I come from a family of five—there’s my father, mother, two older sisters and me. Together we’re dysfunctional, disorganised, lazy and sometimes crazy. But behind it all, we’re a very loving bunch. So “family” is a term that I hold dear to my heart. It is the very essence of love and comfort to me, right from the moment I step into the welcoming embrace of my comfy home to the scrumptious home-cooked food that is laid on the table everyday.
Despite having to work overseas and being physically apart from family for nearly two years now, distance has never diminished my appreciation for my parents and sisters and treasuring what family support is all about. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology with instant messaging at my fingertips, my family is always close to me. I treasure every photo, video and message received. And while not having them physically near me has been tough, I thank God for the “extended family” He has given me—my relatives, church friends and even colleagues.
But family, as most of us know it, is not perfect. We’ve all had to go through the perpetual nagging from our parents, the countless arguments with our siblings over ridiculous and nonsensical matters, and of course, the times that we’re just irritable and snappy. Thankfully, most of the time, we learn to laugh it off, forgive each other and move on. Doesn’t this bring you much comfort knowing that there are people who love you unconditionally despite knowing your flaws?
As I was standing in the dining hall the other day, I was drawn to the plaque which we had for many years hung high up at the centre of the wall. It read: “Christ is the Head of this house; the unseen Guest at every meal; the silent Listener to every conversation.”
In each of our families, Christ is ever present and is much closer to us than any of our family members. He embodies the perfect characteristic of every role we play in the family. He’s caring and loving like a perfect mum, provides and corrects like a perfect Dad, sensitive and trustworthy like a perfect sister and (I am sure) as protective and fun to be with like a perfect brother.
Although others have said that my family looks “pretty perfect”, we are light years away from it. This is why, I am eternally thankful and proud to say that it is the love of Christ that has kept us together all these years. After all, what is family without love and what is a close family without God’s love? As Scripture puts it in Colossians 3:14, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
As I look at my own family and God who is the head of my family, I thank God for the privilege of being part of His family, as John 1:12-13 says: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Is there something you can thank God for in your family or the people around you today?
Family that’s just family.
Friends that are like family.
Church that feels like family.
Family. Enough said.