Family, the stuff we’re made of. Where do we come from? Where do you feel most at home? “The Hillbilly Elegy” is the top 10 movie on Netflix. It’s a story of a Yale law student that receives an urgent phone call that pulls him back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his future. The movie opens with a cast of characters such as Glenn Close, Amy McAdams, and the first words are “it’s the year of our Lord.” We all have a story.
The family system
Dr. Murray Bowen introduced the family system theory suggesting that individuals can’t be understood in isolation from one another, but rather as a part of their family. According to Bowen, a family is an emotional system in which each member has a role to play and rules to respect. Members of the system are expected to respond to each other in a certain way according to their position, which is determined by relationship agreements within the boundaries of the system. One of the best ways to understand how the emotional system operates in our family is to put together our family genogram; it’s a pictorial display of our family relationships.
Every family has a cast of characters with colorful personalities and stories. They matter; we see glimpses of ourselves in them, our talents, our tendencies, and some of our troubles. Puzzle pieces, when put together, make a family portrait.
Not all of our family stories are sweet, but neither were those of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Born to an unwed mother, in a stable, with an earthly step Father, grew up in a blended family, with half brothers and sisters that thought he was crazy, and a stepfather that probably died when he was a young man. He began a revolution and was left to die a horrific death on the cross. What didn’t appear significant to most at that time has changed the world and our place in eternity. None of our families are perfect. It’s where we come from; they shape us, but we must choose who we become. Jesus’s birth and death on the cross provided us a way to become a part of a shared legacy in His family tree.
What will your family story tell? If you haven’t chosen Jesus, will you choose Him now? Will you lead your family, spouse and children to a shared family legacy of intimately knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior this Christmas season?
Lisa May is Executive Director of Live the Life South Florida. She can be reached at LisaMay@livethelife.org or by mail at 5110 N. Federal Hwy. Suite 102, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308.