The gospels do not paint Jesus as having a close family.  His (half-)brothers accuse him of being crazy and his relationship with his mother is rather interesting.  Now having said that I am not saying we see all the familial relationship of Jesus in the gospels but only parts that help us be aware of Jesus’ message.

Applying this to contemporary circumstances becomes a challenge.  If I was to ask you how close is you family and then ask you to compare it to Jesus’ family, your family probably looks a lot less dysfunctional than you thought.  As an aside it is interesting to notice how dysfunctional most of the biblical families are.  Closeness is reflected elsewhere biblically in places like the Song of Solomon for marriage and the book of Acts for close community, even the book of Ephesians for family.

But how about you apply this to your marriage or your immediate family.  How close are you to them? There are choices we all make as to how much we let people share our lives and we will share theirs.    But what degree of control do we have for this to be reciprocated?  If someone does not want to be open and transparent how can we encourage them to be so?

So what ways do you encourage others to be part of your life?