The Family Unit

Modern families differ greatly from one another. No longer does America have what some may call the “traditional” family-father and mother raising two point five kids. Yes, two point five. Today a family ranges anywhere from single parents to same sex ones, and of course, kids raising themselves. With this in mind, I do believe that America is lacking something in its basic unit. Something that most families whether picturesque or not, have a hard time finding, and that is assurance.

Assurance comes in many forms; assurance of being accepted, assurance of being loved unconditionally, and most important of all the assurance of God’s grace. I’m not knocking per say all family units that don’t fit a particular status quo, however; I am making an observation I seem to be noticing in my own life.

I grew up with a single parent mom. My father died when I was young and for the most part I have the stories and pictures that my mom has passed down to me. My mother always did her best for me and by me. I was considered to be a “difficult child with many social and learning problems” by therapists. That was then, now I am considered by many of my family to be a highly successful adult. Although my mother taught me the assurance of God’s grace, there was something that she was unable to give me regardless of how hard she tried; the assurance of unconditional love and acceptance of a father.

I’ve had my share of “father figures” as one might call them. From the neighbor across the street to the father of a best friend, they all had something in common. They all left me in the end whether by their choice or some other means. The most recent one was the father of my best friend. I always knew that I would never be the apple of his eye and that when it came down to it, he would never choose me over his own daughter.

I had a temporal assurance of acceptance and love as long as I fit within his family unit, and for a season I did fit. Then the season passed even though I fought hard for my place within his family. Although we are no longer in contact being that that particular dispensation of our lives is over, I still carry some of the knowledge he passed on to me but I no longer need or want that family’s acceptance.

I am now married and have gained a father figure that gives me assurance of a permanent love and acceptance. I have assurance of being accepted and loved unconditionally just as his own daughter. I don’t have to fight to keep that place within the unit, nor do I have to compete with anyone for that place. I have a family who’ll never reject me. It’s beautiful. And it’s what I’ve always wanted.

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