"a. A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children. b. Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place."I like this definition. "Two or more people who have long-term commitments to one another." Who on earth would we be more committed to, "long term" than our family? When God created people He created them to live in a family. Both the Old and New Testament speak to the importance God places on the family. God wants families to grow together to know and serve Him. Sometimes families do a great job of this and other times families struggle with their relationships, but this "long-term commitment" is part of what keeps families together!
I found a great quote on-line; "Family members share a special relationship. They offer unconditional love, honor and respect to each other. Early on the Bible shows the benefits of a family, with God recognizing anyone associated with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even remotely belonging to this family brought blessings. These blessings still apply to family members today as their strong bonds are enjoyed."
Grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren - a family - need one another. It is in their family they are able to experience God's love, grace and forgiveness in their day-to-day lives as they show love, grace and forgiveness to one another. It is in this family relationship of love, grace and forgiveness the watching world is able to see God's love as families keep their "long-term commitments" to each other.
A family is a gift from the hand of God. While our families may look different - you may have more siblings, children and/or grandchildren than do I - the unconditional love we have for our families is the same! There isn't anything I would not do for my family and I am sure you feel the same. Oh, there are times when we may become frustrated with one another, but the "long-term commitment", the unconditional love is the foundation, because unconditional love is a gift from, and is modeled by, God.
It is in families where God shows His unconditional love, His "long-term commitment" to us each day - is it any wonder Satan hates families? Is it any wonder families are "under siege" and so many families are falling apart? When families get upset with one another and refuse to have anything to do with each other, it is a break in this "long-term commitment" and a pushing aside of the unconditional love which God planned for families to have.
So much damage and pain can happen in families and yet, there is the potential for so much grace, forgiveness and unconditional love to heal, strengthen and build, because God wants our families to be places where His unconditional love, grace and forgiveness is lived out. It is in our families we are able to show we follow God's example of faithful love by being faithful to love unconditionally the people God put in our families.
Make the commitment to have this unconditional love for your family. Be a person who is committed to giving grace and forgiveness to their family, every time no matter what. Commit to, "offer unconditional love, honor and respect to each other" no matter what!
Families are a true gift from God! I thank God for giving me the family with which He has blessed my life!