Scripture: Romans 12:1–13
Key Verse: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9–10)
Family. That word can bring up lots of emotions: some good, some bad. You don’t get to pick your family! Family is crucial to the biblical narrative. People weren’t just Joe Smith, they were Joe Smith of Galilee, son of John Smith. Your family determined your status and your future occupation. Your family was integral to your life, your identity, and your inheritance (your family’s land and possessions). In a military family, you go where your family goes!
A Christ-follower is not only a part of the family into which they were born or adopted, but is also part of God’s family, as God’s beloved child. The family unit is designed to be a depiction of the community of believers. It provides opportunity to love and be loved. It’s a symbol of Christ’s love for us. We love others because Christ first loved us, and we are called to “love genuinely and to outdo one another in showing honor.” Family teaches us to be selfless, to put others before ourselves. Family provides us with opportunities to love those might be different than we are, who have different gifts or perhaps even completely different personalities. It also helps us understand how believers must work through the difficulties of loving people and living out the gospel with them.
Do you feel like your family builds you up and encourages you? Why or why not?
What would it look like if you love your family, as described in Romans 12?
Would you say that you “outdo” your siblings in “showing honor” to them and the Lord? Why or why not?
Write down how each person in your family feels loved. (If you don’t know, ask them.) Then choose a day of this week to do something for them that demonstrates love.
Lord, thank you for the family you have given me. I may not understand why you gave me the parents, siblings, or even the extended family that you did, but I am thankful that I get be in a community that is symbolic of Christ’s love for us. I pray that I would love my family genuinely. Thank you for first loving me. Amen.