I am inspired to write this post during our family holiday although I’ve chewed over its contents for a while. As we spend time together relaxing, building memories and reconnecting I feel thankful and blessed to have family. I’m also reminded that family doesn’t just happen creating a thriving family involves a great labour of love and sacrifice. I write to encourage someone that their families are worth fighting for, worth their efforts and sacrifices. I’m also writing for those who may need a little helping hand getting back on track. You see God has already shown us that we are worth his best sacrifice. Easter is what God did to get his family back.
I’d like to think that I made a small sacrifice yesterday although at the time it felt like I had just moved a mountain. It was our third day of our holiday and we were all having a ‘lazy’ morning indoors. The sun seemed to have deserted us and a little drizzle appeared determined to dampen the day. The shower needed fixing which gave us an excuse to lounge in our pyjamas until late morning. I was all snuggled up as the warmth of the gas fire sedated me to a point where I could hardly move my muscles. Right then the kids enthusiastically remind me that I had promised to take them swimming. I really didn’t want to step out of the door let alone get into the pool. I had to consider what was at stake. Finally after a little nagging I decided that taking the kids swimming was worth the ‘sacrifice’ although it went against what my body felt at the time.
The story of Easter tells of the greatest love, love that sacrificed all for family. What was at stake was much greater, you see we were like people held hostage with no hope. Jesus paid the ransom for our release with his life. This he did in order to have us restored to our heavenly father.
What does family mean to you? I asked my daughter this question and her answer was interesting as you would expect coming from a six year old. With a warm smile she said that family to her means someone to cuddle with and to take her shopping. God’s intention is for each of us to have a positive family experience. The Bible describes him as a compassionate father who sets the lonely in families. His compassion for us is compared to that of a mother nursing her child assuring us that in the same way he would not abandon us. He promises to be a father to the orphans and a defender of widows. Having lost my dad at an early age my mum always said to us that God was our father. I therefore learnt to speak and depend on God from an early age. However, one thing always puzzled my young mind, how was God going to walk me down the aisle when I got married since he is invisible? I now know that God brings various people into our lives who become family to us and that way he provides for our needs and theirs.
As a wife and mother I’m not perfect I like to think of myself as ‘work in progress’. God’s love has the amazing power to set us free from things that hold us back from becoming the best versions of ourselves. We do this by acknowledging that Jesus suffered and died for us and that through his sacrifice we receive forgiveness and reconciliation to our heavenly father. It may be that we need freeing from a destructive cycle in your life that is ruining the family. We may need to forgive more, criticize less, let go of bitterness, show more kindness and spend more time with our family. Whatever we need for building God-like families has already been availed to us. We sometimes try to change or to build a great family on our own but find things falling apart. Psalms 127:1 reminds us that ‘unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain’. This verse tells us that it is by his help that we can change and grow and become the best that God intended us to be.
When we build strong thriving families we reflect God’s heart for family and we ultimately bring Him praise. For us to do this we need to let the Easter story affect our lives every day not just once a year at Easter.
Check out the following reference verses;
Ephesians 5: 21- 31 and 6: 1-4 Psalms 68: 5, 6 Isaiah 49: 15 John 13: 34, 35 Isaiah 53