12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Like Abram, as single parents (or as any parent) we are also building our own homes, creating a new culture in our families.
It does not matter how old or young our children are, things are constantly changing within our families, and every day is an opportunity to start over again.
When I was married, the pastor reminded us that we were creating a new culture, as well as a new family; and that it would be good to keep this in mind as we moved forward with our lives. At that time I let his words just wash over me, and did not pay much attention to them; however, years later, on my first night as single father!
There I was, in my new apartment, reeling from the separation (and the reasons for it), and feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising my lively daughter (then only 2 and ½); and I prayed to God for help and guidance…in that moment the words of the pastor came back to me, as I realized that in the midst of this difficult situation, I was being given the opportunity to create a new culture, establish new traditions, and break old cycles.
Today as we are moving forward into a new year, which can be a time of new beginnings, we are reminded that we are constantly in the process of creating a new culture and a new family dynamic, as our children grow and we seek to teach them how to face the challenges of life.
Creating a family is not easy as this new culture is often built upon the both successes and failures; however, the main thing to remember is that the foundation will be strong, if it is based on the love we share, and our faith in God’s grace in our lives. It also helps to remember that our family units can often extend beyond our households, to relatives, friends and professionals who are available to offer us support and guidance, and love.
When we come together in faith and support, we are sharing God’s love with each other, and we see that we are all part of the same family, all working to create a new culture of hope and of love in our world…a culture that is based in the message of Christ who looks beyond the differences that can keep us apart and calls us to come together to help to make our world a better place right here where we are, for ourselves, our children and for generations to come.
Let us Pray
God, help us to continue your ministry of transformation and reconciliation, as we teach our children how to manage the challenges of life and the value of reaching out to others with compassion and care. Thank you for the love and support you give us, and the guidance of the people in our extended families. Let us be willing to look beyond our differences and work together to create a new culture in not only in our families, but also in our world, as we move closer to your Kingdom.