What greater gift has our Father given us than Family?

Family.  Live joyfully with the wife (or husband) whom thou lovest all the days which He hast given thee under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 9:9  Live joyfully.  What an important choice and such great advice, but not always easy to do.

I imagine that before the earth was quite ready when we still lived as spirit children with our Father, He gathered us together and explained why he was sending us down here to live on earth.  He must have said that there were many lessons he wanted us to learn, things he wanted us to master.  And he did not expect us to do these things alone.  In His great wisdom He organized families as the very best method for learning the things that would allow us to grow, to make good choices, and to return to Him.

(And he also sends us friends who become family when we invite them into our lives and are willing to go the distance.)

What are the lesson we learn as we commit our lives to one another, raise children and try to figure out and teach them the things that are important in life?

Love, kindness, patience, humility, and optimism for starters.  Discerning good from evil, rejoicing in the truth.  Faith and hope, belief in things to come, belief in a loving Father and His plan of Happiness, belief in the ability to change, to forgive, to repent.  Endurance, service. Love. Joy.

All these things are easier when learned together, supporting and strengthening those beside us.  Children born into families have an immediate advantage of love and support from parents who want the best for them.  Mothers and fathers have an advantage when they can turn to each other in love and trust.

God must have known all this.  I’m sure he told us what a blessing families would be.  If only we could remember.  We do know he is a Father, a parent.  What better example do we have? Can we follow Him?  Yes, imperfectly. But yes, we can follow Him one step at a time, one new day at a time, knowing that though we won’t get everything right we’ll be happier and better, we will be able to live more joyfully  because of the example He gives us.

About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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