Family - The Joy, The Pain, The Struggle

God puts us in families. 

And He puts family in us. It's inescapable. Whether your family is by birth, adoption, or friendship, a powerful knitting has happened. Family is a gift and a great teacher. In His wisdom, God has placed us with certain individuals. For those of you whose families are by birth, you didn't have a choice; but God did. He knew what He was doing. Whether you're a parent, a spouse, or a child, you are placed.

At times it may seem hard or even ridiculous to try and find good out of the struggles we as families can go through. But we must search for a way to see the good; for it is there. Without the challenges of teenage children, I would not have learned patience. Without seeing an adult child suffer, I would not have learned compassion. Without raising a toddler, I would not have learned to teach.

I've learned companionship and friendship from my siblings. I've felt support from my parents. I've had the guidance and help of a wife.

But given the true benefits of family, it is no wonder that we have an enemy that is on an affront against our families. It shouldn't surprise us that there is one who will stir as much trouble and as cause as much division as possible. His purpose is to destroy the purpose of family. Yet in those trying times when the heat of family conflict is turned up, we have a hidden benefit in store. We have the victory, so to speak.

For those conflicts and difficulties serve a powerful purpose: to pull out the sickness of heart we all have. God places us in families, in close relationship, because there is no one else who can push our buttons like those closest to us. And in that button pushing we learn something about ourselves; we learn that we need healing. 

Insecurities, past hurts, distant wounds, all need drawing out. And not only does family provide an environment to do that, if we look, we will see that they are also there to stand by us and carry us through our wounds. What a miracle. 

Family is not perfect. And neither are you. If we will just humble ourselves and see the true benefit of family, see God working in us through others, we will reap the fruit of that true benefit. We will see the Spirit changing us and molding us into what He wants us to be. And deep inside, isn't that your greatest desire?


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