How does your family reflect the love of God?
I have met a lot of college students who are from a blended family. Social scientists say one out of three people are connected to a step family. While it’s not easy, many students have told me they love their family.
They tell me certain dynamics are critical if a blended family is to work and contribute to health and maturity. Adapting to a step-parent, getting used to new siblings, not knowing your birth parents but sharing a biological parent are just some of the obstacles to confront and deal with.
A friend of mine is a family therapist and he told me that he warns step families against trying to live up to the same expectations of a nuclear family. He further said research indicates a step family, unlike a nuclear family, takes more time to grow and connect. Loving feelings can develop, but they are not an immediate result. Significant time, patience, persistence, and plugging away are required so family members (parents and children alike) do not become disappointed too quickly and yield to despair. Family bonding just takes time.
Read Ephesians 1:3-14.
Family life is hard no matter what kind of family you are born into, find yourself in, or are adopted into. Yet Scripture declares one family far exceeds all the expectations of a hoped for, happy, safe, and secure home. That family is the family of God.
The apostle Paul wrote to the first century church in Ephesus that all of us who who put our faith, hope, and trust in Jesus are adopted as sons and daughters. He said we have access to all the spiritual blessings that are represented and available “in Christ.” Essentially, God does not hold anything back from us. He says, “Come on down, my children. See what kind of life I have created and purchased for you. If you accept and receive my forgiveness, you will not have to be afraid anymore. I am never going to forget you, leave you, or forsake you.”
In God’s family, there are no step parents to get used to, no shared parenting on weekends, no visitation schedules to keep track of. We are all fully accepted, first born children of the One True God, the Shepherd of our souls, with complete access to Him. There is no separation possible due to His love and faithfulness toward us.
Paul used precise words and phrases in the first fourteen verses of Ephesians 1 such as, “He blessed us (v 3),” “He chose us (v 4),” “He predestined us to be adopted (v 5),” “He freely gave us His grace (v 6),” “He redeemed and forgave us (v 7),” “He lavished on us wisdom and understanding (v 8)” to describe the heavenly family we all have opportunity to experience.
God gives us all a family, nuclear or blended, so we can grow up loved, cared for, and secure. He knows we need to connect and bond with others, as well as with Him. You can experience some of heavenly life while in an earthly family, but for certain it is available in God’s family.
Use Scripture like Ephesians 1 to build your life on the truth of God’s Word. Insecurity can be dealt with. Think theologically. All of us in Christ are adoptees and belong to our Father.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz