What is a family to you? It can’t just be people who have similar DNA or live in the same home. I’ve lived with people I would not call family and I have never lived in the same home with many people I do. According to Merriam Websters Dictionary, the earliest meaning of the word family was ” a group of persons in the service of an individual. Man, I’m glad my dad didn’t have internet when we were growing up, we would never had heard the end of that definition! 🙂
The Webster 1828 Dictionary, as used by the King James Dictionary Definition, states the meaning of family.
FAM’ILY, n. L. familia.
1. The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
2. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; and the descendants of Reuben, of Manasseh, &c., were called their families. The whole human race are the family of Adam, the human family.
3. Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors.
I found this song by Dolly Parton that I think explains it well.
My family is far from perfect, but I love them dearly and always pray and hope the best for them. I Corinthians chapter 13 is the Chapter of Love. Just replace love with family and that’s the perfect definition of one. God created and established the Institution of Family so that we would not be alone on this planet and to give us an example of what the Family of God in His Church should look like. Although the earthly family is imperfect, we are to strive to to love each other, forgive each other, help each other, feel for each other, and hope the best for each other. We get to choose some members of our family and others God gives us through our earthly bloodline; while still others are given to us through our spiritual communities.
No matter what, someday you will live in a spiritual realm with your spiritual family. Which one you join is entirely up to you. If you are a part of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ then you will have a heavenly family, if not, then you will have be a part of a family of sorrow. Since you are always going to be a part of some type of family, you might as well practice getting it right with the one you were born into and the one you are building.