Strong families. What comes to your
mind when you think of strong families?
To me, a strong family is one that lives together in harmony, one in which the
members support and care for each other, one that works and plays together, and
one that pulls through every situation together. Simply put, a family where
there is love. I think, to most of us, this is the ideal family.
If we take a look at reality,
however, we often find more strife and indifference than harmony and love in
today’s homes. Some families may quarrel regularly, while others may happily
stick to each other in times of smooth-sailing but are scattered when the
storms of life rise up. In fact, human love can be very strong, but it can also
be short-lived. Our natural human inclination to focus on ourselves often
causes misunderstandings and fights, and when it comes to making sacrifices,
our first reaction usually is to run away. In other words, we may be capable of loving others, but deep
down, we love ourselves more. That is why our love for others cannot endure.
The church is the body and
household of Christ. It is our spiritual family. The bond between the
individual members of this household is by the blood of Jesus Christ, through
which He redeemed us from sin and made us children of God. But this is only the
foundation; what builds up this spiritual family is Jesus’ love (Eph 4:15b–16)—the
only everlasting love. Hence, the body of Christ should be filled with God’s
The Lord Jesus came to the world as
a humble carpenter’s son and led a life of hardship, without even a place to
lay his head (Mt 9:20). His short life on earth ended with His death on the
cross—a testimony of His selfless sacrifice, where He had fully emptied Himself
of His own will for our sakes. He did all this because He loves us.
Jesus’ deep love for us should
compel us to love Him in return. If we say we love Him, we must also love our
brethren, because they are part of His body (1 Jn 4:7–11, 20–21; Rom 12:5; Gal
6:10). Hence, the writers of this issue’s theme articles remind us to follow
Christ’s footsteps to turn our focus away from ourselves. We must empty
ourselves, look towards others, constantly renew our minds, and ask God to fill
us with His love. Regularly savor the word of God. Let His word speak to you.
Be prayerful and submissive. Let the Holy Spirit guide and inspire you. Only
then will we be able to see the needs of others and realize that they are just
as human and weak as we are. With this realization, we will be willing to bear
one another’s weaknesses and forgive one another just as Christ forgave us. We
will take the initiative to show care and concern for one another. His love
will motivate us to do all these willingly, proactively, and sincerely. In this
way, we will not only promote peace and unity at home, school, work, and at church,
we will also build up the body of Christ. Ultimately, this body will grow into
the full stature of Christ, perfect and mature in God’s eyes, and we will
become living testimonies of God’s love—the only love that is able to bind us
together in perfect harmony.