When a family goes through struggles–even when it seems to be centered on the shortcomings or burdens of only one person in it–the unit is compressed and made more efficient and effective in its mission. Pressure on every one must present the possibility for every one to become a better member of that family, a better contributor to society and a better-engineered person.

The lessons taught in the context of familial adversity are never forgotten and have no end of application in our later lives. They mold us into who we become and raise examples in each of us for the others.

Here we learn to love like we would never need to if brought up in any lesser institution. Working together is also important not just for virtue but practical provision and advancement of the whole family.

I don’t know about you, but I have not always loved my family this way, or seen the advantages of living together in so tight a binding. I wanted to avoid the whole thing because there was pain here. I was unwilling to face it, so I tried to get away from all of it–the pain and the pleasure.

I thought I could find peace in other places–places where I had to work with less people, different people. I wanted new experiences that I could choose between and be in charge of myself. I thought I had better ways for how I should live than I had already seen. What God had for me felt like a vineyard that would always be ripe with the fruits of self-pity.

Family only works when family works together to make family work. It is not waiting for everyone else to come together, but investing our efforts in everyone we would normally insist invest in us first. That is why it is so good for me. It crushes my grapes–which I would normally turn into implements of wrath–and lets the juice nourish and serve my house-mates.

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