Unique or Not?
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Growing up, I thought my family was unique. Others have probably thought the same about their families. Who could dispute it? My parents sternly warned us not to tell our “business” to others under threat of punishment! We went to Mass and ate fish on Fridays (I did not like fish). My siblings and I attended Catholic schools and got good grades. We knew our parents loved us and not much else mattered. Unique, right?
I remember being five or six and wanting a pack of chewing gum from the Ben Franklin store we visited. I snuck it when my mother wasn’t looking. When my crime was discovered, my father gave me a terrible spanking. Ben Franklin never had to worry about me taking anything again… ever! My dad put the fear of God in me and I love him dearly for it! Unique, right?
As a tween, my siblings and I were playing ball in the house. Did I mention that we were told not to do this? As fate would have it, we broke the ceiling light. We had that look of terror on our faces because we knew what was going to happen when my Father got home. He lined us up according to age and the “party” began. I don’t know about you, but my father could whip off that leather belt in a New York minute—one, two, three, and bam! That was another fear-and-trembling moment in our lives. Unique, right?
My family was a closely knit one that looked out for its own. We had challenges, but a lack of love was not one of them. My sister followed me everywhere. My parents required her to tag along. Consequently, we would do anything for one another (then and now).
My heart races with emotion as I read about King David and his family. The prophet Nathan rebuked King David after he committed adultery:
“Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house.”(NKJV)
The king paid a heavy price for his sin.
Second Samuel 13 presents a jaw-dropping family drama. (Read.) No sacred secrets here! I read in wonderment, as Amnon went from loving (perhaps lust better describes those feelings) his sister Tamar to committing violence against her, to hating her.
Imagine going to care for your ill brother but getting violated instead. This traumatic deed made the king “very angry,” but we do not read about him punishing his son. Cultural differences do require some consideration, but our hearts sadly weep for Tamar.
Tamar’s brother, Absalom, did not respond like their father. Perhaps Amnon had even forgotten the incident? Two years later, Absalom slew his brother. This whole account portrays family dysfunction at its worst! Thank God for grace and mercy!
I think I’ll keep my unique family just as we are!
Father God, we need Your healing touch. Direct our paths through the challenges we face. Let Your wisdom prevail; may we never despise You as we seek to humbly serve You and honor others, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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