Composition of a Family

28 Dec

Let me start with the obvious—no two families are the same. Each family, just like each person, is a little different. And these families play a large role in the shaping of our existence. Because of this, each and every person comes into a situation with a unique perspective. The tapestry of diversity that colors our planet aside, I think the wonderful part of having people go through similar life experience is extraordinary.

Now, I spent the first part of November blogging about several key familial relationships that played a huge role in making me who I am. I don’t want to rehash all of those at this time, but one of the cool things that could be noticed is that my family has changed over the years. This is so cool to me. From babies being born to new family members moving into a house with you to growing up and creating a new family to recognizing God placing certain people in your life to the ever shifting landscape of interactions, families are not stagnant. The people I thought of when you said the word family 20 years ago is tremendously different than those I think of today, and that is one of the awesome things about families.

Some people will bemoan that their family was pitiful. And while I would not question that, the beautiful thing is that you get a chance to remake it. Whether you began as an adult who did a poor job with their family or you were a child with poor parents, you can re-write it. You can turn things around and make your family a tremendous and integrated unit. You can create a family by marrying and having children or just put together a group of ragtag people who need a group to dub a family. Families come in all shapes and sizes and a lot of them can be good.

I had an interaction today with someone who felt that their marriage was too abnormal because the wife was more outgoing and managerial aggressive. I talked with someone a month ago who was frustrated at their lack of children. Yet, I consider both of these to be great families. I guess I believe in the Sovereignty of God enough that I think if you need a mate who steps outside the norms in certain things, that is what he will give you.

I guess the real reason I think about this is because I have been moved by familial love and camaraderie lately. I started to see this in a movie Blossoms in the Dust, which I saw before Christmas. My wife and I shared a tear as we watched Anne of Green Gables and saw Matthew care for Anne. We spoke with a parent whose daughter is about to get married and another set of friends who just had a baby. We spoke with people over the Christmas holidays and we saw the variety of traditions and customs juxtaposed with a wide array of what people consider their family. And all of them are neat.

I say this, as I was recently encouraged by someone in my family, that I just need to get over my frustrations with things. I was told to create a family and set of activities and traditions that I love and will impact us. And whomever I may try to blame, the reality is my family is what I make it at this point. The same is true for most of you. If you don’t like the way you fit in your family, change it. If you don’t like something about your family, change it. Because the tremendous opportunity of having a wonderful, tight-knit family is one that you can’t afford to continue to let bypass you!

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2 Responses to “Composition of a Family”

  1. Steve Atwater December 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Well said, Matt… especially the last paragraph.

  2. Jenni March 9, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Anne of Green Gables is a rocking movie. And I love this post. If I were you, I could say a comment more worthy of this post, but I am not you, so I will just say that I loved it!

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