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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Patience and Understanding Go a Long Way in Many Families - 6 Things that Close Family Members Have that Others Don't

Growing up, I noticed that some of my intermediate and extended relatives had very strong family bonds.  They were the kind of bonds that showed just how much they cared for one another.  Sure, they argued at times and wasn't always there for one another, but there was an appreciation, love and respect that family members displayed that couldn't be broken no matter what the situation!

Drugs showed up in the family, cheating, lying, stealing, and more, and even still, some family members were diehard about loved ones.  They didn't stop saying, "I love you...you can do better!  We are a family!  Let me get you some help.  I hate what is happening to your family, let's do something about it!"  The passion to assist, the determination to get someone free of their demons, and the kind of love that only a God could download into the spirit of man and woman was real!

So, I thought of what they did to accomplish that family closeness that some observers were simply jealous of and wished for that kind of bond among their own.

1) They listened.

When family crisis showed up, time was taken to listen.  Steamrolling over conversations, quick to name-call, running one's mouth about "you should...and you better..." nope not with these Good Samaritans.  They wanted to hear all sides and then they planned the work and worked the plan.  Judgments, bias, name-calling, and personal opinions need not be a part of their family discussions.

2) They encouraged.

These loved ones did the total opposite of what discouraging family members did to their relatives, they ensured the one they were speaking to that "everything would be alright...you will get through this!  I love you and you made a mistake--no one is perfect!  Do better next time."

3) They provided.

Unlike stingy relatives who held on to money like they could never earn it again, the generous kin did what they could to help.  They gave up not just money, but time to ensure that someone got to their appointment, someone was visited in jail, someone's house was cleaned, and another had no worries about yardwork.  They were present, in the moment, and all-too ready to open their wallets and/or doors.

4) They loved.

As much as it hurt some of them to let very troubled family members go, they still loved them anyway.  They refrained to talk ugly about them.  They loved them until their hearts couldn't take any more stress.  Before long, unfortunately some of those loving relatives were buried.  They left us with one piece of advice in their actions, "Know when to let go."  A few used to say that their kindness had been taken for weakness and they wished that at times they hadn't been so kind, but more firm with some kinfolk.

5) They grew.

As family reunions came to a slow end due to so many people passing away with dates so close together, it was apparent that the family was still pressing on, still growing, still helping, and still doing.  The elders supported family growth and didn’t frown or look down on those who became pregnant.  They realized that they wouldn't be around forever, so it was important that the family grow; therefore, they encouraged population growth, family closeness, and family get-togethers even in their absence.  There wasn't just one family member leading, but many kin were instructed to lead and to continue to keep the family ties strong. 

6) They believed.

Now after years of observation and participation in family events, there is still the belief that those who had been distant will one day come together and those that have been close will remain that way.  It doesn't hurt to believe even when others have given up.  Stay faithful, stay loving, and stay kind, you never know who is watching.

May God bless you and your family!

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and the author of When Mothers Cry, Too Much Too Soon Internet Dating Blues, Say Goodbye to Dad and other nonfiction books.

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