As Christians we have been adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5) but I wonder how much thought we really give to that aspect of our heritage. We attend family reunions to try to keep in touch with our extended families and are able to research our ancestors online. Pictures of beloved family members and even pets are proudly displayed in our homes and workplace. Do we take time to think about our Christian family?

I know that I neglected that aspect for so very long and I’m so thankful that the Lord opened my eyes to this neglect. As a child, I was sent to Sunday School but my parents didn’t attend church except on Christmas Eve. I loved that night because we went as a family. It is still a treasured memory, but I didn’t receive reinforcement in Christian beliefs at home. We didn’t say blessings before meals and I think I was reminded to say my prayer before going to sleep, but I honestly am not positive about that fact. We celebrated Easter and Christmas but more with secular decorations. If someone asked, I guess we would have said we were Christians but it certainly wasn’t demonstrated by our actions.

During my first marriage, we did a little better. My husband and I attended church on and off as we felt led to do so. We had just begun attending regularly when my husband of twenty years was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I know now that was part of God’s plan and His divine preparation for what was to come. We were surrounded with the love, compassion and help of our church family and it also brought us both closer to the Lord. We began praying together each night to our Heavenly Father and felt His love reflected to us through their actions and support. They gave me the courage to continue when my husband passed away. I knew I had to stay close to the Lord and He would get me through this loss. I also knew I wanted to become a devoted child of God as my brothers and sisters in Christ at Kingstree United Methodist Church had demonstrated their faithfulness and opened my eyes to the love that is there if we follow our Father in true worship.

That brings me back to focusing on my Christian heritage. The Lord blessed me with a second marriage to a faithful Christian man. We both dearly love the Lord and try to be faithful disciples by being active members of His family. Hopefully our actions speak louder than words, but of course we still fall far short of what we should do at times.  I was moved to display our love for God in our home. We have numerous crosses displayed throughout our home. A few years ago, I added two pictures of Christ to our bedroom and this past Christmas I decided to keep the Christ child from our largest Nativity scene on the nightstand next to our bed. After visits in the home of a  dear lady, who has since passed away, I decided to follow her example and we have a few small crèche scenes on display year round. I want to be surrounded by remembrances of my Christian family. Family members may pass on, but we always have our Heavenly Father and His Son, our brother, there to comfort us and guide us in our Christian walk. I want people who visit us to see that we are claiming our Christian heritage and that after a visit to our home there is no doubt where our allegiance is.  We have also done the same thing in our Cabin in the Sky. Both homes have plagues with Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” by the front entrances. We are proud to claim our Christian heritage and thank the Lord for His grace.