How many times have you thought about someone and thought, man if they weren’t family, I would never speak to them again?
Yes, we get that mad sometimes.
Well, not us, no never… all the people not reading this. Ha! I bet you have been on the receiving end of that thought. Families can be tough.
But we are family, so we do love and stick together regardless of what happens.
Or at least we should. This is the picture of the Greek word for love, storge. Storge is the kind of love we feel towards our parents, our children, our siblings and anyone else who is a family member. In the Greek, storge is defined as parental affection or instinctual affection by humans and animals for their young. (wordnik.com) It is the kind of love that comes naturally, paternally even.
This love is not found in the New Testament. Instead there are two negative uses and a compound use of the word. In both Romans 1:31 and 2 Timothy 3:3, the word astorgos is used, meaning no love or without love. (gotquestions.org/whatisstorgelove?) In Romans 12:10 it is used in combination with phileo as philostorgos. In this instance the translation is to be devoted and to cherish one’s kindred.
This is a picture of what God’s family should look like, where we are all considered brothers and sisters through Jesus and thus we should love each other as such.
In this love level, there is a focus on time.
As we go through life with our families, we should be spending time with them. God has chosen each person in our families to be who they are, the sibling, the parent, the aunt or uncle, the grandparent. Each of these roles is integral in the functioning of the family.
This could be compared to the picture of the body of Christ. Each of us in the body have a specific anointing which if we do not accept it, then part of the body will not function properly.
FAMILY = BODY of CHRIST
The same is true of the family. Each person has their role and are important to the family unit. When there are hurt feelings or discord within the family, there are often trials and even unforgiveness. You all know what I am talking about, I am sure. Maybe some of you have even experienced it where one or more members disagree about something and stop talking while holding onto bitterness because they cannot forgive the other person.
That is not a picture of love on any level.
We should always be forgiving of anyone for any wrong. As we understand the difference between acceptance and forgiveness, we can forgive without making the person think what they did was right. Moreover, as we understand God’s love, and His forgiveness of our sins, all of them, we come to understand what that looks like for us as we are a reflection of Him.
“At the end of the day, a loving family should find everything forgivable.” – Mark V. Olsen
Another picture of love is now on the horizon.
As I think about family and what that means to me, I think not only of my blood family, but also of my spiritual family. So often, family is those who are related to us in some way. But, guess what? Our spiritual family is related to us through blood too… through the blood of Jesus!!! And even though the Bible does not refer to family much, as the earthly family, the family of God is spoken of many times. One of the sections that I think most personifies the family of God is the following verse from Ephesians:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Love is family.
Family is love.
Whatever your family looks like, make sure you appreciate them, spend time with them, and above all… love them!!!