Family: Part Two

God speaks to us through our families.

Yesterday, I wrote about families helping God to make us more like Jesus by smoothing out the rough edges in our characters.

Today, I want to talk about the other side of families – God making us more like Jesus by showing us something of Jesus himself.

Again, I have been blessed in that my wife and children love Jesus.  But I believe Jesus can speak to us even through families that do not know the Lord.

I grew up in a family that seldom went to church while I was young.  But my parents were loving parents and I remember going for a walk alone one night as a teenager and resolving that I, too, would have a loving family.  They gave a good example.

As a teenager, I remember scoffing one night at a television evangelist and being surprised by my father who said he believed the man had something.  I deeply admired my father so his words stuck with me. They were one strand in the rope that would eventually bind me to Jesus.  My father was a believer – although he had drifted away from church.  He was later to become very much involved in a local congregation.

After I was married, I saw Christ in my wife.  She has shown me what Jesus would have done in offering help and love to others.  She is very self-giving.  She has always reached out to family and neighbours – sometimes difficult people.  She is the cornerstone of our family.

She also has a very sharp mind, able to sort out the wheat from the chaff.  I have leaned on her counsel about spiritual things as well as about people.

Our children have been an inspiration to me, even when they were small.  Today, they are a real joy to me as they are teaching me more about Jesus.  They are leading the way and I am learning from them.  They lead by example and by words and by their hunger for more of God.

And now our grandchildren.  It is a pleasure to see how God is working in them.  It is so true that little ones can teach us about Jesus.  I am learning from them.

I don’t want to minimize the hurts and sorrows that happen along the way.  And I don’t want to say that all families are the same.  My experience is mine alone.

But I believe that God works in all families, no matter how terrible the circumstances.  Few families have been as dysfunctional as Jacob’s in the Bible.  And yet God made himself known to Jacob and his children.

Of course, family love pales in comparison to God’s love for us.  That is a great comfort when we are going through hard times in family life – God’s love is constant and forgiving and merciful.  It is good to be a child in the family of God.

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