Friday – September 12, 2014; Psalm 133: 1-3
The Blessedness of Unity
1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.
Sometimes our homes can seem very chaotic; even in my home, where there is just the two of us…life can become chaos as we fall into misunderstanding, arguments, disagreements, and uncertainties about our behavior and motives for our actions, and dealing with the aftermath of these actions (everything from having to deal with a car that was ‘totaled’, criminal charges, to having to run out to the grocery store for milk at 2am).
My home life is certainly not like “Leave it to Beaver”, or even “The Simpsons”; with two dogs, four cats, and two recovering substance abusers in the house, it can literally be a messy place! More than that though, our lives cannot be summed up in a neat 30 minute package, where conflicts are all wrapped up in a single episode (or two in the case of a ‘to be continued’).
I have seen the chaos and disorganization grow with the amount of people in the house…as we all have different personalities and outlooks upon life and these can come into conflict with each other, even among people who love and care for each other.
It seems that our family lives can often mirror the world at large, and this makes sense as we are all part of the same family: the human family, the family of God! Like any other family even the family of God can be dysfunctional at times.
But dysfunction does not necessarily mean dis-unity, sometimes the dysfunction and chaos of our lives can actually bring us closer together (eventually). In the midst of our hectic lives we can learn to depend upon each other and support each other, and even though we may not always agree and it may sometimes seem like we argue more often than not, if we can learn to forgive each other and accept that no one has all the answers, going through these hard times can actually help us come closer together.
If a family is held together by love, going through hard times can help us to get to know each other better, and how to manage our relationships without falling into conflict every time we have a difference of opinion…this is especially important to learn as our children grow up and begin to make their own mistakes…I mean decisions. If we remember what it was like for us as we grew up and became adults, it can help us to be more understanding of their decisions and thinking, even if don’t always agree with them. If we can stay calm and not become upset over these disagreements, we will have more of an opportunity to share our experience with our own ‘decisions’ and perhaps help our children avoid the same problems (leaving them open to find troubles all their own).
Just as we are called to follow Christ in all that we do…but seem to follow him in our own (and sometimes imperfect) way, so too do our children follow us…but in their own way; leaving us as guides and protectors rather than ‘bosses’, and more a part of our family team, allowing us to build unity in our homes, and to allow the love we share together to grow stronger.
By showing our children how to build unity within our own homes, in spite of our differences, we can teach them to accept and care for others whether they agree or not…and this acceptance will cause unity to grow in our world at large…teaching others that it is okay to disagree, and the true gift of unity that comes when we learn to live together, learn from each other, and share the love of our human family…God’s family!
And it is together, as part of that family, that we can meet any challenge we may face as parents, while we guide our children into their lives as adults.
Let us Pray:
Dear God, thank you for making us part of your family, for unifying us in your love and grace…in the light of the risen Christ. Please help us to share this light with each other: our children, our loved ones, and even those we do not necessarily like. Let us teach our children how to accept others in spite of any disagreements, and by accepting to learn from our differences. Filled with acceptance and carrying the love of God with us, help us to remember that we are all in this life together, and called to live in unity together, as members of the same family.