Chinese New Year is just two days away. I love the Lunar New Year because it is a time for family members to get together, partake of the traditional reunion dinner, and giving 红包 “hongbao” (literally “red-packet”) to the children.
Because of the pandemic, each family is limited to receiving only 5 visitors; however, it is still a good tradition to uphold. With good planning, we can still spend time to catch up with our loved ones.
The tradition of visiting parents and older relatives teaches us the values of fostering family ties:
Love, Care and Concern
Love, Care and Concern
Love is the crown of all virtues. When there is love, then, the other virtues will follow. As we show love, care and concern to our family members, likewise we should also show them to our brethren. In John 13:34, 35, we are commanded to love one another. John also wrote: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7).
Paul exhorts us to be “kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Rom 12:10). As we show mutual respect for one another, we will be able to practise what James had taught us in James 4:11: “speak not evil one of another,” and in 5:9: “grudge not one against another.”
That is, giving honour to our parents, respecting them, and fulfilling our responsibilities as children. We are to obey our parents in the Lord and honour them: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.” (Eph 6:1,2).
That is, giving ourselves to the family. Every member should play his part in the activities of the family. Family chores are not the mother’s chores, but our chores: “If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?” (1 Corinthians 12:15). The family is one but the members are many (1 Corinthians 12:20).
There are responsibilities to fulfil:
Parents are to provide for and train up their children in the right path. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6
Children are to obey and honour their parents (Ephesians 6:1-2)
Few things are stronger than family bonds, and better than family unity. Therefore, the church being the spiritual family of God (I Pet 2:5), may we as brethren (Matt 23:8) be united in the family of God. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1)
May we strive towards family unity, both physically and spiritually in this New Year.
Written by sis Teo Kim Tian