It is who we are.

It is more than lines and genes, more than long-aged traditions and fading photographs, more than mothers, fathers, siblings, and more than a name. It is so much more.

It is amazing to me how families grow. We marry, we have children, our siblings marry, we adopt, we reunite with an adopted member and her adoptive family. We grow, grow, grow. They say that blood is thicker than water, but how can that be, when we choose our own spouses? When we choose to bind ourselves to another family line?

It is made clear to me again that love is not simply an emotion. It is not merely that affability, that ease of being comfortable around people we know. It is a choice. We choose who we will love–whether we are related biologically or not.

It must be that the greatest love is freely chosen, freely given, and freely received.

And so we gathered–two families, coming together through the bond of marriage–and we simply knew. There was no question we would become family. There was no question we would love. We just did. And somehow, God–in His infinite wisdom–brought together personalities, interests, skills, and histories that were so diverse, yet they shone awkward beauty, like a young orchestra playing together for the first time.

It is the miracle of another person, without intent or effort, bringing out pieces of our own character and being that we maybe had forgotten–or had never known. It is that subtle dissonance–the tension (and resolution) of harmony whereby each instrument’s strength is exalted, and its weakness is supported by another’s strength. It is by others that we come to know ourselves; and it is by us that others come to know themselves.

It is who we are, and who we are becoming.


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One Response to Family

  1. Dave Wade says:

    Greetings, semmi,

    It is obvious that Christ emphasized the critical importance of the family. In today’s world there are many destructive forces at work to destroy this great institution – marriage, resulting in a kind, cohesive, caring family. Those families that have learned to follow Christ as a family unit soon realize the beauty of mutual discipleship – each member assisting others in a common goal – to be like Christ in every conceivable way.

    And yet we see this statement from Jesus in Mat 12:46 – 50
    “Jesus was still talking to the people when his mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside, asking to speak with him. So one of the people there said to him, “Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak with you.” Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother, my sister, and my mother.” GNB

    Albert Barnes comments: “Dear and tender as were the ties which bound him to his mother and brethren, yet those which bound him to his disciples were more tender and sacred. How great was his love for his disciples, when it was more than even that for his mother! And what a bright illustration of his own doctrine, that we ought to forsake father, and mother and friends, and houses, and lands, to be his followers!”

    The relationship God wants us to have with Him surpasses any earthly affection or obligation we may have in the Worldly Kingdom. As citizens of the Kingdom of God/Heaven all our primary obligations are to Him. Part of that responsibility is for us to love and care for family and friends, and yes, even complete strangers and enemies. This is what a true Christian does.

    Biblically, the priority starts with your Savior, then your family, for “… if any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of your own family, you have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.”
    I Timothy 5:8 GNB

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