A father giving a biggy back ride to a young child in the park

The Power of Family

People need community. Simply put, people need people. There is no underestimating the power of human connection and our transformational impact on each other’s daily experiences. Every day we talk to countless people. Whether they are people we are close with or strangers we are getting to know, each conversation brings us closer in our relationship. The same goes for our relationship with God. The more that we talk to Him through prayer, about Him in conversation, or learn from Him through Scripture, the more we feel His presence. We begin to know Him and understand how deeply He already knows us.

Relationships are constantly changing. Everyone has good and bad days that make socializing more or less complicated, just like how we can feel like God is far away in one moment or right next to us in the following. Over time we grow closer to certain people and away from others. Our feelings change from moment to moment, but permanent and significant relationships in our lives will remain reliable as long as we continue to invest in them. As our relationships grow and change, God remains the same. Even if we run from Him, He is still right by our side.

Our immediate and extended families are often our most permanent relationships. The word family does not always mean our biological parents and siblings. Often our family can come in many different forms. These relationships are essential to us, whether parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, stepparents, half-siblings, caregivers, adoptive parents, or friends. People need authentic relationships with people that care for them. Our families give us a dependable support system and a lifelong community. Every family is unique, but the unconditional love and support that they share are vital to our personal growth. God created our distinctive families to be extraordinary communities that would aim to bring us the kind of love and acceptance that He believes each of us deserves.

All personal relationships need time and effort to be strong. Life can be difficult and cause rifts within even the most vital families- that is why showing them attention and encouragement is so important. It can be easy to take our families for granted, especially when they constantly surround us. The most permanent relationships often feel like they don’t deserve as much attention- but they do! Our relationship with our families is a lot like our relationship with God. It is supposed to be a close and loving place where we can always be our most authentic selves. That’s why they deserve more attention, if not the most attention! Conflict with our families and God is bound to happen, but handling issues maturely and bringing honesty and love into those moments can bring us closer together. During times of conflict, when we feel the most vulnerable, is when we find the most healing in our community. As God teaches us to be a little more graceful and loving, our families serve as spaces where we can freely practice those traits.

There will be times in our lives when we feel lonely or isolated. Times when God feels far and our families feel unconnected. During life transitions, mental health challenges, career changes, location moves, or health issues, we can feel the weight of burdens. Our family is there to support us. God is there to support us. During the times that we feel the most alone is when we have to reach out. Pray daily, share our difficulties, and invest in your family as they help to support you. It takes courage to speak up in moments of weakness, but having the support of family makes all the difference. There is not a single family on Earth that is perfect – everyone brings their own insecurities, flaws, and hurts into a relationship. But only in that community can we find ourselves, healing, growing, and finding out who God really created us to be.

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