Let's Get Psyched! Spirit is Thicker Than Blood

by Randy Kiel | August 18, 2017

Randy Kiel

It’s “summertime, and the living is easy!”… At least that’s what Gershwin said.

Don’t we always picture this time of year as relaxation by the lake, lemonade stands on the corner, and the kids running around at family barbecues? We all know that this is not always the case.

While some families may be planning reunions or cross-country driving vacations, others may be strained under the stress of schedules bursting at the seams. Family naturally brings a stress to life because our deepest value, the value of love, comes from the people within the family.

Whether in a time of joy and celebration or turmoil and strain, family will still offer an unstoppable flow of love. Regardless of the human relationships involved, family is a sacred place. We each should ask ourselves, “Do I get in the way of the flow of this love?” Of course I do! This is something we have all experienced, but we can get out of the way.

This love within the family is the love of God, our Father. Family is the mirror image of the Holy Trinity and it cannot be divided. We have heard that blood is thicker than water, but when it comes to family, Spirit is thicker than blood!

Consider seeing the family in a spirit of faith and adoration. Let us remind ourselves to become companions for each other on the road to wholeness and holiness. Jesus asks us to offer ourselves over to the Father in obedience and to “Love one another as I have loved you.” Be willing to bear one another’s burdens, forgive one another, encourage one another, and sacrifice for the sake of one another. We have all come from injured places in life because people hurt one another. I get that. Yet, we ought to also realize that these commands come from Christ, so that we might heal one another.

Allow me to understate something. Family is hard work.

Far too often, I hear stories of alienation within families. Of course there are some justifications as to why we struggle with certain family members, but let’s keep alienation off the table of options as often as possible. Alienation is an act against the core value of love within a family. Family is a sacred place; it is not a thing that we create. It is where heart meets heart and soul meets Creator.

As a family ages, it may change in size, location, culture, and tradition, yet the core value of loving one another remains a constant. Whoever we are in the family and whatever role we play, the following question from St. Thomas Aquinas would be helpful for us to ask: Have I aligned my will for the sake of the good of others and of God? If we have, then this is the love of God alive within us. Let us move forward with this love by comforting one another in our stress, encouraging one another through our difficulties, and forgiving one another in our injuries.

Perhaps through this way of living and loving, we can reduce some of the stress in life and truly enjoy the lakeside chats, the cups of lemonade, and the laughter at the family barbecues.

Randy Kiel

Randy Kiel is the founder of Kardia Counseling and is a deacon serving at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa. To connect with Deacon Randy, email randy@kardiacounseling.com.