And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.Genesis 17:7 (NKJV)
Whether we realize it or not, our families are a classroom for God’s character traits, including forgiveness, mercy, justice, grace, trust, loyalty, and love. God put us in families to teach us how to be more like Him. As we care for our aging parents, we learn to serve as He served us in the flesh as Jesus Christ. As we raise our children, we learn to love as He loves us (as His own children). As we carry out our marriage vows, we learn to sacrifice self as He sacrificed Himself for us on the cross. As we stand by our brothers and sisters in trials, we learn to care for their needs as our father cares for us.
Through the family, God also teaches us about His covenant. God works through families; over and over in Scripture we see His hand touching generations to bring His plan to fulfillment. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, ad even through the genealogy of Jesus Christ. God also uses the family to teach us about community. In walking through life with our families, we share the good and the bad. We care for one another, pray for one another, and learn the value of standing together in tough times as well as rejoicing in good times.
Scripture says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 (NKJV)) So inevitably we will wound one another or let one another down in some way; but in our family, we can hold each other accountable and walk through forgiveness and repentance. No matter our family situation, God can use it to teach us more about who He is and to help us rely on Him.
Father, thank You for what You’ve taught and are teaching me through my family. Help me to continue to grow in love, joy, peace, forgiveness, self-control, kindness, and goodness. Help me and my family to glorify You in all that we do. Use us to teach another family about Your love so that they will want You as Savior. Help us to love what You love and do what You would do. In Jesus’ name, amen.