Monday, November 6, 2017

Families Are Messy

By Sheryl Holmes, author of TOWDAH

The truth is, families are messy. I am not talking about underwear on the floor or dirty dishes in the sink; I am talking about relationally: parents to children, and sibling to sibling. There are misunderstandings and mistakes that result in hurts so deep that they are hard to forget.

As a theoretical, yet pointed question, I wrote on my household white board, “How many times must we forgive?” Meant as a prompt to have my family ponder, I was surprised when my question actually engaged someone – and they wrote: “7 x 70.” Hoorah, I thought, someone knows their Bible!

I took the opportunity to explain further in two parts, A & B. “A” – 7 is a biblical symbol of perfect completion and 10 is exponential, so perfect completed exponential = ad infinitum = a lot, forever… “B” - Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Forgive the ignorant, I said. And, as the homeschooling mom, I figured the conversation was done.

Yet, a day later, another scrawl of a question was written in response to my answer: “But what if they know what they are doing?”

What a great question! How do we forgive someone who knows the hurt they have done?

My green marker hit the whiteboard again: “A people group forgave even a murderer for killing their children; they embraced the killer and openly and publically forgave him and prayed for him. This: reflects what Jesus has done for each one of us. ‘While we were sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8) This is called grace-forgiveness. And we are to do likewise.”

Holiday time is upon us all. Turkeys will roast and lights will be strung and gifts and treats and noise will abound. And, truth is: families are messy.

Gatherings can be tense, awkward, and dreaded. May I give you hope to change the landscape for this year’s family holiday gatherings?

I challenge us all, to offer grace at our family gatherings this season. See each member of your family as Jesus sees them: Loved. So, love those the Father has given to us, and forgive, ad infinitum.

About the Author

Sheryl Holmes is an author, full-time homeschooling mom, and cancer survivor. Her e-book, TOWDAH, is on sale this week. Learn more about Sheryl at her author page on and keep reading for information on TOWDAH.

Towdah is one Hebrew word for thanksgiving used in the Scriptures. This song is the author's offering of thanks given despite the suffering and difficult circumstances that she endured while dealing with cancer.

Sheryl Holmes says, "I lift up my hands in praise to my Abba Father and I thank Him for what He has done and for what He has not even yet done, but will do, because I trust Him. It is my desire that Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope will display the sparkle of God in my life and the praise that I cannot keep to myself. Read my story and be encouraged, my friend."

TOWDAH is on sale this week. The e-book is only 99¢ - that's more than a 50% discount! Get it at Amazon!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you, Cheryl! A very good word at the right time. I love the whiteboard conversation! I might start one at my house.