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When Family Traditions Hurt

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” – Romans 8:16, NIV

Kathy was an illegitimate child. She was the product of an affair that her mother had with a married man. Because Kathy was born in the early 1940s to an unwed mother, her birth was considered shameful. She was sent to live with her mother’s cousin’s family.

Although she was raised with kids her own age, Kathy was always treated differently. On her birthdays, there was no celebration. When holidays came, there were no gifts for the little girl. She would stand on the front porch and peer into the house, watching as the other children enjoyed Christmas presents and delicious treats.

Years later, Kathy started a toy drive. She spent every holiday season gathering gifts for foster children. Her heart ached to pour out love to kids who had been abused, neglected, and bullied.

Like Kathy discovered, family actions can be painful. They can leave us feeling like we’re not accepted or that we’re unloved. But if you have accepted Jesus into your life, you are a child of God. You’re part of a family where everyone is seen, loved, and wanted.


Lord, please comfort me when my earthly family rejects and hurts me. Remind me again that I’m part of Your family and that You love me deeply, passionately, and completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

December 21 Devotional

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