Familial Relationships


We all have different definitions and experiences of family. Karis Lee describes how living in the Middle East changed her and her family’s understanding of that word: “When my family and I moved to the Middle East, ‘family ties’ took on a whole new meaning for me. I could not believe how many students at my school knew how their aunt’s grandfather’s brother was so-and-so’s grandmother’s nephew’s in-law. Every weekend, one of my best friends would have family ‘reunions’ with her extended family—both sides. As an Asian American with most of my relatives living in different parts of America and Korea, I was lucky if we got in a family reunion with at least one side every couple years” (Karis Lee, “Jesus’ Command to Love (and Hate) Our Family,” Christianity Today, July 16, 2014, https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/july-web-only/family-ties.html). As we grow up, we learn what is “normal” for different families, that other families look different from ours, and that people feel differently than we do about the people who make up our closest relationships at home.