I guess you could say I come from an ideal family.
My parents have been married for over 40 years. (Their story of getting together is amazing if you ever want to ask them.)
They both love the Lord (they have some powerful testimonies) and have been in ministry leadership for most of those years.
I have so much love and respect for them and their reliance on the Lord. They truly brought up me and my sisters in the “way we should go.” (Proverbs 22:6)
My sisters are my best friends. We do life together. My idea of a perfect vacation or even just my happy place is wherever they are all at. They are my favorite people.
Hearing all that, most people would view my family as the “perfect family.” Because we get along. Because we love one another. Because we all follow the Lord.
Sure. We may “appear” perfect.
But no family is perfect.
Yes, we grew up in the church. Yes, we had family devotions every morning. Yes, we served in the church at a young age.
But no one knew the different struggles we faced.
We may have looked perfect on the outside but we still dealt with our faults.
Just because I had a Dad and Mom who loved the Lord and trained me up to follow Him, does not mean I came out perfect.
I struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts in Jr. high and some of Highschool. It wasn’t because of anything my parents did or didn’t do.
It was because of my view of who I thought I was.
I didn’t live up to people’s expectations. I raised their opinions of me higher than God’s. I hated myself and didn’t see the importance of my life or that my life mattered.
I was a slave to pride and a legalistic attitude. I didn’t understand the meaning of grace.
It wasn’t until a hard time in my life where I came to the true understanding of grace. When I realized how much I truly was in need of it. Where I understood that my identity had to be rooted in Christ.
A few years later, our lives were all shaken when we found out that my Dad was dying. Our leader and our protector had gotten sick and we all had to face losing him. It gave us a reality check.
We were able to see what truly mattered.
The blessing of one another. The importance of one another in our lives.
Instead of driving us apart, our family bond became stronger than ever. Our prayer lives became stronger.
We yielded my Dad’s life over to the Lord and saw a miracle take place (and 9 years later, he is still with us PRAISE JESUS!).
My family has always remained a constant in my life. They encourage me, lift me up in prayer. They’re my cheerleaders. They weep with me and rejoice with me. And looking at my “model” family (believe me, we have our faults) makes me reflect on the church. And how we as the church should be.
I heard this message recently that brothers and sisters should be advocates for one another NOT rivalries.
How true is that?
Just like my family is advocating for me, so should I be to my brothers and sisters in Christ. So should all of us be to one another. When we see others hurting, to sit in that space with them and hold them close. To reach out and check in with someone. To think of others outside of our own lives.
We need to realize the blessing of one another.
My parents did their best in raising me. They didn’t do every single thing right but they did devote their lives to Christ in how they raised me and that bled over to my life. They prayed for me, they interceded, and they challenged me.
Family isn’t perfect.
And I don’t think it ever can be. Because it is made up of broken people and only until we reach our heavenly state are we truly perfected.
And yes, the Church is not perfect. It has its faults. But that doesn’t mean we are to be separate. We need to come together, be there for one another. Lift one another up and be each other’s cheerleaders.
Let’s embrace the blessing of one another. Allowing the Lord to perfect us along the way.
“and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds,” Hebrews 10:24
~ Kissy Black