We have all seen the Norman Rockwell depiction of the smiling perfect family sitting around the dining room table enjoying a holiday feast. And who can forget The Cosby Show, the television series that portrayed the Huxtable clan, a happy, loving, united family. And going even further back, there was The Andy Griffith Show, where the make-believe town of Mayberry was the setting for Pa Andy's wisdom, Aunt Bee's support and love, and son Opie's wide-eyed innocence.
Unfortunately, most real-life family situations are nothing like those above-mentioned fictitious families. Here on earth we have families that are fractured because of divorce. We have abandonment, estrangement, division, and kinsfolks just not getting along in general. We have rebellious, selfish children and absent or unnurturing parents. Maybe you yourself are part of a dysfunctional family unit. I know I am. Well, I'm here to share with you some verses from the bible regarding the family. Hopefully, this will put things in perspective and make you feel better.
ENCOURAGEMENT IF YOU HAVE FELT FORSAKEN
The definition of the word forsaken is "To quit or leave entirely; to desert; to abandon; to depart from; to reject." This word describes a lot of people's relationship with their family members. Maybe you never knew your biological father because he skipped out on you when you were a child. Perhaps your family members have rejected you because of your Christian beliefs or perhaps you separated yourself from them because they were too worldly. Maybe your spouse has died or just voluntarily departed and left you to raise your children alone. Perhaps you are unable to have children. If you have ever felt forsaken by your family, I hope these verses speak to your heart:
Psalm 27:10, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up."
Psalm 68:5, "A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation."
Isaiah 56:3-5, "Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."
Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Romans 8:15-16, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
These verses show us that the Lord can, is, and will always be all the family that we ever need. He invites us into His house. He adopts us as His own children. He is better than any earthly father or mother could ever be. He will give us an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And He promises that he will never leave us or forsake us.
So don't cry or feel left out or less than because your relationship with your earthly relatives is troubled or nonexistent. Do you know who Jesus said his family is? Matthew 12:50, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Mark 3:33-35, "And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
If you know that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, you are part of the only family that really matters. So rejoice!
WERE BIBLICAL BROTHERS/SISTERS/FAMILIES ALWAYS CLOSE?
If you are familiar with your bible, you already know that blood wasn't always thicker than water. There are many examples of family members who were definitely not close!
Genesis 4:8, "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Genesis 27:41, "And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob."
Judges 9:24, "That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren."
2 Chronicles 21:4, "Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel."
In addition to the examples listed above, Joseph's own brothers sold him into slavery. David's son Absalom plotted to kill him. Greed, jealousy, or a lust for power turned many family members against each other back in biblical times, and the same things are going on today. Hopefully your brethren are not trying to kill you, but perhaps certain relationships are so toxic that it is in your best interest to not be involved with those family members. And guess what? That's okay. It would be nice if we could be super close with all of the members of our family, but it is unrealistic to believe that that is going to always happen. So keep an open heart, forgive and forget when you can, but also be discerning. Some familial relationships are worth saving and some will only bring you down. Just because you are related by blood to someone, that does not mean that you can or necessarily should have an ongoing relationship with him or her. Sometimes you have to wish folks well and walk away.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, GOD'S WORD SHOWS US PLAINLY THAT THERE WILL BE DIVISION AMONGST FAMILY MEMBERS
The bible shows us that the day is coming when some of your own family members will hate you and turn on you and even cause you to be put to death! Why? Simply because of your Christian beliefs.
Matthew 10:21-22, "And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Matthew 19:29, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."
Luke 21:16-17, "And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake."
Luke 12:51-53, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
Micah 7:6-7, " For the son dishonoreth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law, a man's enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me."
Reader, we are definitely not living in Mayberry. Perhaps you have already experienced some discord or separation between yourself and family members because of your Christian walk. This world loves darkness and hates anyone who is trying to be a light for the Lord. Persecution of Christians is real and is only going to get worse. God's Word tells us that in this world we will have tribulation (including tribulation from our own family), but we are to be of good cheer because He has overcome this world.
So in conclusion, again, if you have repented of your sins and accepted Christ as you Lord and Savior, you are part of God's family. And if God be for us, who can be against us? No one! You never have to be sad, lonely, or confused. God is just a prayer away. The Lord is the best listener, gives the soundest advice (in His Word), and loves us like no other. And once our time here on earth is over, in heaven we will have a family reunion amongst believers and with our Lord that will last for all eternity and is beyond compare. Revelation 21:3-4, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Oh, happy day!