Growing up, my mother made sure we got to visit all our relatives on a regular basis. Every once in a while Dad would come too.
I didn’t know it then, but family ties have a great deal to do with how we live our lives, whether it is immediate family or extended. As a youngster I looked up to a lot of cousins, and aunts and uncles, especially those who emulated Christ’s character.
I’ve always wondered what the phrase “family ties” means. At first glance you might visualize all your first and second cousins tied to each other, and to you with one big long invisible thread. Or you may think of the less literal interpretation, the genealogy connection.
Lately I’ve been thinking of “ties” in terms of how our decisions affect the ones we love. Our decisions resemble a rock falling into a pool of water. The circular ripples echo outwardly and touch everyone from our inner circle onward. We forget about how people watch and learn from one another.
I believe that is why Jesus taught us so much about love. If we act out of love for God, for ourselves and others, our ripples are going to create joy, encouragement and generally build one another up (in the faith I hope). If we act out of selfishness our ripples can cause pain, concern and genuine discouragement.
What decisions are you making today that will spur your family on to greatness of character? What choices have you made lately that will strengthen your faith and your family’s?
We cannot hope to be the best we can be for ourselves, and our family without help from God. He gives us grace as we grow, and we must extend that same grace and patience, and prayer generously.
Making sound decisions (based on biblical principles) is a challenge. It is easy to give into status quo.
May I conclude with a sincere warning to those people who are near and dear?
Please watch what you say and do, someone’s future faith depends upon it.