“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” I John 4:7 (NIV)
Every family has something that connects them. For some it’s a love of sports. Others join together around the family piano or drum set for impromptu jazz sessions. Some have a love for the arts, drama, or all day scrapbooking sessions. Whatever it is that draws your family together, it’s definitely something to be celebrated.
The biggest prayer I have for my own family is to stay cemented together through our love for God. While each person has had to come to the decision about whether or not to follow Christ on his own, it’s been my prayer for each of my children since before they were born that he or she would make that personal choice. Sharing a love for God brings us all together, cementing our love for each other on a deeper level.
It makes the fun times better, the hard times easier, and the boring times more manageable. Does it mean we don’t ever fight or we all sit around complimenting each other all the time? Absolutely not! Our life is messy, crazy, loud, and sometimes even a tad inappropriate. But, at the end of the day, when things have settled down into a semblance of calm, putting God first in our individual lives has allowed us to start putting each other before our own motives.
Sometimes that means the kids pool their money and buy a special treat for the family to enjoy rather than spending it on Tic-Tacs and Twix bars. Other times it means refusing to complain when one of our kids has to pick up the house for the fifth time this week while the other one studies for yet another hard test. Sometimes it means standing up for each other, mowing the lawn because you are able-bodied, or encouraging another to rest and relax while you clean the house for company.
We have other traditions in life that make us smile and help us remember what it means to be a family: Summer bonfires with S’mores, camping out under the stars, a yearly trip to Traverse City, family movie nights with popcorn, silly private sayings that will remain private, bike rides, and Sunday afternoon hikes to name a few. However, through all of the laughter, drama, tears, and sometimes frustration, our individual commitment to God helps join us together and cements us with a glue that cannot come undone. For that reason, I take time on a daily basis to thank God for such an amazing blessing. Because, as our family verse says, “With God, all things are possible” Matthew 19:26 (NIV).
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell