Summer—a time for picnics, vacations, and family reunions. I enjoy attending family reunions because it’s the only time I connect with some of my relatives, and I like being with family. I must confess, however, as each new generation appears, I lose track of who belongs to whom, and I can’t remember names.

Family is a basic unit of society from which we get our identity, our place to belong. I’m not an expert. I base my beliefs on my experience, observation, and reading or listening to the experts, not on deep and prolonged personal study. I am blessed that I grew up in a large, loving, two-parent family. We’ve had our squabbles and disagreements, and each of us siblings is a unique individual, but we maintain our connection and are ready to support one another.

Family life is broken for some of you: you have no good memories, no support group, no connections. Life isn’t perfect. Ever since Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden of Eden, the family has suffered deep divisions and failure. What God created to be nurturing and loving is often anything but that. Stories of successful foster families and adoptive families touch my heart. Some people find identity and belonging with co-workers or people who share a common interest or a common faith. Others chose to be alone or prefer the company of animals over people. I believe most of us long for a place to belong, a place to call “home,” and people to call “family.”

I recommend God’s Word, the Bible, as the best first guidebook for family life. As we read about, understand, and follow God and His ways in our personal lives, and we pass this knowledge to our children and grandchildren, our families can then be better prepared to bear the onslaught of negative forces that the enemy, satan, throws our way in his attempt to destroy what God has created.

Faith, family, friends. If, through my writing and my living, I can connect with, help, and support other persons in my human family, I will have used my gifts for God’s glory.