Groups in the Family

May 21, 2017 | Family Life

For our last post regarding family life for May’s theme, we wanted to spend some time talking about the different parts in a typical family and what it may look like in a church family. Too often in a familial structure we try to protect ourselves from external forces, but do not invest enough time fighting the dissension between our ranks. So here’s a light-hearted way to look at different groups within the family as we remember to acknowledge their importance 🙂

Babies

Even though few admit it, babies change the vernacular in a home from “married couple” to “family.” Maybe saying “married couple and ## kids” is too much? In any case, babies are cute, vulnerable, and entirely dependent on the immediate people around them to survive. They will cause good and bad days, but you love them anyway because they are your own. In the same way, babies exist in a church family as ones recently introduced to the Gospel. They need our understanding, love, and support to survive. They have taken a bold step into the truth, let us remember to care for them as they grow in Jesus.

Kids/Teens/Youth/Collegiate

Even though this is a large demographic, this group represents the younger folk in the church family. They are not only growing spiritually, but academically, socially, and other -ally’s as well. They are valuable to the family because they represent the future of the family (posterity). Sometimes they can have an attitude (not limited to a phase in life, adults are guilty of this as well). Oftentimes the opinions of this group are dismissed due to naiveté, lack of experience, and a host of other things (that seem escalated in today’s polar environment). In God’s family, they should not be ignored or dismissed. We may agree with this sentiment, but sometimes our actions indicate otherwise. Not taking the time to listen or understand the predicaments they face (perhaps thinking you survived, so they will too) will send them away to people who will listen. A division may exist between the young people an the elder people, but we must remember that our perspectives are never the complete picture.

Parents

The ones responsible for ensuring the future of the family, parents play a vital role in young development and home stability. Sometimes their mistakes have dire consequences, but for the most part we hope they try their best. In the church family, these are the nurturing ones that may or may not rub some the wrong way. They are vital to the church as they are a means of support, whether financially, emotionally, or otherwise. There may exist some friction between the young and parents, but let us remember that parents in the church work hard and try to do their best. They may not have all the answers, but they have a whole lotta love <3.

Grandparents

If you are fortunate to have them around, they are the ones that secretly bypass parental restrictions come holiday season yet may be viewed by those far removed from their generation as simply “old.” They can be viewed as obstinate, stiff, and difficult to work with. Their opinions may also be dismissed as with young people for being too far removed from current society. Yet when you sit down with them and hear their stories, you may realize they have more in common with you than you may think. They may have lived at a different time than you, but they faced similar uncertainties that you do as well! They have walked the way before you and have gained wisdom (hopefully) as a result of extensive life experiences. In God’s family, they still play a vital role. They don’t want you to make the same mistakes they did, and they want to advise you on the best path forward according to their experience.

First-cousin’s mom’s sister’s daughter’s nephew

If you were able to follow that, some families can become so complex that while the biological link exists that ties said person to larger family, it may seem like the person is so far removed that it would disqualify them from being a part of the family. Nonsense! In God’s family, whether the person is far removed, or so distant (never see them at family gatherings, etc), if they show up, you remind them that they are family! In God’s family, we are not an exclusive country club! Our doors are wide open. You may have wandered away off the beaten path, but if you are impressed to appear at worship again, as God’s family you will be welcomed with open arms because you are family, regardless of how long you’ve been away!

Adopted

Sometimes a family may choose to bring someone in to the family. Biologically the person may not belong, but family is a group of people willing to be together 😀 The oft-quipped phrase “Adopted means you’re special, because we chose you instead of being stuck with someone” rings true because in those moments where you may feel like you were “adopted” into the family, know that your family loves you. And in God’s family, you may not have a direct association into the family, but we want to be with you out of choice!

1 Corinthians 12 talks about the body and its different parts. One of the passages discusses the importance of not dismissing other body parts: “The eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t need you, nor again the hand to the foot, I don’t need you.” All areas of the family are important (as we’ve discussed previously). As a regular family contains diverse backgrounds, so God’s family contains diverse backgrounds. We are made up of many differences, let us remember to respect that each one of us lies at a different part of our journey with Jesus. Time is too short for infighting. Our war is against principalities and powers, not other family members!

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