Are Families Foundational to Christian Witness?

This question was posed to us during our training session yesterday. Everyone here is going into some kind of cross-cultural situation where they will be sharing Christ’s love with others. We were asked to respond to the following quote:

“…a part of the power in communicating the Gospel is the manner in which the family relates within itself, showing love to one another in healthy ways and reaching from this core to love others outside. Thus, understanding and facilitating healthy psychological and spiritual development in families is of crucial importance for Christian witness.”
(Dr. John Powell in his book “The Family in Mission)

I must say that my initial reaction was that this right here is the hardest part, this is my lifelong struggle, this is where I need God’s grace in my own life. You see, who I am when things are tense in my family is who I really am at the core. When my kids are whining and driving me insane, the love and control to not yell at them is so hard. When Jon is stressing my out, the temptation is to really let him have it. That is why I need Christ’s love to go into my own heart for all the same reasons that I want to share His love with others. Because I am a sinner. Because I don’t show His love. Because I fail again and again. My hope is that God will work in my life to give me a love that stands up when things get tense, that hangs in there when things seem impossible, to love even when my family seems unlovable. It’s God changing my life and giving me the grace to do this day in and day out that will speak loud and clear to the world outside our family.

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