Is Family a Gift?

Even if family members don't always agree, love is the force that unites them.

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Posted in , Jul 16, 2015

A family united by love.

The high school graduation party for my niece drew together several generations. Ages ranged from two to 93. It was a beautiful time–young ones intermingling and playing games with older members; everyone joined in celebration of the occasion.

Over the years our family has become a blend of different heritages and nationalities. We come in different sizes, colors and shapes, and speak multiple languages. Our faith affiliation varies from family to family.

While faith is important for the majority of our family, there are a few who don’t believe in God. We love them no differently. The diversity among us leads to many interesting discussions and arguments, but most of all great fun. We enjoy expressing our emotions with our hands and our voices… often everyone at the same time. Sound familiar?

Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa says, “You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.”

While Tutu’s words ring true, families are not perfect. Most have some wonderful and some difficult members. Most have both inspiring stories of overcoming hardships and embarrassing moments that are thankfully in the past.

Keeping them together is the challenge.

READ MORE: ALL KINDS OF FAMILIES

Although there are real differences, love is the force that unites us when everything seeks to divide. Love lays the bridge to forgiveness and reconciliation in times of separation and brokenness. When illness, death or tragedy strikes, it’s the love of family that keeps us together and gets us through these difficult seasons.

I thank God for my family. The love and faith that has been handed down from one generation to the next continues to shape who we are today and who we will be in the future. I often think if we were able to choose our family, many of us would end up with the same one. I know I would.

Do you see your family as God’s gift? If you had to choose one word to describe them, what would it be?

Lord, you place us in families. Whether biological, adopted or within a church, help us to see our family as your gift and empower us to be the gift to them that you intended.

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