"You're the one dating my brother? He isn't good enough for you!"
These words, vehemently uttered alongside giggle bursts by an exuberant teenager rang in my adolescent ears and struck me with amusement on one hand and indignation on the other. This little red haired beauty had the gall to insult my then boyfriend and her own flesh and blood to support instead a girl she had never before beheld. Her loyalty to family at the time seemed tremendously lax, and I couldn't help wondering at what made this slightly younger female rendition of her brother tick.
Many years have passed since the memorable evening of meeting Amber for the first time, and her brother has long since dropped out of my personal journey, but she and I are still as excellent friends as ever. She will never be my sister in law according to the laws of the land, but she is my sister in heart, at least partly because she was willing from the first to prove honest with herself, fair to all people and cast aside those abominable blinders that cause people to irrationally support family members in terrible acts of vice, abuse and cruelty. She had a clearer head than most from an early age and for that reason, my relationship with her and her older sister has never been stronger than now.
God has given me many opportunities to observe how people respond when their family members do wrongly and sin against others. For the most part, the results have proven saddening. I have too often observed people supporting their siblings in abusive acts, simply because "they are family." It proves most disheartening when such abusive acts injure spouse and children. Our support of our blood relatives in such horrendous behavior essentially sends the message "You may be married into the family but you are still the outsider, and always will be." Rather than strengthening a family or personal relationships it generally tears friendships apart.
But oughtn't we support our family? Ah, there is the great secret. My friends, we are all siblings under heaven. We come from the same Creator, the same Master, the same Eternal Parent. Are we not all family? When we seek to cling only to those with whom we immediately share blood, we destroy many other far more deserving relationships. We limit ourselves and place barriers to future, salvation, exaltation and joy in our paths. Blood may be thicker than water, so they say, but it can never prove thicker than what is right. Love your family, but remember, my dear brethren and sisters, that we are all of us eternally family.