Doug Creamer: You’re in the family
I’ve been married for over thirty years. We have visited my in-laws numerous times over the years and my in-laws have been good to us. We always have a nice visit when we get the opportunity to travel. We enjoyed spending time with them over the holidays.
When we were home for Thanksgiving, I had been meditating on being thankful. I had recently spent time with my mother and father and expressed my thanks to them for raising and helping to launch me. So while we were visiting, I wanted to express my thanks to my in-laws for all they had done for us through the years.
I was talking to my father-in-law and told him that I was thankful that he made me feel like I was part of the family. He looked over at me and stressed that it had nothing to do with my feelings; I AM a part of the family. The thought touched me, but I quickly quipped back, “Well, you could have been like Archie Bunker and treated me like he treated his son-in-law.” We both burst out laughing.
I have reflected often about that conversation. Several people asked me if we were traveling for Christmas. I told them that we were going home. It wasn’t until sometime later that I realized that I called my in-laws’ house, home. “We are going home,” I said.
What puzzled me is that the place where I live is my home, then why would I refer to my in-laws’ as home? I even remember saying to someone, “We will be going home for a few days.” I thought later, “That was odd to say.”
Not long after we were married, I asked my in-laws how they wanted me to refer to them. They agreed they wanted me to call them Mr. & Mrs. I have respected their request. I have slipped and referred to them by their first names a few times.
I was pondering all this as I drove “home” for Christmas. Being in the family… Calling their house home… I wondered how they would react if I called them mom and dad. When I asked my wife, we both had a good chuckle because we didn’t know how they would take it.
But I am in the family, right?
I decided to give it a whirl while we were home. I am not quite sure how any of us felt about it except to say that it was a little uncomfortable. I only have one mom and one dad and that is what feels right to me. I think we would all feel better if I stayed with Mr. & Mrs.
I reflected on all this as I drove back to my house. I am a member of 3 families. I am in the family where I was born. I am in my wife’s family. But probably most important, I am in the family of God. I think Jesus would say it like my father-in-law; I am a member of the family of God.
Being a family member gives me access. I have access to the Father because of the cross of Christ. He opened the door so I could have a relationship with my Dad in heaven. My Father WANTS to spend time with me. He’s interested in every aspect of my life. I have to seek His advice, insight, wisdom, and presence. I am in the family of God, but I have to make room for Him.
As a household member, I have access to His presence and His power in my life. As a son, I know my Father hears my prayers. As a son, I have access to the authority of God in my life. I can pray just as Jesus did. God is not going to honor or bless selfish, self-seeking requests, but He will honor me and my requests if they line up with His will. How do I know His will? I have access and can ask Him what is on His heart. He will hear and answer me because I am His son, a part of His family.
I want to encourage you to meditate on the FACT that you are a son or daughter of God. He loves you and wants to spend time with you. He wants to spend every day with you and is excited about all eternity together as a great big family. We are loved, accepted, and honored by our Father. It’s amazing; we are in the family of God.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org
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