Supporting the Burdens of Others Day 2: Supporting Our Family
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV)
This topic is near to my heart because I just love my family. I’ll try to spare you and not brag on them too much, but I have incredible family members that I trust with everything. I feel greatly blessed by all of my family, and I pray that you have good relationships with those in your family. I realize that for many, their family relationships are strained; just know that, as I write this study, I’m praying for those in that situation.
Most of my relatives live within a 15-mile radius, so I spend quite a bit of time with them. It’s been a blessing to have them just a short drive away and to be able to cultivate those relationships. Most of us go to the same church, so we see each other at least twice a week, but it usually ends up being more often, between going out to eat, drives around town, or just hanging out at someone’s house. Before I went to school, I thought my lifelong friends list was complete with all my cousins. I’ve made more friends along the way, but my cousins have been constants throughout my life. We have so much fun when we’re all together, but they’re also good at keeping me grounded and we often have deep conversations (preferably over a nice cup of coffee).
Now that I’ve shared some personal insight into the rocks of my life, I want to talk about supporting our family members in what they may be going through. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post regarding friends, everyone is shouldering burdens. Sometimes I forget that fact when it comes to family. I think of both my parents, who seem so indestructible and strong to me, and I’m so used to being lifted up by them when I need it that I forget they need support too. My dad’s a pretty large guy (I’m talking about muscles!), and it seems hard to believe that he might need someone smaller—like me—to help him carry his burdens. That might seem silly to you, but I have to constantly remind myself of the fact that we all are going through different things at work, school, and in our own minds.
We read in the Bible that we are to “provide for [our] relatives” (1 Tim. 5:8), and there are so many ways that we can do that. Your immediate thought may be, But I don’t have money to support my relatives if it’s a financial need. There are so many different ways that we can provide for and support our relatives, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be from a financial standpoint. We can sit and listen to them go over their day and ask them questions about things they are passionate about. We can check in on them and ask if there is anything specific we can pray for in their life. We can offer to take them out to dinner, or out for coffee to sit and chat. We can bring food to them if they are sick or maybe just having a rough week. Providing doesn’t always necessarily mean giving money—we can support them with our prayers, our unconditional love, and our time.
My mom always reminds me that friends come and go in different seasons of life, but family will always be there. I especially needed that reminder through my teenage years, and even now still. I’ve had a lot of friends come and go, and that’s totally okay because they were supposed to be there during that season. But one thing that doesn’t change is that my family is always there, and I’m thankful for that. I pray that you may deepen the relationships with your family members, and that you may be willing to help carry whatever burdens they have.