We are like branches on a tree growing and going in different directions but one thing is for sure in our family, our roots will always remain as one. My grandfather used to say that one of God’s greatest gifts is having a family. We consider each member of our family as a blessing from above. We serve God together, we worship together, we feel the need of each other, we forgive one another, we pray for each other and together.
We do fun, we share laughter, we do hugs and kisses, we emphasize second chances, we put accent on ‘please’, ‘sorry’, and ‘thank you’, we dwell on commitment and loyalty, and we make much of love.
We belong in a country that is almost always called as the family-centered nation. We consider family as an important core of our identity and a genuine source of experiences, lessons and values. For us, family is not just an important thing. It is more than that. In our aspirations and goals, we always include our family. In our every flight of fancy, we always include our family.
We hold family gathering and reunion for keeps. Our commitment and loyalty in our family keeps our bond stronger than mighty bond. We depend on each other. We stand for each other. Our loyalty for our lineage outlines the strength of our family.
At a very young age, I have been oriented about close family ties. I witnessed how my parents took care of my grandparents. This taught me that when my parents get older, I will wholeheartedly take care of them like how they are taking good care of my grandparents.
Also, our family tirelessly practice the value of hospitality. We exhibit generosity to our visitors and even strangers. When our friends are in need of a place to sleep, we do not hesitate on offering them our haven. When our relatives ventured away from their homes, we ask them to temporarily stay in our homes. We sometimes give up the comfort of our own bedrooms for our guests to let them feel that they are accepted and that they feel comfortable.
For us, our simple act of hospitality is a very good opportunity to show kindness. It is a love in action where we do not only open our hands but our hearts as well for others. The Bible encourages in Hebrews 13:1-2 “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (NIV)
Hope is an upper hand value in our family too. We believe that even a single thread of this value sufficiently reminds us of the many reasons why we should never give up on life. It gives us the courage to keep on keeping on. We approach life in a more optimistic way. We take our sense of humor and joy wherever we go. One of the reasons why our family remains hopeful despite small and big trials is God’s promises. For us, even one step accompanied with high hope is enough because God will surely help us in the next steps. Second book of Corinthians 5:7 recounts this as ‘living by faith, not by sight’. We remain hopeful because we choose to remain faithful.
We consider our church mates as our family too. Belonging in a church helps me understand more the great value of selfless service and compassion. Each year, our church holds crusade, feeding program, and community service projects. It made me realized how wonderful and fulfilling it is when we are able to assist and help others. Nothing compares to the satisfaction we feel at the end of a day knowing we touched many lives and made a difference.
Our faith is like our fuel enabling us to want to do good always to others and to always uphold the values our family has taught us. Because of my grandparents, I learned the importance of prayer and worship. Because of my parents, I learned the importance of being independent while being dependent to God. My family wake the care and love within me that I can give to others. Because of God and my family, I am more convinced that there is a love that will not fade away, that will always stay.