WHAT IS FAMILY?

A combination of things this past weekend spurred my thinking about family as I was driving home from church this past Sunday. I realize there are no perfect families, and that families can be hurtful, but I am a fan of family. One of the reasons I am such a fan of family is because I have greatly benefitted from many families.

As I revisited my thinking about family later Sunday evening I typed in family on my computer and came across a broad definition that reinforced part of what I had been thinking on my drive home. Here it is: “To some, the true meaning of family means a group of people related by blood or ancestry. To others, it has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with love, compassion, and support. The definition of the word family can mean many things.”

Friday and Saturday I had been thinking about the first part of the definition: “a group of people related by blood.” Thursday night our son and daughter-in-law (there’s another aspect of family) drove into town and Rob and I played golf on Friday. It was great to spend time with him on the golf course and the rest of the weekend with the two of them.

Jan and I moved to Amarillo to be close to our daughter and two grandsons. Saturday morning I went to our six year old’s indoor soccer game and in the evening I went to our ten year old’s indoor soccer game – spending quality time with both grandsons and our daughter. Saturday evening all of us had dinner together and had a great time playing some silly game at the dinner table after we had eaten.

The last sentence of the definition of family I inserted at the end of the second paragraph above rings true: “The definition of the word family can mean many things.” Of course family consists of people related by blood, but family is also found among people that have nothing to do with genes. Both family related by blood, as well as family having nothing to do with genes, is about love, compassion, and support.

Sunday morning following worship I taught my Bible class consisting of participants all in our general age group. At the end of the Bible discussion we gave some prayer updates and concluded with prayer. In my prayer I thanked God for the privilege to be a part of his family, for the privilege to be a part of our church family, and for the privilege to be a part of our Bible class family.

I have been and am blessed by many members of a variety of families from the neighborhood in which I grew up through the churches I have been privileged to serve as an intern, youth minister, pastor, founding pastor, and pastor of senior adult ministry.

However, I do have some regrets. I wish I had engaged more with family members related by blood as a young adult. To his credit, my older brother did stay engaged. I also regret that I did not engage more often with him.  Although we do not live close geographically, I phoned him on his birthday yesterday.

Join me in thanking God for the many things family can be and the blessings they are to us and hopefully we are to them.

Image of our grandsons courtesy of our daughter.

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