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Connie Lewis Leonard



Psalm 68:5-6

Posted on August 19, 2021 at 3:45 PM

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalm 68:5-6 New International Version

I thank God every day for my family of origin who loved me, provided for me, and protected me. My parents believed in God, and we were taught to say our prayers. I can still picture my mother singing hymns as she cleaned house. I thank God for the family He gave me—for Gary and the life we’ve shared for over forty years, for his family, and for our children and grandchildren who have blessed and enriched our life.


We are a close, affectionate family, and we try to show and tell our children how much we love them. We probably have done a little better job with the grandchildren because we are older, wiser, and more patient. I make it a habit to pray for them, out loud in front of them, thanking God for the wonderful blessings they are. I want them to know they are precious gifts from the Lord, fearfully and wonderfully created in His image, to fulfill His plans, and to live the abundant life. Our sweet little Ryanne is too young to understand all of that, but she is aware of attention, affection, acceptance, and love.


No family is perfect. I once read a quote that said, “Our family is not unique because every family is dysfunctional.” Unfortunately some families are more dysfunctional than others. Many people don’t grow up knowing they are loved. Most of us can look back on our families and pinpoint things we didn’t like, things we don’t want to repeat. We also remember things we did ourselves that we should have done differently, things we wish we could undo or do over. Growing up in the 50’s, we watched Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver, and many other programs where parents were loving, patient, and wise. Every problem could be successfully solved within the thirty-minute sitcom. These were unrealistic portrayals of picture-perfect families. But what can we use as a model? Parenting books abound from Dr. Spock in the 60’s to Dr. James Dobson in the 80’s, and on and on. We have the Bible, and we have the family of believers within the church.

God established the church to be a family, brothers and sisters in Christ, united by our Heavenly Father, filled with love through the Holy Spirit. The church should be a place where children from dysfunctional families can experience unconditional love, acceptance, and safety. The church should be a place where the lonely are welcomed and embraced, a place where the homeless find a home. The church should be a place of freedom, freedom from exclusivity, freedom from ridicule, freedom from gossip and slander, freedom from judgment and criticism.

Ask God to mold you into the godly person He created you to be patient, loving, kind examples of integrity and faithfulness.



Ask God to help you be a functional part of the church drawing people to Christ, rather than a dysfunctional part pushing people away from.


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