!

    -Stephanie (daughter #2)

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