Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder explained our undeniable need for God, spouses, parents, children, and siblings and offered several ways to draw us closer to all of them.
How do we restart a stalled relationship with our families? We choose to put down our pride and do that awkward thing.
Let go of the need to be perceived as the boss or wiser than everyone else. Repent of that pride, and reintroduce yourself to your family by bringing back an old cherished family tradition—or start a new one. Should we start a squirt gun fight with our siblings or dance while standing on our dads’ feet? Probably not, but you get the picture.
When my boys were young, I’d hide plastic Easter eggs filled with quarters, dimes, and nickels in the yard. They loved that game … then they grew up and left home. Sure they came by for Easter, but it transitioned into eating and then leaving, instead of celebrating our salvation and love for one another. So one year when they were in their 20s, I made up plastic sandwich bags tied with ribbon and hid them around the front yard. When I said they had to find their Easter treats before they could go home, they moaned and looked irritated. That is until they picked up the first bag and found ammo in it … the hunt was on! Yes, it was a little awkward, but it was a silly reminder of who we are to each other. A reminder that they are as loved and as valuable now as the day they were born.
It’s also important to include family in the more difficult, awkward things. For example, when their dad was sick with Alzheimer’s disease, one of my sons would take his dad out for ice cream and a car ride so I could go to the store, etc. My other son was willing and able to come to the nursing home with me to visit his dad when he became too sick to stay at home. Why did they do it? I’d say loyalty, love, and godly commitment to emulate what their dad taught them.
Please don’t let pride or fear stop you from engaging in life with your parents, siblings, and children. They are precious gifts from God that he created and gave specifically to you. Cherish, love, and definitely, dance with them.
Are you suffering from any strained family relationships? What did you do to contribute to the breakdown? Or, what haven’t you done to restore it?
If you think that everything that is wrong with your family is someone else’s fault, or that it’s all your fault, check out Celebrate Recovery at 7 p.m. on Fridays at all the CedarCreek campuses. It’s OK to not be OK, but maybe it’s time to find freedom from your hurts, habits, and hang ups (including fractured relationships). Check out the CedarCreek.tv/celebraterecovery.
Lord, we praise your name. Life can be so hard, so painful, and so sad. Thank you for walking through every relationship with us. As we draw near you through prayer and reading your Word, help us know you more. Use our relationship with family and friends to bring us to a deeper relationship with you and others. Please never let us waiver from our desire to draw our loved ones into the light of your love. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.
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