“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul”(Proverbs 27:9).
Weekends are the perfect time to spend time with family and friends, but if you are like me, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the difference because of emotional ties. On one hand, I have the family that I was born into. This includes my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Then, there is the family that I married into, whom I love as much as my birth family. This family includes my husband, his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Together, my husband I have combined these two families into one and added our children, while our siblings and cousins have married and added children. This even bigger family includes our children, children’s spouses, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and more cousins. Unfortunately, as the family grows larger, it becomes harder to gather everyone together and some family members grow apart. Also, over time family members, regretfully pass away and sometimes leave because of divorce and misunderstandings. They are always missed. Family members grow closer as they encounter hard times and work together to resolve problems. Difficulties and memories create strong bonds between members. Oh, I must not forget pets!
Another type of family is my church family. Much like the families I already discussed, there are some I enjoy spending time with more than others. There are some with difficult personalities with whom I might not get along well. There are some with whom I enjoy working. Others I have watched grow up and start their own families. I love all of them and strong bonds are created through trials endured, memories and religious beliefs.
Another type of family for me are my coworkers, fellow civic club members and friends. The people in these groups often spend more time with me than any other family. For that reason no matter how much I choose to separate myself, I feel like these folks are my family too. With each of these groups, there are some I’ve known all my life that I may go many years without seeing, but when I do see them, it instantly feels like we were never separated. Some I get aggravated with from time to time, but know that if I needed anything, they would be there for me instantly. Some I love dearly, but suddenly they died or moved away and out of my life, never to be seen again. These family members create strong bonds through working and playing together.
To me, all of these people are family, most of my husbands and my birth families are also friends, but some family roles might not lend themselves to friendship, particularly those between parents and children. These people are friendly with one another, just have roles that might conflict with friendship. The same might hold true between supervisors and their employees. Finally, I have acquaintances that I also love like family.
Wow! My family is very large and I am so blessed! Luke 12:34 says “for where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” What a treasure the people are in my life too! Each relationship is unique and special. When we have so many personalities interacting we need to be quick to forgive and understanding of differences. First Corinthians 3:15 says “love keeps no record of wrongs.” Finally, always remember Matthew 19:26, which says “with God all things are possible.”
How do you feel about your friends and family? Do you have additional categories? I can’t wait to learn more about your thoughts on friends and family. Remember to spend time with these people. God bless you.