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Stewarding Family Relationships By Zenet Maramara

The Gift of Family Relationships

All of a sudden, we find ourselves thrown together and experience different family dynamics at work. In this time of the Covid 19 quarantine, we are forced to stay with each at home. Some are learning how to relate anew with spouse, children, and other relatives.

I like to offer that this is a good time to reflect and examine how we steward our relationships within our own family. How are we to steward our family in the image of God?

Where is Starts

The Triune God is a community of persons. As creatures made in the image and likeness of God, we are created to live in a community. Every human being is born into a family, the primary unit of a community, where we learn to  relate with another  person. It is within the context of the family that individuals can learn to understand themselves and grow their relationships with God and others. It is a basic need to be connected to other human beings. The virtual meetings we employ using technology cannot replace the need for human touch.

A Gift from God

Family is a gift from God. It is the place for nurture, growth, discipline, and love. Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her. Fathers are to raise their children in the discipline and instruction from the Lord.  Children are to guard the commands of their father and to honor the instruction of their mother.  The fourth commandment to honor our parents, is the only one with the promise. Proverbs 17:17 says that friends love at all times but a relative is born to help in adversity. At the end of the day, and in times for crisis, it is the family that sticks together.

Whatever type of family we are in, we need to be faithful stewards of this gift from God. If we do not provide for our own family we are likened to an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). Paul exhorts us to bear with one another and forgive one another (Col.3:13). We need to take up our responsibility to respect fellow image-bearers as persons with innate dignity and worth, starting with our family.

New Life in Christ

Our new life in Christ makes it possible for us to grow as healthy and spiritually mature persons who bring glory to God.We need to contribute in making our own family function with wholeness, love, and respect. Proverbs 11:29 says, the one who brings trouble to his family will inherit nothing.  But if you bring care and love into your home, you will receive the same in return. Jesus Christ, the incarnation and embodiment of God, shows us the model of this love. He sacrificed his own life to reconnect us to God and to enjoy eternal life with him.

Do the Work

We need to work on our family relationships so that it would manifest God’s likeness. Spouses need intentionality to spend quality time with each other to avoid the potential for alienation. Parents need to do the same; they should spend quality time with their children.

We work on our relationships so that in the family, we are nurtured, loved, and trained how to live in harmony with ourselves, with others and with the rest of humankind. If families raise well-rounded children who become productive members of society, this world would not be riddled with crime, corruption, selfishness, greed and the like.

We then become faithful stewards who grow our four basic relationships—with God, with self, with others and with creation.

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Zenet Maramara is the president of Christian Stewardship Association in Manila, Philippines. She also serves as the executive director of Christians in Conservation, an A Rocha affiliated project.

 

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