二○一九年五月十一日／五月十二日 Click here for English version
Bring More Love into the Family
Rev Andrew Tsang
Dear brothers and sisters, you may be single, or do not yet have children. But whatever your age, you must be somebody's child. You must be part of a family. Human existence has never been solitary. Even in hospital delivery rooms, a baby cannot be safely born without the assistance of a medical team. Likewise, in God's family, we have the Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters. Nobody is alone.
We all agree that we need love in our spiritual home and that we need to learn to accommodate the seemingly 'less likable' brothers and sisters. But what we easily forget is that in our physical family, we need even more love. We need to learn to accept family members who are 'not likable,' who do not understand us or who have hurt us.
The Heavenly Father has reminded us: "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Colossians 3:14). Hong Kong used to have bigger families. The community was more closely knit together and neighbors helped out each other. However, today, many families have only one child. Rapid social changes bring increased pressure at school, home and in the workplace. People are further apart and have greater difficulties communicating with one another. Our families need more binding love. The Heavenly Father has also reminded us: "God is love… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:16, 18). With God's love, we will not fear nor face punishment on judgment day.
Every time I mention family members, I recall an instance in my childhood days when I made a big mistake. It made my mom mad and she said, "All right, I will never cook for you again!" But after calming down, she went into the kitchen to prepare her dinner of love. The incident taught me what family and unconditional love are. Parents' love for their children, children's love for parents, even the love between husband and wife and among brothers and sisters can be unconditional.
My mom was strict and authoritative when it came to discipline. That often made me feel bad when I was small. But then I realized what mom did far exceeded her knowledge and ability. I also noted the vast differences between the social environment and family education modes then and now. Such realization made me understand her love. We may have complained that our parents did not understand us. But we may soon be subject to similar complaints from our children or the next generation.
Our family will see God through us if we talk with them more, and communicate with them in a gentle and open manner. Stand in their shoes or think within the framework of their restrictions to better understand their concerns. Inject more of God's love into the family. Love is forgiving all, including the others and ourselves. Brothers and sisters, isn't it true that you and I already have the love of God in our hearts?