I have had the word "family" on my mind lately. Family. It is one of those words that you hear a lot.

"How is your family?" "Is your family with you?" "Sorry about your family." "What a great family!"

One year ago today, I committed to join another family. I promised myself to make another family. In other words, I accepted a marriage proposal! And so one year later, I am well settled in as a wife in my new family.

Yet, for 18 years I was a child in another family. I was a happy and blessed child in the Brown household. I learned how to be an adult, a wife, a caregiver, money manager, forgiver, friend and most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ.

What have I learned being on both sides of the fence? I have learned that family is a precious thing. It is more precious than I ever realized. Each moment with every person you love is a gift. Each moment is one that you will never again receive. Your family is the only people who love you no matter what. They are the only ones who will be by your side, come what may.

Family is designed by God to be a structure in which a group of related people operate to serve Him. No family is perfect. Everyone has their annoying quirks. But sometimes I see a tendency among Christian families. Members of the families seem to be waiting until everyone is nearly perfect before they give their unbound love to them. Don't wait until your little brother is less annoying to hold him in your arms and tell him that you love him. Don't wait until your sister is married to tell her that she means the world to you. Don't wait to honor your parents until there are consequences. Don't wait until your spouse is in desperate need of love before you tell them that they are your forever love. Don't wait until your grandparents are in the nursing home before you visit them. Don't put them in the nursing home at all. Don't assume babies are going to ruin your life. Have babies. Adopt babies. Be fruitful and multiply in God's timing and don't hold Him back. Let Him build your home and don't force Him away.

And if you don't have a family, let your church be your family. That is another point, be a member of your church family that your church can be proud of.

Now is the time to make the most of the time with your family. They will not always be here. In pursuit of "me time" and selfish individual getaways, you may find that those piles of dirty clothes, sinks full of dishes and hand-me-down clothes weren't so bad after all. Maybe, in fact, it means that you have or have had a home full of blessings.

Your family is your blessings. Train them. Call them. Challenge them. Encourage them. Hug them. Support them. Forgive them. Love them. And lead them to the ultimate family... the Family of God.


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