If we think about our own families, we can probably start listing ways they influenced our lives—the pros and the cons. In fact, families are our first connection to everything we need to thrive. And because of this, we know it’s important to support families in our circle of influence—at church, in our neighborhoods, and in our communities. Read this excerpt from the Neighbor: Embrace Families Bible Plan to discover ways to support families around you today.
God has a heart for families, children, and intergenerational relationships. But why does this matter so much? Because healthy families build healthy communities. And we all have a part to play in building healthy families around us.
Depending on your personal family experiences, you may realize that your family gave you access to privileges and opportunities that not everyone has. If your family met your emotional needs, then you were even better off, and it was likely easier for you to accept God’s love since you saw it modeled in others growing up.
Even if your family situation wasn’t the best, we serve a God who can work all things together for good, and Scripture is full of people who came from awful backgrounds yet accomplished amazing things for God’s glory.
No matter what your family past looks like, Jesus gave all of us the command to love our neighbors the way we were loved—or wish we had been loved.
… “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 NIV
If you’re not sure where to start, begin by thinking about your own experiences. Do you come from a healthy family that can be a model for others? How could you mentor a young parent or share your experiences with families in your community?
If you had an unhealthy family growing up, what can you do today to help reverse the cycle tomorrow? Maybe it’s processing past pain in counseling. Maybe it’s committing to going to church as a family. Or maybe it’s getting a mentor for yourself.
All of us will have a different role to play, and that’s why we’re known as the Body of Christ. So let God’s love prompt you to action in your community.
Maybe your next step is getting involved with a local organization that supports parents, children, the elderly, or fostering and adoption. Maybe your next step is simply getting to know a family in your neighborhood or apartment complex.
Ask God to reveal your next step, then watch as He brings a glimpse of heaven to earth—because as the Church, we’re called to partner with families through foster care and adoption, mentorship, early childhood experiences, and supporting families around us.
Pray: God, I know that You love healthy families and that they have the power to impact their communities and Your Church for good. I want to play a part in what You’re doing in the families around me. Show me where You’re calling me to serve, and then give me the courage to go. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Challenge: Consider ways you can invest in families in your communities. Then take action and serve them.