Answers

By   •   July 12, 2012   •   Topics:

Q:

We've been invited to a family reunion this summer, and to be honest I'm dreading it. Some in our extended family haven't spoken to each other in years, and instead of being a happy time I'm afraid it could be tense. Should we even go?


A:

I can understand why you might want to avoid this event; after all, no one likes to be caught up in an unpleasant situation. When we face hard decisions (no matter what they are), it’s always tempting to take the easy way out — which in this case probably would be to stay away.

But the easiest path isn’t always the right path, and I hope you’ll seek God’s will in this matter. For one thing, staying away might create misunderstanding (and even conflict) between you and your hosts and others in your family. After all, you don’t even know if those who might cause problems will be there.

But a more important issue is this: God may want you to attend — not just to enjoy seeing your family, but to be a peacemaker. The Bible says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Romans 14:19). I don’t know how God might use you, but by showing love to those who are hard to love, and by refusing to get swept into conversations that might lead to controversy, you can bring peace to this gathering. Your example could help others realize the importance of family harmony.

Suggest to your hosts that they plan enough activities to keep people occupied. They also might collect old photos from family members that could bring back pleasant memories (and provide amusement!). Most of all, surround your plans with prayer, and ask God to help you bring your family closer — to each other, and to Christ.

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73 Comments

  1. Janie says:

    Excellent advice-as a child I hated family reunions. I am now an adult and most of my family have passed away, and now how I long for those days. When people tell you life is short believe them it is so true

  2. Ronisha H says:

    My mother is a godly woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and she's planning a family gathering for all of her nieces this fall so they can get to know one another. Four of my mother's sisters had passed away.

  3. Debbie says:

    Our Liddell family has an annual Family Reunion every Father's Day! Since 1956! We elect a new “President” each year; each family provides a written summary of special events in their lives since the last reunion! We also have a devotion. BLESSINGS!

  4. jim says:

    I have seen a lot of familial disruptions be resolved, as well as further disrupted, by gatherings. a lot of disruptions can be resolved by prayer by either party, then a request by both/one that has the fear, for strength from the Lord.

  5. Caroeel says:

    Family reunions are rare. Take the opportunity. Share the love of Christ with them..You may be destined to lead someone to the Lord. God Bless

  6. cindy says:

    Thank you God for loving me.

  7. Edith says:

    I'm thankful we didn't have that in our family. We always enjoyed getting together for a family reunion. I miss them now that most of us older members have passed away and the ones of us that are left find it hard to get together.

  8. Debbie says:

    Sometimes people are just hurting and need a safe place to get compassion and encouragement. Leave them with the question. What makes them different then us? Watching The End of the Spear is a good movie. Helpful on how to love them anyway.

  9. RJ says:

    I tried that this past weekend at a funeral. Every family member I had helped and/or loaned money to snubbed me or hid from me. It was heartbreaking to have that in all of my grief. I have never asked for repayment or used it against them.

  10. LouAnna says:

    Love this advice and believe in it. Amen.