The best part of family in my mind is always the idea that you have people stuck with you. No matter what, they have to figure out how to love you in some way because you will always be around. Now I realize that not everyone has the privilege of having a family—that’s really hard. I think that is why kingdom family is so heavily emphasized throughout the Gospel.
“See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 3:1). The Bible uses familial language so often that it is nearly impossible to miss the message that we ought to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ as family. Why have we as a culture strayed so far from this reality? Why do we reject family? Well, I have thought a lot about this. Plain and simple, choosing family is hard.
Family is hard because it requires choosing to love—especially when it’s not easy. It requires us choosing humility over pride. Choosing our brother over our present needs. It requires fighting for the dreams of the ones we love—sometimes at the cost of our own. It requires nursing one another back to health. It requires faith and endurance. True love for another man is sacrificial—the kind of love Jesus modeled. The enemy hates family. He will use every tactic in the book to get us to run away. I know that personally I have wanted to ditch kingdom family many times. Being selfish is easier. But friends, isolation is not the answer. Everything worth fighting for requires discipline. Whether you are a musician, an artist, an athlete, or really anyone successful, we all know through and through that it takes hard work and intense training to succeed. The most beautiful things in life are always the hardest to reach—family is no different. It requires a lot of hard work to build relationships that will last. If we sew the seeds of family now, we will bear fruit in season.
Have I had people question these beliefs on family? Yes. Honestly family is often uncomfortable to a generation raised to be isolated and “independent.” I just keep coming back to the verse in 1 Timothy 4:12. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” I’m just following the teaching and example of Jesus and I have faith that the fruit of family will do all the defending.
What’s so beautiful about Kingdom family is that you have people defending you and choosing you in life. People sacrificing their preference and comfort to make you feel valued and supported. You have people choosing to pray for you even when they are irritated with you. You have people there to remind you of who you are when you have forgotten. It’s a beautiful thing and it’s the kind of love that Jesus calls us to. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend (John 15:13).