Last evening I finished an interesting (and confronting) little book that provoked me to write you a short letter to encourage you to think about how to proactively connect with your families to bless them. The author suggests that as an essentially communal species, we develop our sense of self and our emotional foundation as people from our family as our “primary community”. While she was not writing from a Christian perspective, I believe that many of her insights line up with Biblical truth.
Some of us feel the challenge created by our family situation, and this is often not of our choosing. However, it is a challenge for all of us in families, even (and perhaps, especially) for those who situation seems more “ideal”. We can convince ourselves that this isn’t an issue for us. But it is. Parents are wrapped up in careers, children are constantly busy, and the family is in a constant state of digital distraction courtesy of our ubiquitous smart phones. We may be physically present to one another yet emotionally distant.
While there are some things that any of us can do to help us reconnect (i.e. put down the phone, limit social media, declutter the family schedule, turn off Netflix, go for a walk together, keep work within sensible boundaries, etc), I want to draw you to Scripture’s ultimate answer to our “longing for belonging”: by faith we are children of God (see Jn 1.12-13).
How can we as individuals, as families, and as the church, constantly draw our hearts to this wonderful fact? Parents (and grandparents), how do your children see this reflected in your life? How do you point those precious individuals to the sure foundation, to “the rock that is higher than I” (Ps. 61.2). What steps might we take to remind one another of our Heavenly Father and his family in which we find our eternal home. It is through Christ that we truly belong within a community founded on a love that will never fail. Rest in him.
Senior Pastor | Trinity Church Brighton
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