What family means

160610-Friday-2016-TS-186-kyleBy Brandon Kyle, Lt. –

This weekend is a celebration of what God is doing in the lives of each Messenger of Light, but today, specifically this Silver Star banquet, is a celebration of those who have truly made a special mark on our lives. For my wife and me, those individuals are our parents.

Growing up, my mom showed me what family means. Family means loving the neighbor kids as your own. Looking back in our family photo albums, I can see how one of the neighbor kids always ended up in our family photos.

My mother-in-law would spend hours preparing food so that everyone could sit down and share a meal around the table as a family. Her hospitality and commitment to quality time left a lasting impression on my wife and me. My mom and my mother-in-law both demonstrated that family means loving others with arms wide open.

My dad showed me what family means when he left his job, his home, his whole life to marry my mom, a single parent of three kids. Looking back, I realize now the high value he placed on each of us, the value he places in loving others.

My father-in-law is always willing to help. Without being asked, he offers to take our coats, take our plates, find us a seat, drive us to the store, and even check the tire pressure on our car before we head out. His kind and helpful spirit inspires us to love selflessly. My dad and my father-in-law both have demonstrate that family means loving others with a deep and sacrificial love, placing others before ourselves.  

Our parents have shown us the importance of family, of loving generously and deeply. For this reason, we honor them today as Silver Star recipients. We are thankful to have them in our lives. Most of all we are thankful for the God who has given our family purpose, and a God who still shows us what family means—to love.

The Bible puts it plainly in Romans 13:8-10: Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love (MSG).

This weekend may be a celebration of what God is doing in the lives of each Messenger of Light, but we also celebrate those who have shown us love. I pray you each may experience God’s love, a love that extends to our family and friends and stretches out to anyone we may meet.

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