There are many definitions of the word family, but I'd like to hope any type of family is one that consists of a collection of people providing emotional support, unconditional love and a place to express views. Most family characteristics also include similar experiences, shared values and common activities.
Types of families may include traditional, extended, single parent, childless, foster, same-sex, adoptive, grandparent and also social and church. While diverse, the success of any family depends on many attributes like support, hope, love and communication.
A church family is not just a collection of members that worship and pray together but rather provide support, nurturing and guidance to each other including children, youth and adults of all ages. This support can be through teaching, fellowship, prayer and ministry.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Many church programs support families with children. Some programs include Sunday School, Wednesday Night activities, Mission Trip, Church Plays, Singing and Volunteering.
Did you know by the age of nine a child's basic moral foundation has been formed? Church can help provide a positive place to assist in reinforcing a good moral foundation.
Start children off on the way they should go, even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Being part of a church family provides us with opportunities to pray in groups for one another. Our life journey has many high and low periods and it is during these times we can find comfort sharing these experiences. By praying together as a group we can get to know each other better and learn more about Jesus.
There is something special about giving thanks to the Lord when gathered in a small group. I often feel the presence of Jesus when I'm with others from a small church group. I'm given comfort, reassurance and revitalization knowing I'm sharing joyful news or what I'm thankful for in either my life or lives of others.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Knowing that other people care for us gives assurance that we are not alone in our life journey. We can find comfort sharing our troubles, concerns and joys with each other. the people in our church family are simply not acquaintances but in reality new members of our immediate family. We might tend to let our guard down and reveal our inner thoughts and feelings to these family members.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
There is probably no better definition of the word love than that found in the Bible. The scripture below summarizes how we should treat each other. Imagine the change to our world where this type of love is practiced.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. 5 It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
The King James version of the Holy Bible has just over 788,000 words. If you were to ask me what collection of words in the bible are most important to me and have helped define who I am it would be the following scripture. This scripture focuses on love and is a collection of the two greatest commandments found in the bible.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Books can be written on what the first part of the passage means.
To me this passage means I have unwavering trust in the Lord. I trust that he will never forsake me, that he will comfort me during difficult times, and he is beside me in good times and bad.
It means I talk with the Lord daily and ask for encouragement, wisdom and thanks that all he has given me.
It means I let the Love he has for me shine to all those I meet.
Who is your neighbor and what does it mean to love them as yourself?
To me this question has helped shape how I treat other people. I believe that everyone I have come in contact with and know is a neighbor. It doesn't matter if they are someone I just met in a grocery store, an old friend from school, a member of our church or literally my next door neighbor.
I treat people the way I hope they will treat me. It doesn't matter if they don't though. All that matters is my interpretation of this passage is to treat others with the same love I want them to show me.