bits from bob....

God's Spiritual Family

by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Much has been written about the problems faced by families in our society. Contemporary problems--divorce, abuse, assault, declining morality, life's daily struggles--do at times seem overwhelming as we strive to guide our physical families through this increasingly hostile, rugged world. Nor has the spiritual family of God been immune.

Spiritual families (churches) also face struggles. Too often spiritual leaders appear oblivious to those struggles. Why do Christians who once shared special times with the family fall way? Why do some Christians walk away from the spiritual family? Why does the family let them go?

When we fall in love with Jesus again, we love others. We seek to help all brothers and sisters to learn to love Him also. Our leaders have challenged us to make this year a year of lifting the fallen. The task may well begin with helping this spiritual family become what God intends it to be. Consider the following description of the church. May this mirror us, may others desire to come home to this "family."

What is family? Warmth when the world is when the world is hostile...belonging when the world when the world hates...light in the midst of when the world when nothing is dependable...acceptance combating surrounded by a world of insecurity. Family is people allowing other people to be human...understanding the struggle, sympathetic, encouraging, worrying, praying. Family is non-manipulative, family provides an atmosphere of acceptance and caring. Family is a "we" where everyone else is "they." The family is shelter in the storm, a safe port when life's waves are wild...smiles, laughter, giggles, shouts...fussing, fighting, bickering. Family is closed ranks and united troops when trouble threatens. Family is a victory shout when the race is run and the victory won. Family is a place of understanding and starting again when life has defeated us. Family is where they always have to take you in--a place of starting over when a fresh beginning is needed. Amen! So be it!

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Last updated January 8, 2002.