In Part 1 and Part 2 of “A Close Family” we touched on the importance of the “glue” that holds our family together, through love languages and more. In case you missed it, head back to catch up. Continuing from Part 1 of A Close Family & Part 2 of A Close Family:
Love is the glue that allows families to flourish and be close to one another. The key, though, is making sure that we apply the glue and continue to do so. Yet, in order to continue choosing to love, we need to be purposeful when it comes to where we set our affections. Specifically, we are to be reviewing in our minds what we appreciate about each member of our family and we need to be reflecting upon the positive futures we want to see come true for them.
Understanding this, it brings us to a difficult question that we need to ask ourselves and it’s this:
What captivates our thought life the most?
Now, to take it a step further, we need to ask ourselves:
What occupies our thoughts more? Is it the positive futures we want for our family or unhealthy fantasies that can creep into our minds if we aren’t careful? Are we more preoccupied with the potential positives realities that God may have in store or are we more focused on the lustful, vengeful, prideful or greed-filled possibilities that we are all tempted to entertain in our minds?
You see, we may have good intentions towards loving our families and we may even dream kingdom dreams for them and for ourselves, but what we really need to know is what dominates our dreams. What is it that fills our thoughts more? What are our minds preoccupied with when we have “down time?” What is the main focus of our private thought life?
Just before Jesus taught us to seek first the kingdom, he shared this:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:19-23
You see, whatever we are allowing to dominate our thoughts will drastically impact our ability to truly love our families, and so, we want to be full of light. We need to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ, as the Bible teaches. We need to make sure that when it comes to our families, we are setting our affections on them by dreaming kingdom dreams, for them and ourselves, and by reviewing what we appreciate about them doing so on a regular basis.
Too often in life, though, we hear the steps we should take but in reality, we don’t do it. We are kind of like the rental car company in that episode of the classic TV show, Seinfeld. Take a look.
Too often, people know how to take in important information but we don’t spend enough time putting it into practice and this can happen when it comes to setting our affections on our families. We can know what to do but just don’t do it.
To avoid this, I want to encourage each of us to monitor what dominates our thoughts and dreams, and choose to set our affections on our family.
Let’s choose to remember what we appreciate about each person in our family and be reflecting upon the positive futures we want to see come true for them and for us. Let’s be choose to keep on doing this at all costs because love persistently pursues positive affections.
Love, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13, perseveres. Love continues after what it is focused on. Or to put it another way, love fights for its affections. Love will not rest until it attains its goal.
So if we learn the love language of each of our family members and communicate in those ways towards them, and, if we set our affections on our families by appreciating who they are on a regular basis and by focusing our thought life on Kingdom dreams for our family, we will love them like never before. God will bless our families and the result will be families that are glued together with supernatural glue!
Paul McCart is a Pastor with over 20 years of experience in lead pastor, church planting, and youth ministry experience. Paul has been married to his wife for 25 years and has three sons. He loves to have fun and laugh with friends!