Belong Together: Family Ties

Nic Frank spoke to us this afternoon about families and the impact that we can have on our own family. He began by making a comparison to Canada’s own All Dressed Ruffles. If you took out any of the flavors, these chips wouldn’t be the same. Something would be missing. The same can be said for our families. If we took away any of its members, they would be changed. Something would be missing.

Everyone’s family is different, but regardless of the family you come from, our hearts long for family. We were brought into this world through family and they are all around us. That being said, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to the families we see on TV shows and social media. It can be easy to begin asking ourselves “Is this as good as it gets? Could it be better?” Additionally, some families have been taken down a path that no one intended. The path of divorce, addiction and other hurts can be devastating.

Even families we see in the Bible have their share of issues. Families throughout history have seen lies, abuse, death and deceit. Even the Holy Family wasn’t exempt from these pains. Take comfort in the fact that Jesus can understand everything you are going through because he went through a lot of it himself in his own family. Nic urged us to believe this one thing: “If you have one take away from this talk, let it be this: your family should be one of the more important things in your life.” Yes, YOUR family. Right here, right now, your family is important and you are an important member of it.

Nic encouraged us to re-commit and re-claim our role in the family. If you do this, the impact that you can have on the family is going to be greater than you can even imagine. Our impact can be great because the family we came from is great. With Christ as its head and God as our Father, our eternal family is great. God wants to give you life, His heart, His grace…He wants to give you everything! Why? Because His hands are stretched out wide to receive us and invite us in.

Time and time again Christ proclaims His love for us in the gospel. He tells us that He loves us where we are, but He loves us too much to let us remain there. So He says “Come and follow me”. That’s part of what the invitation is. He’s inviting you into a new way of life when you are ready. He meets us first where we are at. No matter where you are or what you believe, you belong. You belong because you are part of the family. Being part of God’s family gives us grace that can transform not only us, but our parents, siblings & friends. This is the Heavenly family that we’re all invited into and it’s the Heavenly family that is going to transform our family here on Earth.

Nic offered us some practical steps to impact our families FAST:

Forgiveness – holding onto past hurts prevents us from being a vessel of love, and this hurts not only us but our family as well. Make steps towards forgiveness of family members that may need it.

Affirmation – our words have power! Use them wisely and affirm the good you see in your family members. Thank them for the graces they bring into your life.

Serve – small acts of kindness open ours and our family’s hearts to be receptive to love

Time – make time to invest in your family

BONUS! Prayer – pray for your family! If you don’t feel like you can forgive, or don’t think you have time to pour into your family, nothing is stopping you from praying for them. Praying for their safety, health, and happiness will open you and them up to the graces the Lord wishes to bestow.

If we can learn to FAST and pray for our family, the impact we can have on them will be greater than we can ever imagine. So recommit to your family now. Look to the future and begin to form the virtues you want your family to have for generations to come. They will be blessed by the decisions you make today. The things you choose to do have an impact on your family and we have no idea how far that impact will go.

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Written by Lara Piszar
Hello! My name is Lara - it's not LAURA - but I probably won't correct you if you get it wrong. In real life, I work for a retreat ministry called the REAP Team. In my down time, I'm full time dog mom to my fur baby, Grantley. My favorite way to pray is through journaling. My preference is black sharpie pens and I only write on the left side of my journals. Jesus once told me that it doesn't count if you use the right side (just kidding, He didn't say that. I am just picky). Follow me and my cute doggo on Instagram @hellolara.p & @hello.grantley. I promise you won't regret it!