You don’t choose them and yet you wouldn’t/couldn’t have it any other way.

Family relationships are a special thing. They are our strongest ties in many cases because we share “blood” with our relatives. They can be sometimes difficult and complex but they can also be the most rewarding and fulfilling that we will ever experience. Certainly everyone’s family relationships and dynamics aren’t the same.

For some families, tight bonds take precedence above everything else. For others, their ties are looser although no less loving. My personal experience bears this out. Then, there are the other, formed families or familial relationships we develop and build over time. These brothers and sisters don’t share our lineage and yet we are no less bound to them and in many cases would make the same sacrifice for them as we would our related kin. Paul makes a case for the ultimate family relationship in his letter to the church in Galatia.

“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.” (Galatians 4: 6-10)

As children of God we are compelled to yearn for a relationship with our Father in heaven. When God sent Jesus, this hunger for the Lord was infused in us. Because He knows us, we have been delivered out of our old lives and we’re free to be in a relationship with Him. It is a relationship away from our old manner of living. It is one unencumbered from the ways of the world. Paul pleads with the church at Galatia not to go back to what they once were. I confess I’ve known this ebb and flow in my spiritual journey and in my earthly family too.

I’ve known deliverance from the things of the world that held me in their grasp. Being freed from them, I’ve experienced a new life in Christ but I’ve also been guilty of going back to my old habits. Paul’s charge to the Galatian church is to stay the course, to resist their urges and to resist the world. I don’t imagine their struggles were much different than ours today. With all the distractions thrown our way today, losing touch with our family is easy. Losing sight of where we belong is probably no farther away than our phone.

We’re pulled in the wrong direction. We’re pulled toward living by the standards of the world when this is not God’s intent. Our memories are shorter than they’ve ever been but I pray they won’t be. It’s my hope that you will resist the pull of the world today and every day hereafter. Recognize who you are and whose you are. It was the hope of Paul and it is the hope of our Father.

Staying grounded and knowing where you belong and why has probably never been more challenging. It’s so convenient to go off alone on our own tangent but eventually we look up and find we’re alone. What kind of pickle will we be in then?

Each week I write a bit about religiousy things; not because I feel obligated but because it brings me back to center. If this did that for you I hope you’ll share it with someone who’s part of your family. There’s more to read at the home page too. Click here to go there and if you like it please subscribe. Subscribing is free and means you’ll get an email on Saturdays with links to that week’s posts; nothing else just the email. I don’t sell or share emails. Subscribe by clicking this.