Befriend, Chapter 10: Befriend Dysfunctional Family Members & Chapter 11: Befriend the Children
This week we are discussing chapters 10 & 11 of our bookclub book, Befriend, by Scott Sauls. Even if you haven’t read the material or didn’t participate last week, please don’t hesitate to share your heart! This is how it works: I’ll post some initial thoughts and recap some of Saul’s points, but then I will post Sauls’ questions in the comments section. If you see a question you want to answer, simply reply to the question. And if you want to reply to someone else’s comment, please do! Or, if you want to ask your own question or start a new talking point, just create an original comment that isn’t a reply to anyone else’s. Make sure you check back throughout the week in case someone has posted on your comment or asked you a question.
Ground rules: This is meant to be an encouraging, redemptive conversation. Please communicate with kindness and grace.
Chapter 10: Befriend Dysfunctional Family Members This chapter spoke to my heart, and I hope it does to yours as well. Sauls talks in this chapter about how God designed his church to be a family—how he is our father, and he invented the family structure! We crave relationship and we need relationships. We need parents and siblings and grandparents. But so many of us have broken family relationships or grew up in dysfunctional families. Many of us were abused and cannot be in relationship with those abusive family members. And yet, we are not alone in these painful situations; Sauls pointed out that Jesus’ own earthly family had serious issues, just like so many of ours!
Sauls argues that the Church—God’s family—provides the family that we all need, regardless of what our biological family situation is. Even if your nuclear family is a train wreck, if you are with Jesus then you have another anchor family—mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who, like you, are united to Jesus by faith...This solidarity around the experience of loving Jesus—or, rather, of being deeply loved byJesus—has also made the church the most inclusive community in the history of the world.
I would love to hear your story and how the Church has been family to you. We have no family nearby except my grandmother, so it’s our church members who have stepped in to help with our children, cry when we are going through painful seasons, rejoice when we celebrate happy milestones and beautiful gifts. Our church has truly become our family out of necessity, and we are learning week by week how to embrace others and invite them into our always-expanding family. How about you??
Chapter 11: Befriend the Children I love the story Sauls starts out with in which he was starting off his pastoral ministry by interviewing for an internship; he told the pastor who was interviewing him that he was interested in focusing on any area except children’s ministry. And of course, that is where they put him. But through his time serving children, he learned so much not just about kids but about God’s heart and God’s Kingdom. Children offer us another unique opportunity to see what it means to live inside God’s Kingdom...in God’s Kingdom, simplicity trumps sophistication, relationship trumps progress, and the least of these are the greatest.
Wow. That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? That’s a clear statement of why Jesus welcomed the children to himself and why he valued their presence. And why we should not just value them but take the time to learn from them.
Okay. Let's talk!