Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Are We Family, Or Aren't We?




Families. I don’t think there is anything in life, that brings more laughter and joy, or heartache… as families can.

In this age of social media and technology, the closeness or distance of a family, can become so very evident. It can also show someone just how much, or how little, they truly feel cared for.

I know a young girl. She was lamenting to me how out of her vast expanse of cousins on instagram and facebook, how only about 3 of them followed her or interacted with her.

It caused her pain.

She followed them. She tried to interact with them. But was met with silence. Add to this, the fact that she didn’t live near them, but was trying to keep in touch - it hurt her.

She looked at me, and lamented, “Are we family, or aren’t we?”

I wish I could have told her things would change. But I wasn’t sure they would.

And I understood.

I, myself, have been met with silence online. I am friends with almost everyone in my family on the various social media platforms - but on my public writers page? I, too, am often met with silence. No one in my family really likes, interacts, or shares my writing. I can think of maybe 1, who blesses me with their online support.

It does sting a little.

You don’t want to pressure people in your family to understand, or be involved with everything you do. People are different, and everyone needs to be free to choose what they want to be involved with.

I get that.

But how about just a little support from time to time? A little love? A little something that says, “I’m glad you’re a part of me.”

Is that so tough?

We have families. Not just HALF families. Not just one side of the family we live close to, or have more things in common with. We have WHOLE families. Those who live far away, those who believe differently than us, and those we have maybe, had contentious communication with.

But they are our family. God gave them to us. He CHOSE them for us. And unless they are physically or emotionally a threat to us, we should (at the very least) choose to love on them from time to time.

If that means simply following them on social media, then follow. If that means sending a text to them when we haven’t spoken in awhile, send that text. 

We can so often assume that people don’t care if our presence is in their lives. But they most often do. 

And the rejection of family often hurts more than any other type of rejection.

Do what you can to love on those in your family circle. Make an effort to connect from time to time. Ask how they are. Send a gift. Invite them to that small gathering - even if they live far away - just to let them know they are wanted. (They might surprise you and show up!)

And especially, don’t neglect the aging ones in your family. They might not be on Facebook or instagram - but I bet they have a telephone or can get mail. 

You may have a busy life. I know I do. You may not want to hang out all the time. And that’s ok. You don’t have to. But time passes by, and a little effort goes a long way.

Are we family, or aren’t we?

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