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. Jason says:

    I would go. If not to see relatives you have not seen in years. Pray and be willing to allow God to use you in simple and mighty ways during the reunion. Know I'm praying for wisdom for you and your family!

  2. Diann says:

    Every day is more revealing for “BEING PREPARED” for God's Kingdom to arrive ASAP!God keep blessing you, Dr. Billy Graham and youwill stay in prayers of, for, and need of OUR USA AMERICA! Thank YOU, Him, Son and Holy Spirit.

  3. mayel says:

    I am going trough similar situation. God is always in time to help us. Reading this give me the answer I needed. And indeed LIFE IS SHORT! Let we be peacemakers and peacekeepers

  4. Gowon says:

    Thanking God for what he has been doing to this ministry

  5. Rick says:

    We have family get togethers every Thanksgiving and every Christmas. My brother is resigned to the statement, not fact, that family get togethers are not normal without a little 'slingin' the mashed potatoes.

  6. Bob says:

    I look forward to the grand reunion we will have in HEAVEN, when all will be happy all the sadness of this world will be no more. We will be with JESUS !!!!!

  7. Lucy says:

    In my abusive relationship with my sister and after years of “killing her with kindness and love” it occured to me that my presence brought out the darkness in her soul. I concluded that the most loving thing for me to do, was to avoid her.

  8. Joanne says:

    I understand how you feel and will pray you get resolution through prayer. Sometimes you do have to separate yourself from people who bring you down rather than lift you up in Christ's love.

  9. Daniel says:

    help me Lord not to stay away when my brother and his family come to town. Let me Lord also be extra sensitive when my sisters family comes to town. Be with my mom who is now a widow. and me still single. that we might be good friends with her health

  10. Dorrie says:

    Wonderful words of wisdom as usual, God Bless Rev. Graham, he is always gifted with the right words to encourage and uplift, even if it doesn't apply to your situation, you will learn from it. I will join in prayer for the many families.