By Eddy Montilla.
The reasons for family problems have barely changed. Perhaps, because we try to conceal them, they come these days in different wrappings, but in essence, we are talking about lack of communication, education, serious financial problems, etc. Without denying some progress, the truth is that they are still there, as present as snow in winter and heat in summer. Jesus seemed to have an explicit or implicit answer for everything. If we turn to him looking for some advice about family problems, at first, things do not look very encouraging since few things are written about this topic. However, these few things are enough to solve most of our problems. Let’s see them:
Lead a normal family life: The almost nonexistent information about Jesu’s family for almost three decades can give us the first clue. If nothing was said during this long period, it is because nothing out of the ordinary happened, it is because he had a normal life, and remember that about normal things, writers do not use their ink to write. Forget about being a superdad, a supermom or a superson. The daily family relationship that you cultivate with your family will make balance to live in harmony.
Inclusion instead of exclusion: It seems that people like geometry when it comes to family relationships. They make a circle and put themselves in the center of it. Then, make another circle for their wives and sons; another circle for their parents, brothers and sister, their grandparents and so on. We are talking about concentric circles in which people are put per family relation grades, circles that instead of bringing people closer, make them grow further apart. Jesus’s proposal was indeed a more difficult task, but with better results. For him, there was only one circle, and everybody has an opportunity to be part of it, especially those who fight for a better world, those who suffer and struggle in life every single day, those who show compassion, etc. Jesus did not have the limits and concept we have about family ties. Thanks to his attitude, he could see in John, his disciple, a son for his mother when he was dying on the cross, so that she did not have to suffer for the prejudice of those times when living alone for a widow or just widowhood itself represented difficult times in a woman’s life. Do not build a wall around a handful of people who sooner or later will not be at your side forever no matter how much they want to. Extend your horizon until you can see in any person a possible father, mother, brother, etc. Then, you will always have a father to admire, a mother to call and a brother to talk.
Put first what is first: And what is first? God, so simple like that. Until now everything looked fine, but when we reach this point, people consciously or not, want to turn the page and run away. Why? Because this point about putting God above all things seems to be difficult to understand for many people and the first part of the Bible, with its multiple rules, instead of helping to clarify the situation has made some kind of “biblical risotto”. But if you can put the mystical aureole aside from this idea, you will see that when God comes first in your life, somehow, what you are doing is putting your family and other people first because it means to do first what God said via Jesus: to love your neighbours as yourself. And if you can do that for your neighbours, you do not have to tell me how much you will do for your own family.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.
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