Monday, April 14, 2008

The Greatest of These is Love

This weekend our house was alive and well, filled with the love, laughter, and warmth of people I've come to cherish.

Chris is from a very large family. Three brothers and three sisters to be exact, spanning in ages from 30 to 13. The three oldest of those siblings (Chris included) have since multiplied themselves, producing six young children as of yet, with plans for more in the works.

I'll never forget my first family gathering with them. Chris and I had been dating for a few months, and although I had met each person individually, I had yet to experience them as a collective group. Now let me just say, there is a fierce love between my husband and his siblings. They give new meaning to having each other's back because they will defend one another to the death, if need be.

With that being said, they are also NOT afraid to throw down over a good board game, or pretty much ANY game. With the majority of siblings having played college athletics, they have grown up fueling their already competitive natures. So, you can imagine how well it went over when I suggested we just agree to a tie after sitting in the midst of Scategories gone wrong, watching helplessly as the bloodshed ensued around me.

But, with age comes refinement and most of that competitive edge has now been passed down to the next generation. Cousins, suffering from the sins of their fathers, go toe to toe in everything from kickball to who can eat their meal the fastest. But, you better believe that they also inherited the "got your back" gene. Gang up on one and you're asking for it.

Perhaps one of the best things is that, with the exception of a brother away at college, everybody lives within 45 minutes of each other. And although getting everyone together doesn't always happen in an orderly fashion, the important thing is it happens on a regular basis. Despite very different schedules and multitudes of competing conflicts, each family makes a very solid effort to place gathering together as a top priority. Period.

But one of the things I'm most in awe of about Chris' family is God's sovereignty. When you look at the picture of who they are today, it is impossible not to recognize the healing hand of the Lord in their lives. Chris' parents divorced very early in his life, each remarrying shortly thereafter.

Yet, what the devil meant for harm, God used for His glory. Through restoration that only comes from Christ, my husband's family often gathers as ONE family. There is no discussion of "half" siblings or "step" parents, merely sisters, brothers, moms and dads, all united in a self-sacrificing love for family. A love that has kept no record of wrongs and has no stipulations attached. A love that they, themselves, were extended through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Although no family is perfect, they are living proof that your past does not determine your future because love covers a multitude of sin. And I am so very blessed to call them my own.

Well, except when we play Scategories.


Kelli said...

What a beautiful post on family. It warms my heart to know that they are so united amidst the potentially shattering word - divorce. God is so good.

fullheartandhands mama said...

I didn't see that coming. Isn't God awesome!

Kelly said...

I always dreamed of marrying into a big family like that. And then I married an only child. ha!
I bet it is so fun to all get together!!!!

Cindi said...

Soooooo....Britt, can you define the term, "nicknack" and tell Chris that it covers a multitude of objects!
Remember, you've got my back =)


Autumn said...

We love having you as part of our family Britt! Not only is there no "half" or "step" but I've thrown out the word "in-law". I love you as much as my other siblings.

Oh and THANK YOU for Wednesday. Although the "play"group wasn't so fun, you taught me so much. Just like you never say never, I've learned to be ready for parenting advice anytime/anywhere!

Autumn Beck