When Your Family is “Complicated”
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Let’s face it. Great Uncle Horace is not going to change this year.
But he’s your family’s piece of work!
Ahhh…. extended families during the holidays. Can someone say, “It’s complicated?”
Even if we didn’t have all the drama with in-laws and outlaws and custody and visitation, we would still find ourselves with a living room full of people with varied views on everything from religion to sports to politics to parenting and even the traditional menu for the holiday meal.
Don’t dread it. And don’t skip it. Embrace the mix! Do what the apostle Paul encouraged If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12.18 NIV)
Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5.9 NIV) Unfortunately, our world is more than ever defined by our many conflicts. But my friend Jennifer Kennedy Dean brings the focus in tighter to our personal worlds. “Little arguments, petty responses later regretted, disagreements blown out of proportion, and hurt feelings, nurtured and fed, occur in abundance. Let peace begin with me… The focus is on what I can do to be an instrument of [Jesus’] peace.” [Jennifer Kennedy Dean “Pursuing the Christ”]
The Bible promises that the “dawn from heaven will break upon us… to guide us on the path of peace.” (Luke 1.78-79 CEB) In following that pathway, let’s offer acceptance and grace.
C.S. Lewis once commented that there are two kinds of love: “We love wise and kind and beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid and disagreeable people because they need us. This second kind is the more divine because that is how God loves us: not because we are loveable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but He delights to give.”
Love. Peace. It’s all been given to us.
Will you return the favor this season?
under the mercy, Cindy
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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