This is Thanksgiving week and probably most of our plans will involve family and spending time with our family. Our families can be our greatest blessings but may be accompanied by great stress. The smallest tension with our families can quickly escalate into worry, distress and a host of other emotions. Basically we love and cherish our families and desire their best. When we see things that distract or derail them from that best, that tension begins.
Although we may try and will probably fail, we cannot 'fix' our family or solve their problems for them. But there is something stronger and more powerful we can do.
Love them unconditionally. Even if there are areas we do not agree with, we can love them without endorsing or enabling. Love is a strong bond that runs deep.
Model the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness, etc. when evident in our lives will always improve the atmosphere.
As much as possible, keep open the lines of communication. There is probably a family member you many have nothing in common with. Months or even years may go be without contact. In our busy culture, it takes time to develop and keep family connections. But it is very important. If possible, find a connection, no matter how small and keep the lines open.
Pray for one another. When we desire good for our family, God's good will never lead us astray. Some powerful prayers for other are found in Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1.
"making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,"
"I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
"do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;"
Truly our families are precious blessings that should be blessed with the greatest gift we can give - prayer for them. God can do so much more than we can in lives and that will bring His greatness.