Here we look at life in the family as a context for spiritual formation and growth. Some of us are of the mindset that our family (and even household) relationships are somewhat random. But what if, as Gary Thomas has posited, the primary purpose of family relationships is to expose growth areas and form us into God’s likeness? What if family is intended both as a community of joy and as a furnace to shrink our selfishness, draw us closer to Christ, and help us to live and love well? And what practices can we adopt in these relationships which will build up and not tear down? We draw from several places in scripture, notably from the ‘one another’ passages. Here are some places you can begin your preparatory reflection:

  • Be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50).

  • Be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

  • Serve one another (Galatians 5:13).

  • Speak the truth to one another (Ephesians 4:25)

  • Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).

  • Encourage and build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11).