When I was younger I never really understood what family was; what the proper functionality of a family was, or what it meant to be a family or how to treat family members. Some of you may be in the same place I was years ago where family reunions didn’t mean much to me. I either didn’t know everyone that well, or I just didn’t get what was so great about seeing one another.
God changed that. He changed my view of family when He started to implement love and care into my life. He changed my view on family when He showed me grace and forgiveness time and time again, when I started looking at God as a father rather than a king that I was a slave to or who ruled over me.
When I realized that God served me as a father does to a son by providing for me, by disciplining me, by leading me through the labyrinth of life’s’ challenges, I started to understand the importance of family and the meaning of being a family member. Family wasn’t just to help you when you are down, but to nurture and believe in you. I believe in my little sister, she is one of the fastest soccer players I’ve ever set my eyes on. She works diligently at her soccer practices and she practically eats, sleeps, and breathes soccer. When I see her on the field and she is getting kicked around or huffin and puffin to gain control of the ball, it lights me up! I get excited FOR her. I’m the guy screaming his head off yelling her name! My thing is to call her out by number “Number 23 is my number 1!”
When she loses a game I want to encourage her, I want to inspire her to do better and to keep her chin up. I do these things because I love her and she is family. I spend time hearing about her games and what she likes or dislikes about her coach because I love her and I care.
God taught me that, He taught me to care, He taught me that desiring others to be happy is something that can bring you joy as well. That it isn’t about what you can get all the time to put a smile on your face, rather what you can do for others to put a smile on your face.
He taught me that sacrifice isn’t a bad thing when it is used to bring someone else appreciation, or honor.
My older sister is currently dating a guy I know very little about. However since she has met him, her life has been turned right side up! Literally every time I call her or talk to her on the phone she sounds happy. Since she has been with this man, she has gotten a new job that she loves, she works with a big sister program counseling and spending quality time with a young girl who does not have many strong loving women figures in her life. My sister lives in an amazing home and just got back from a vacation in Europe. She is the most content with her life in a while and it all started with this flourishing relationship with this new boyfriend.
I really am happy for her and it again makes me smile knowing she is loving her life, but I want to know more about this boyfriend. So I met him a few times and we talked a bit on the phone. I needed to really understand his intentions with my sister. Yes he makes her happy and she loves her life with him, but does he love her? Does he want to commit his life to her? Does he see her as an equal in the relationship? Does he understand that if he hurts her I’ll grab the first plane out of whatever state I’m in and end up at his doorstep the same night? Ha well fortunately he is a great guy and has a huge heart for my sister, so I don’t have to worry about that. But I needed to have that conversation with him. Why? Because family is important and my sister’s life is important to me. Family provides and protects one another, God taught me that. He taught me that family does look out for each other, not just financially but spiritually. Not just to help around the house or to give someone a ride, but to help protect the heart of a person you love and is a part of your family. We were created to love. We were created to love others, and God gave us our families to love them as we love ourselves. To devote our time into their lives and care for one another. To help in all areas of their lives and if need be, give a little more at times for the sacrifice of the well being of the family.
This has happened to me countless times with my family, always giving, loving, caring, nurturing, and providing. God taught them that in which they’ve taught me and I intend to teach others the importance of family. Knowing all of this saddens me because I’ve missed out on so many birthdays, weddings, holidays, anniversaries, soccer games, etc..
So this holiday, take the time to listen and learn from your family members and really take hold of the time you have with them. Not everyone gets that chance or opportunity to love and care for their family. Give a little more, take a little less and love a whole lot this holiday.