Families Are Forever

PHOTO CAPTION: Our family has grown in size since this picture and this wasn’t all of us at the time the picture was taken either.

I have a large family and I love it!  Sometimes I wonder how I can possibly have time for them all and it’s crazy and noisy when we all get together, still I wouldn’t trade any one of them for anything! Each one is unique and special. I love watching them grow and seeing their personalities develop. They amaze me!

I’m glad that when God made people, He planned for families. We didn’t come into the world as fully functioning adults. (Sometimes I wonder if I am a fully functioning adult yet!) No, we all started out as babies and grew up as part of a family. All except Adam and Eve that is; even then, God planned for people to live in relationship with one another and living in a family is part of that plan.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are situations where living in a family, at least a traditional family, is not possible. There are many foster kids, single parent families and even some grandparents caring for their grandchildren. Whatever situation you may find yourself in, thank God for the family He gave you and especially thank Him that you can be part of the family of God. He made you and He loves you more than you can imagine. Our earthly families will not last forever – at least not in the way that they are right now and our earthly families are not perfect. Kids grow up and start families of their own. You may experience the loss of a family member through death or divorce.  Yet when you and your family make loving God a priority, you are building a legacy that will last forever because the family of God never ends. I’m counting on that! 

I am very fortunate and I thank God for my family. We are a family that does many things together both work and play. I hope that’s true of your family too. If you can’t say that about your family, then start asking God to help you and your family grow in their love for God and for each other. Ask God to help you build a legacy of faith and trust within your family that will last. You can be the one in your family that will start that legacy and change the trajectory of your family forever. It doesn’t matter what kind of family you came from – functional, dysfunctional or somewhere in between, you can make the choice to follow God and see the results in the lives of those in your family. 

God made families for a reason, yes, even yours. He intended families to be forever. We can trust Him to help us love them just the way they are. Always be ready to forgive too. God knows we all need forgiveness so let’s begin with our families.

Dear God,
I’m so thankful for my family. I’m thankful that our family works together and is there for one another. I think perhaps we could work on the playing together a little more, still I know it is only because of your love and care in our lives that my family is so blessed. I pray for families who are struggling right now whatever they are going through. May they find peace in the midst and find their way back from despair into your loving arms of grace. Teach us to work and play together. Show me ways of helping my children and grandchildren learn to love and care for each other too. May we never give up on our families. because you never give up on us. Amen

PS Now is a good time, as summer approaches, to plan some fun ways to connect with your family enjoying one another. Make memories! If you don’t have a lot of money to plan an expensive vacation, look for fun things to do in your own neighborhood. I live in the Northwest and there are many beautiful trails and parks to take advantage of, but you can also play some fun games right in your backyard. Be creative and get out and do something with your family. Appreciate each member of your family for who they are – the crazy uncle or dad who tells cheesy jokes, the organized aunty who always has plenty of fun up her sleeve, the grouchy cousin or grandma who really can be a delight when you take time to get to know them or even the opinionated one who enjoys a good argument – perhaps you can diffuse them by getting them to tell you more about their story instead of their political views. Whoever you may find yourself with this summer, take some time just to enjoy life together. Of course there may be challenges in families that need to be addressed such as addictions or abusive situations, but in situations where grace and forgiveness can be shown; do so. Don’t forget to keep praying for those extra-grace-required family members. Who knows, maybe you and I are someone else’s extra-grace-required friend? Read the story in the Kid’s Section. Remember Jacob and Esau’s family wasn’t perfect either. It may seem that they started out perfect, but read the rest of the story in Genesis. They were imperfect, yet God still was with them and helped them in many ways. He chose Isaac, Rebekah and I believe even Esau to be part of His story, because God is the redeemer of families and the redeemer of each one of our stories if we come to Him.

As young mom, I remember looking for inexpensive ways to do fun things with my kids during the summer. It wasn’t always easy to find things we could do as a family and yet, we did have fun. Here are just a few suggestions that will hopefully create memories for years to come.

  • Have a game day. My family loves to play games, board games, card games, Hide and Seek, video games which I am horrible at, but I did have the kids show me how one time.
    • Volunteer together – Every year my grandkids and I volunteer together at our churches VBC – Vacation Bible Camp. Then in the afternoons, we do fun activities as well as try to think of ways to raise money for the mission for the week.
    • Explore the outdoors. Take a walk, find a park with a fun playground or nature trail.
    • Go to a concert in the Park.
    • Learn something new together
    • Enter your library summer reading program. Have a contest with your kids. How many books can you read this summer?
    • Prepare a meal together, then eat outside on a blanket.
    • Roast hotdogs and marshmallows over an outdoor fire pit if you have one.
    • Do a summer project such as put on old clothes and paint the fence together or paint rocks or stepping stones for an outdoor pathway. Be creative!
    • Frolic at a community fountain or turn on the sprinklers and enjoy cooling off in your backyard.
    • Enjoy some time at a local beach.
    • Do some stargazing on a clear night.
    • Ride bikes as a family.
    • Visit a local museum, historic house or landmark.
    • Check out Regal or Cinemark theaters for inexpensive movies often shown in the mornings or early afternoons.

Kid’s Section

KNOW: God loves and cares for me.
TALK ABOUT: Families – God made families.
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me. Who cares for you? God cares for me.
AND DO… Love and thank God for my family.
* Work and play together. Take walk together or set the table together.
* Look at pictures of your child as a baby. Talk about how wonderfully made they are. 

STORY: Twin Babies – Genesis 25:19-27
Isaac and Rebekah loved and trusted God. (Give self a hug.) They wanted to have children to love too. Rebekah thought of what it would be like to have a baby to hold. (Pretend to hold a baby.) She dreamed of the day when she would have a little boy playing and running around. (Pretend to run in place.) She waited and waited and waited, but no babies came. (Tap fingers gently on table or floor.)

Isaac prayed for his wife, Rebekah. He prayed that they would have a baby to love. (Praying hands.) God heard Isaac’s prayer. Rebekah had twin baby boys. (Hold a baby in each arm.) Isaac and Rebekah were very happy. They named their babies Jacob and Esau.

The babies were very different. Esau had red skin color and lots of hair. Jacob had smooth skin and he didn’t have a lot of hair. As Jacob and Esau grew, they were still very different from each other. They looked different and they liked different things. Esau liked to hunt. He was a very good hunter. He helped find food for his family to eat. (Pretend to eat.) He liked being outside in the country. Jacob liked to stay at home. He liked to cook food for his family. (Pretend to stir something.) Even though they were very different, both Jacob and Esau helped their family. Isaac and Rebekah were happy that God gave them sons to love. (Smile and say, “Yeah God!”)

God gave you a family too. You may have a brother or sister that is very different from you. You may have blue eyes and your sister may have brown eyes. You may have blonde hair and your brother may have brown hair. You may be the tallest or shortest in your family. You may like to do different things than your brother or sister, mom or dad, but God gave you a family. He gave you a family because He loves and cares for you. God made families to love and care for each other and God made you. Let’s thank God for our families.

Dear God,
Thank you for loving me and for giving me a family to care for me. I’m thankful for my family. Help me remember to be a good helper this week. You love and care for me, help me to love and care for my family. Amen

MEMORIZE: 1 Peter 5:7 ERV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
He – (Point upwards.)
Cares – (Rub arm gently.)
For you – (Point to self or give self a hug.)

Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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