What makes a family?


Playing ping pong in the backyard many, many years ago.

It can be made up of two people, a grownup or two plus a child or three, or maybe numerous people of different generations. They may live under one roof or across the country from each other. What makes the difference is the love they share.

My family of birth included two adults and six offspring living in the same house. I wish I could say there was love to spare, but that was in short supply, with an abusive father and a docile, submissive mother who provided all the love and nurturing.

Today, my family doesn’t live under my roof.

Some of them are in the same town, others not too far away. And many are in other parts of the country. But we’re family just the same.

Many of my “family” are not related to me in any way. But we’ve grown to love each other and would drop everything to help each other. And isn’t that what family is all about?

But we all need to buy in and participate to get all the benefits of family.

Remember the story of the prodigal son? He left home for a long time yet he was still a part of the family. He was a son, whether he interacted with his father or not.

Yet when he returned home, his standing as a son had not changed. He didn’t feel worthy to be called a son and was going to ask to become a servant.

That’s the good thing about being in a family – you don’t deserve it, you don’t earn it, you just are a part of it. And, like it or not, you need each other.

What does your family look like today? Let’s expand our families to include others who have a need to belong.