Family Ties That Bind

“…whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother…”

It has come to my attention that I have (both without my knowledge or intent) somehow slighted the members of my extended family… brothers, sisters, and parents.

That I have neglected to treat them with the courtesies that they find prudent for one of their house, and betrayed their loyalty for my own pursuits. In addition to this, I apparently am believed to hold them all in some sort of “religiously motivated” contempt – such that I even refuse to have any dealings with them.

Granted, this is not so pervasive as I might seem to imply – for it is via my two sisters that I came by this information. Gentle and guileless as they are, they seem only to think goodly of me in most matters – leaving the rest to a sort of polite unease. Joshua, of course, rides the wave of this (as he does all things) and keeps his characteristic even keel – finding neither fault nor offense in the proceedings.

No, I think the rift stems from my parents (in the main) and my brother Mark by proxy – as he holds himself something of a gendarme of my parents` “deserved” veneration. They would not have me loose from the grips of their influence, and he would not have their sensibilities encroached upon.

As is all too frequently the case, I find that my own words are retold back to me in strange and distorted form – like a perverse sort of mondegreen, it is believed that I despise my parents and am willing to do nothing for them that does not suit my own selfish interests.

I think this mischaracterization to be almost entirely inverse to the actuality, and does not at all represent what I have spoken and intended. I am reminded of the old joke where it is said that if you play a Country Music song backwards: the man`s truck gets fixed, his dog is alive, he stops drinking, and his wife comes back to him.

Of all of the accusations, there is one of them that contains some kernel of truth… for I do not value them as highly as they think I ought.

I am the Father of three young children, a Husband to a devoted Wife, a Brother in Jesus Christ to His people – and I unabashedly hold these titles above that of my blood relations. Though this is not meant to be misappropriated as outright contempt for those of my kin, I do admit that they are less to me than these.

While I do hold them all deeply in the folds of my heart`s-love… they must understand that even as they would hold a claim to me as son and brother, such a covenant has been replaced by that in which the LORD has sealed me.

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