. . . one family, held in the gospel of love . . . .
Who is this one family? What does it mean to be held in the gospel of love? Is this a
place every person can expect to reach, or is this a fantasy?
The answers to these questions are at the root of family relationships–relationships that separate a mother from daughter, father from son, and pit one sibling against another. Such relationships have existed since biblical times. They are evident in the “Cain slew Abel” and ” Jacob and Esau stolen birthright” stories. Human resistance to peace, harmony and love is the nature of mortal thinking. It focuses on self-love, self-righteousness and self-aggrandizement.
This article will:
- Disclose the identity of one family.
- Explain what it means to be held in the gospel of love, and
- List key factors that establish lasting family relationships.
The word “family” suggests commonality, sameness, or cohesiveness. Dictionary.com defines family as “a fundamental social group in society, typically consisting of one or two parents and their children; a group of persons sharing a common ancestry; two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling place.” As I read each one, I applied the same question, “What does this definition have that keeps one member of the family from saying or doing things to harm another?” The answer? Nothing. If you think I am wrong, ask yourself, ” Has the fact that my sibling(s) and I have the same parents, have common goals and values, live or lived in the same house and have long-term commitments, maintained harmony in my our family? ” I applaud you if you can answer Yes.
The Perfect Man
How is a perfect family defined? What does a perfect family do? For answers, I went to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and found that the author, Mary Baker Eddy, says, ” Immortals, or God’s children in divine Science , are one harmonious family; but mortals or the “children of men” in material sense, are discordant and oftentimes false brethren”(p.444). Key phrases to understanding this statement are divine Science and in material sense. If you don’t know what these mean, the statement has no validity.
Divine Science refers to “demonstration of divine Law.” An example of a divine law is “‘unconditional love”– love that remains love under all conditions and situations. An example could be: The male teenager next door raped your six-year-old daughter . . . do you still love him? Yes! I hear you. You are thinking, “That woman is crazy.” Let’s slow down a bit. There is a difference between loving the act committed by the teenager and loving the teenager! The act is despicable! You say, “But the teenager did it! How can I love him?” You love him by changing the identity of him in your thoughts.
Let’s look at him again with a higher level of thought. There is only one creator, and that Creator is God. All that God created is good. If this is true, the teenager has to be good. If he is good, he could not have committed such an act. Ifhe didn’t, who did? Looking at the other key phrase, “material sense,” we can identify the person as a mortal, or one who belongs in the category of “children of men.” Children of men have no real existence (according to the laws of God) because they have no creator. God is the sole Creator and all that He made is good. So, who is this person? He is a false sense of man–a counterfeit of the perfect man. You have a choice of holding the false sense in thought, and feeling hate and pain, or latching on to the perfect man, and feeling goodness and mercy. Which one makes you feel better? You decide. If you decide to hate, does the hate change the human sense of things? Does the act disappear? No! So what do you do?
You use everything in your power to see the perfect man–not for the rapist, but for yourself . . . and your daughter. Why do you do this? Because it activates the presence and power of God! Holding in thought the man who is kind, loving, pure–one who would never hurt anyone, begins to free you from the “I would like to kill him” mentality and generate harmony in your life. You must get there! Is it easy? No! No! No! You get there anyway! Put it in the hands of God, and you will be surprised how everything falls into place. Mercy and justice, even when divine, are not blind. Acknowledgement of divine truth, eliminates human error.
Being able to separate God’s children from children of men, will bring healing in your life. This is the power of divine Law. Not only does it bring justice, it also brings mercy. The two work together. This is the message that Jesus brought to all mankind. Love is merciful and unconditional . . . but it is also corrective. No power is greater than divine power!
The Perfect Family
Once every man is identified as a child of God, attaining a perfect family becomes easy, because there is no room for imperfection in perfection. Therefore, if one sees every family member as perfect, immortal, all activity by that family has to be harmonious, as Mary Baker Eddy says in her statement above. It is only when man is viewed as mortal or children of men, that disharmony prevails. “Held in the gospel of love,” is the last part of the statement. The “gospels” are usually referred to as the teachings of Jesus, and the foundation of his teachings is love. Therefore, at all times and in all situations, we must keep one word in thought–love. True love precludes any semblance of discord or imperfection.
Key Factors That Determine True Family Relations
Strive to accomplice each one in the order listed:
- Recognize that all members have one Parent–Father/Mother God.
- Discover the true identity of each member. It may be the opposite of what your senses are telling you.
- Strive to see each member as a child of God.
- Demonstrate love, patience and understanding, even if it is not shown toward you.
- Determine if the character traits you are exhibiting, match divine character traits, if not, make the adjustment.
- Correct negative and destructive criticism.
- Respect individual differences.
- Be honest, even when it hurts.
- Listen to each other with FULL attention.
- Show appreciation, love and support.
If you are successful in achieving the key factors above, you are well on your way to demonstrating harmonious relationships. It is essential to point out that you are only responsible for demonstrating these for yourself . . . and not the next person. Self-love, self-righteousness and self-justification, have no place in this demonstration.
Building solid family relationships can seem like a daunting process, if you leave out “One God, one family, held in the gospel of love.” These set the stage for true growth and true demonstration.
If you found this information helpful, feel free to pass it along to a family member.