We see the disintegration of the family all around us: divorcing couples, rebellious children, absent fathers, abusive parents, siblings who haven’t spoken to each other in years. As we look around, things are not what they should be.
And we all contribute to the disintegration of God’s design for the family. We do it with our words when they are unkind, hurtful, mean, and cutting. We do it with our attitudes when they are angry, bitter, resentful, or grumpy.
At the end of all this disintegration is simply a failure to love. We are too often selfish people living as though it is all about us. But God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves. And our closest neighbors are our own families. We need to truly love our families, and this love must be:
- Other-centered – Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). And we are to look not only to our own interests, but to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). And this includes our families. We need to look to the needs of our families instead of focusing on ourselves. We need to go beyond feeling (because sometimes we won’t feel like loving), and choose to love even when it is hard. Our love for our families must be other-centered.
- Faithful – Jesus came and loved his disciples until the very end (John 13:1). True love never ends (I Corinthians 13:8). Our love for our families must be faithful; it must be lasting. Husband for wife, wife for husband, parents for children, children for parents. Our love for our families must be faithful.
- Sacrificial – Jesus loved us so much he sacrificed himself for our us, and we are to have that same love for others (Ephesians 5:2). That means we must be willing to sacrifice our wants, our time, our agendas, our hopes, our dreams for the good of our families. Our love for our families must be sacrificial.
In the midst of all the disintegration, it is this other-centered, faithful, sacrificial love that will bind our families together.
Are you showing this kind of love for your family?