Starting this blog post, I looked up a general definition for ‘family.’ Well, most of those definitions stretch the gamut of credulity to the point that the entire world can impersonally be called one’s family.
But the entire world is NOT my family–because I am not personally responsible for it. I cannot feed the world. I cannot advise the world. I cannot hold the world in my arms. I am not responsible for when that large entity makes less than good decisions and goes astray. And I’m not held accountable for it.
Love begins by taking care of the closest ones-the ones at home.
I am, however, seriously accountable for those God has seen fit to put under my care. In that I must feed them, advise them, love them, and provide for them as best I can, I am responsible for my children, my spouse, my parents, my other relations, and to a certain extent, those I call my friends.
I am in charge–for a while–of love and peace among a few precious people I relate with every day. I am not in charge of the world. I am not in charge of love in the world, or peace in the world. God is in charge of that. And He may use my heart and hands in particular situations to facilitate that kind of love. But my first priority is my family.
Peace, like charity, begins at home.–Franklin D. Roosevelt
Are all human beings family? Only in that God created us all and called us to care about each other. This is agape love, meaning sacrificial love and an act of the will. And that concept is huge. But in order to accomplish it, we must start small; at home, with family.
If we do not provide for and love our own family first, we certainly will not love our fellow human beings in a sacrificial way–not genuinely anyway. Only if we accomplish love at home are we prepared to accomplish it elsewhere.