We all have different types of family, but how many of us would choose the word “healthy” to describe ours? No matter what your childhood was like, you can create change that promotes safe and loving relationships in your home. You can also support other families, because healthy families build healthy communities. Check out this excerpt about families—and why it’s important to partner with them—from the You’ve Heard It Said Season 6 Bible Plan: Loving Our Neighbors.
No two families are the same. Some have single parents, some have multiple generations under one roof, and others are blended with remarried parents. No matter what your family situation looks like, it’s probably easy to think of some dynamic that makes it unique.
Sometimes, we’re tempted to label families around us—or even our own family—as “broken,” but what if they simply look whole in a different way? In fact, if we look throughout Scripture, we see countless examples of God using dysfunctional families for His glory.
From Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery to David committing adultery to Abraham circumventing God’s plan by having a child with a concubine, the Bible is full of some families that would make entertaining soap operas.
And yet, Joseph realizes that what the enemy intended for evil, God used for good. David is labeled in Scripture as a “man after God’s own heart,” and God blesses Abraham’s descendants.
Even Jesus’ earthly family had a unique dynamic. Joseph and Mary were set to be married, but before they said, “I do,” Mary became pregnant. Upon hearing the news, Joseph decided not to go through with the marriage.
However, the Lord spoke to Joseph through an angel and told him that Mary would give birth to Jesus, the Son of God, who would save God’s people. So Joseph married Mary and brought a child into his family who wasn’t his own. And that’s exactly what God has done for each of us—His followers.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family … and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5 NLT
In response to this great adoption into God’s family, we walk with the families around us. We also live in a way that encourages more people to accept their invitation into God’s family.
Why does this matter? Are families that influential?
There’s so much value in what happens at home because families help shape us into who we are. A healthy family can build healthy self-esteem, provide access to financial resources, and influence the opportunities we’re given.
That’s why we want everyone to have access to a family where they belong, knowing that families don’t have to be blood. Good friends can become like family, and so part of loving our neighbors as ourselves is providing relational support to those who may not have healthy families.
As adopted children of God, we partner with families through mentoring, serving foster and adoptive families, creating healthy early childhood experiences, caring for the elderly, and more. We also support our own families, knowing that there will be seasons where we need our neighbors to stand in the gap for us.
Because families are ultimately made up of imperfect people, there will be times when our families feel far from perfect. But that doesn’t make them any less purposeful. And the best news is that we’re all invited to be a part of the only perfect family to exist—God’s family.
Take some time to think about what it means to be adopted into God’s family. How does that influence the way you treat others?
Pray: God, thank You for adopting me into Your family. I trust that You place each of us into specific families for specific reasons. Because families are important to You, they are important to me. Please use me to serve the families around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.