How can we keep it from turning into another family fight?
Q: My five siblings and I never have been very close (in fact, to be honest we've never gotten along very well). Now out of the blue, one of our sisters has invited all of us and our families for Christmas dinner. How can we keep it from turning into another family fight? -- Mrs. D.N.
A: Have you asked yourself why your sister is taking this step? Only she could answer this, of course -- but I strongly suspect it's because she knows it's not good for your families to continue at odds with each other, and she wants to help overcome this. The Bible says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1, NKJV).
Is this possible? Yes -- if you and your families deliberately try to overcome your past disputes, and make it your goal to move beyond them. And that is exactly what God wants you to do! It was no accident that you and your siblings were born into the same family. God put you there, and He gave you each other.
No, you can't change the past, but with God's help you can change the future -- and I pray you will, both for your sakes and the sake of your children. Don't let them grow up thinking that families aren't important, or that conflict is supposed to be the norm. Let God's Word be your guide: "Love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22).
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What can you do? First, pray for your siblings and their families, and commit your time together to the Lord. In addition, send a brief note to each of them, saying that you look forward to being with them. And if the conversation around the table turns in a wrong direction, be prepared to insert positive words of encouragement and gratitude.
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.