The challenges and difficulties we experience in our families are all part of God’s plan to help us develop the kind of spiritual resiliency that allows us to live inspiring lives.

Do not speak angrily to an older man, but plead with him as if he were your father. Treat younger men like brothers, 2 older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters. Always treat them in a pure way. 3 Take care of widows who are truly widows.4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to do their duty to their own family and to repay their parents or grandparents. That pleases God.
8 Whoever does not care for his own relatives, especially his own family members, has turned against the faith and is worse than someone who does not believe in God.

1 Timothy 5:1-4; 8 (NCV)

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

1 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)

Pain isn’t an excuse to be unloving

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

John 19:25-27 (NIV)

Although Jesus was in more pain than most people are aware of, he still made it a point to care for his family. This is a great example that Jesus set for us, showing us that we can choose to love our families regardless of how inconvenienced we may feel. When we learn to love despite the pain, it’s amazing how God uses us to touch and inspire many lives, just the way Jesus did.

Questions/Application

  • What are the challenges and difficulties you experienced and continue to experience in your family?
  • How do you typically deal with this?
    • Ignore it
    • Pout about it
    • Get angry and bitter
    • Blame God & circumstances
    • Play the victim card
    • Pray honest prayers
    • Express the challenges to your friends
  • Have you ever fantasized of having another family?
  • What excuses do you make to not love your family?
  • What do you believe God is teaching you?
  • What convictions are God trying to instill in you?
  • If you embraced the pain, who would be able to help?
  • Who has God put in your life that would benefit greatly from you developing a conviction to love your family?

Additional Reading

  • The Gospel of John; 1 & 2 Timothy