During this Advent season our church family has studied and celebrated how through Christ’s birth we’ve received grace for our sin, hope for our suffering, and peace for our world. We know that in the coming days, many in our church family will be heading home to family members who either don’t know or don’t reflect this grace, hope, and peace that Christ offers. For many in our church family, heading “home for the holidays” brings with it tension and uneasiness as they navigate various family dynamics. We wanted to offer up some resources that we have found particularly helpful on the topic as you pray and prepare well to love your family and put Emmanuel on display.
We love you and are praying for you this Christmas season.
In this podcast, Dr. Gordon Bals discusses how to handle family time during the holidays. He gives some particularly helpful language to use as we differentiate between our “structural family” and our “functional family”.
In an article of encouragement, Jon Bloom reminds readers that if they have unbelieving family members, they are in good company; so did Jesus. Bloom believes this is meant to give us hope and he explains why.
Russell Moore humorously provides four thoughts on what followers of Jesus should remember as we approach time with extended family—especially those of us with difficult extended family situations.
Darren Carlson reminds readers that the biblical command to honor your parents is never rescinded, even when the child becomes an adult. Carlson gives four considerations for how this may play out for adults heading home for the holidays.
For anyone headed home to unbelieving family, this article compiles a list of ten points from Randy Newman’s book, Bringing the Gospel Home, to help you think ahead and pray about how you might grow in being a proxy for the gospel in word and deed among your family.
Pastor Chris Castaldo gives several suggestions for how to view our family gatherings as an opportunity to put the wisdom and grace of Christ on display while being committed to the people whom we love.
Theology Professor Dan Doriani writes on forgiving dangerous family members and setting a course for future relationships. As someone who grew up in a violent home himself, Doriani states that his goal in writing the article was to connect aspects of the biblical teaching of forgiveness to some hard questions: Should I go home as an adult when home was dangerous and may still be? What should I expect if I do go home?