Do you have family secrets? Maybe it’s the aunt everyone avoids at family reunions whose a little off, or that ex-brother-in-law nobody talks about who was…well…you know…
While we may not have those exact scenarios in my family, we’ve got a lot of other stuff covered. And when I say my family, I mean going back as far as I can remember (or as I’ve been told) on all sides of the family. If you’re curious, here’s a brief rundown.
Back around the turn of the century, my grandfather shot and killed a man.
He served time and was later released on grounds of self-defense. My other grandpa ran over a little boy with his car. It was an accident. The child lived, but Grandpa struggled with trying to forgive himself for the rest of his life.
Our family has dealt with secrets of bankruptcy, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, homosexuality, abuse, pornography, theft…
Though not necessarily secrets, we’ve also dealt with prejudice and/or social stigma brought on by job loss, unemployment, divorce, adoption, autism, miscarriage, 2nd-marriage, mental illness and terminal illness.
Maybe I should add here that our family has, at last count, over fifteen members who serve, or have served, as minister, pastor, missionary, worship pastor, youth pastor, children’s pastor, and the list goes on.
It’s a great heritage, but not a heritage without the need for great grace.
Grace: the love and mercy given to us by God, because He desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.
When our kids were teenagers we would sometimes say, “Please, do not embarrass us!” It’s not a bad thing at all for families to set a goal of living life without bringing their reputation into question, or of simply trying to not embarrass each another. A few families may reach such a goal. For most of us, it’s too lofty an expectation.
If it were not for Grace, I think it’s safe to say my family failed the embarrassment test.
- If there are things on your mind today that make you ashamed, think of Grace instead.
- If your family has secrets, Grace covers that.
- If you think you’re alone, think again.
In this life, there will be joy and pain, success and loss, laughter and tears…and bad choices.
Chances are we may have to decide to love some family members (or friends) in spite of their journey or choices they make. Or, it may be us they have to decide to love – in spite of our whatever.
Be thankful for Grace today.
I know I am. And be willing to give grace to those in your life who are carrying family secrets. Come to think of it, Jesus had a few family secrets of his own. But that’s to ponder another day…