Individuality and family unity go hand in hand. My oldest son is nine years old. He is currently in the foster system. He brings a dynamic to our house that is like a sine wave, lots of ups and downs. One of the frequent sticking points for him reveals itself in its purest form by a phrase he utters only in his most fearful and angry moments.
“You love your real son more than you love me.”
It hurts even writing it…
Please take a moment and consider it I will wait. I need a minute.
Before I break it down, you must know that it is not common this is said and is often an indicator of other issues. However; it rears its head in other places. This morning the kids were going around picking cereal, and I allowed one child to choose cereal that I had previously denied him. Without getting into the details of the exchange, I understood that right there at the dinner table I needed to establish something they all could hold on too. My biological son (8) and my two daughters 7 and 2 needed to know that they are not the same. Not even close. They also needed to know that I had no intention of treating them as same either.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. ~ 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14
My voice could have been a little more tonally soft, but the words I said came through clear and pointed. Then I explained to them that thought we are all different we are part of the same family and that our differences make this a great family to be a part of.
As the body of Christ, our family is knit together in a beautiful medley of flesh and sinew, blood and bone, biological and adoptive. Each part is important, and we were so incomplete until the parts were there, for however long they will be, they will forever be part of the family. I suppose my parenting tip for today is pretty straight forward. Do not treat your children the same, they need your personal love. They need love and correction that comes to them in a way that they can receive. Christs word demands that we see ourselves as equal parts of a whole body unified and unique.
Is that not poetic that unified and unique would be blood relatives phonetically.