How Do You Have Healthy Extended Family?

Colossians 3:12-13 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Family. 

Few words elicit as many memories and emotions as that one word. 

My hope in this family systems journey is to help you take what was good from your family, forgive what was bad from your family, and find God’s will for your family to be healthy. 

Thank you for inviting me into this healing journey with you. This sermon and devo series (and accompanying workbook you can get at RealFaith.com) is the result of my own journey as a son, husband, father, and grandfather. My wife Grace and I met at age 17 in high school; I was a non-Christian and she was a prodigal, and we began sleeping together. 


We did things wrong until we started walking with Jesus together at age 19 and married while in college at age 21. Even then, we did not get off to the best start, started doing ministry immediately without good mentors or wisdom about healthy boundaries with our extended family and ministry, and spent many years in love with each other but feeling lonely with each other. 

Today, we have been faithfully married for 31 years and have 5 children, 3 of whom are married, and two grandsons. We have a healthy, loving relationship with my parents, who live out of state, and Grace’s mom, who moved to Arizona after Grace’s dad passed away to be near our family and part of our church family. Like every family, we are imperfect, learning as we go, and don’t always get the relationships right the first time. However, we are blessed to have four generations that love Jesus and love one another. 

As our children start their own families, we are all learning how to do life together as we all live in the Arizona desert, serve Jesus in ministry together, and are a family with a lot of strong personalities and opinions. 

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