Family relationships can be some of God's best gifts or life's greatest challenges.
Curled up together on mattresses sharing childhood memories and laughing at private jokes, breathing do you remembers?
Seeing the ugliest sides of yourself and each other in petty quarrels, in everyday, significantly small selfishness.
That's a dumb idea.
Love you. A lot.
Grow up and stop being so childish.
You're not really like that. I know that.
I hate it when you...
In any family who has lived together for a considerable amount of time, the most honest, raw words and emotions take place. There is no temptation to moderate our behaviour, like we inevitably do in front of others--don't we all? You have seen each other's most unglamorous, embarrassing, dumb moments; you know each other's weaknesses and blind spots. And either you despise each other for it or you accept it; because you also know that unpleasant as those sides are, they are not the only sides of each other. Those honest words or emotions can become the foundation for a honest, genuine relationship, all the stronger for having no pretentious nonsense of 'niceness', which dooms so many friendships to superficiality, disillusionment, disappointment.
A complicated case of: I know you can be awful. But you know I can be so too. And similarly, I know that just as I can see beyond that awfulness to your strong points, you can see through mine to my own.
This is the best, the strongest kind of relationship--the kind that has gone through fierce heat and come through, burnt but more beautiful and more hardy for the flames.
Blood-duty, the obligations you have to each other within a family (I know the term sounds strangely videogame-esque)
--can make it easier to relate to each other, comforting in knowing you'll always have these bonds to rely on, as it is to me.
On the other hand, perhaps that very blood-duty makes it even more awkward and difficult to relate to each other when you're not close--or flatly against each other; makes your relationship an unavoidable part of your future whether you like it or not.
Which is it for you, as spouse, parent, child, sibling? Or, more accurately, a mix of both perhaps?
Colossians 3:18-25 is all about how Christians should face blood-duty: how does living in the image of Christ apply to different relationships within the family? As a Christian who is a spouse, parent, a child, a sibling?
I tried to discern what was the common point between the instructions for the different roles mentioned in this passage, and I realized it was something as simple as Christ.
Basically, Christ-likeness in the form of gentleness and humility are applicable to any role within the family, as long as the individual loves Christ and truly desires to please and be like Him. As a parent? Be gentle; resist the temptation to take your authority over your children for granted. Do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. As a spouse? Submit...love...do not be harsh. As a child? Obey humbly.
Christ-likeness: gentleness and humility. Regardless of what our roles within our family are, we need Him. We need to be motivated by Him. We need to emulate Him. And we need to be empowered by Him.
If we love Him, our strength to change will be from Him, to be like Him.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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