Today, amidst reflecting on Romans 12:2, I needed to reassure myself about the love of God. Paul wrote that love is patient, kind, hopeful and true. The love of God does not demand its own way, but is always seizing moments to honor others. God has often placed me in difficult environments, because he wants to test my ability to thrive in moments of arduous struggle.
It’s hard to renew our minds to God’s promise when we understand that humanity’s dispensation of love is often shattered by individual broken-ness. People overburdened with fear and pain have decreased capacity for Godly love.
Love is unable to be patient and kind, because the pain of abuse, neglect and manipulation impacts the confidence needed to trust others.
If we respectfully become God’s stewards, we must understand the difference between respect and scorn. I love my family, but loving a person does not mean that I allow myself be shamefully subjected to abuse just because I am supporting a false image of family.
What a family is not…
A family is not: a collection of people posing for photographs who might never has to aid someone in distress.
A family is not a group that sets unattainable expectations for its members, in effort to secure position and rank in society.
A family is not a body of people designed to critique, alter, or defame a member’s life choices to hold a perfectionist cloak over normal inconsistencies?
I love my family. However, I do not support the view that family should set unreasonable expectations for people without offering reasonable support.
A family that represents the love of Jesus should be communicative, responsible, trustworthy, and above all honest. For how can we show the love of God in our lives without admitting our imperfections. By sharing our humanity, we help those younger family members address significant problems.
Love hopes and believes all things. But pride stops us from accepting the frailty of our struggles. We are often too quick to dismiss a fellow family members failure because we’d rather believe by not talking about it we are actually preserving our legacy.
But love isn’t blind to the facts of human error. Love is always working to model the grace of God for everyone to see. Sometimes that grace involves using a mistake to warn a future generation.
I do love my family, but I believe that a great family must learn to work as team. We all are one God’s family, and we must understand that we must participate honestly in the work need to grow the values and ideals that nurture a family’s structure.