This past week my family joined with my dad, my two brothers and their families for a mini family reunion for a couple of days. It really was a very enjoyable time. Note that I say “enjoyable” rather than “fun” or “happy” or “relaxing.” Not that those latter descriptors weren’t true, but the better term to describe the time was enjoyable.
Whenever you get that many people together, including family members (sometimes ESPECIALLY family members), you’re going to have a variety of personalities, interests, opinions and points of view. That being said, it’s not always easy to make decisions about where to stay, what to eat, what to do, when to leave, etc. All of these details can become a bit stressful at times. Add to that the disruption caused by unfamiliar surroundings, food and sleep and you have a formula that can add up to conflict, frustration and not so much fun at times.
STILL, such gatherings are important! It’s important to build the bonds of love between family members. These bonds are based on deeper things like self-sacrifice, unconditional commitment and spiritual unity. These bonds are there to provide us the support we need for a life-time and the unity that lasts for eternity … things that go beyond temporary fun or passing pleasure. These bonds of love reflect God’s intent for all our relationships as taught by the love Jesus has for us. They yield enduring comfort, peace, hope and JOY!
You may bemoan those times you have to go to another family reunion. You may complain about how little fun you’ll have. Get over it! Family relationships are more than that. They’re about the enduring things that really matter. Time with family in the flesh is a way for Jesus to touch us with His love as other family members who “get it” pass along His love to us. It’s also a time for us to model and share Jesus’ love with all our family, esp. those who don’t “get it” when we talk about or show the love of Jesus. By the Spirit’s power, we just never know how we might change a life forever, even through a brief family reunion.
So, even though your reunions may not be completely happy or fun, may they always be JOYFUL as they’re a living opportunity to love and live in God’s way.