Research shows that ongoing family connection is an important factor for wellbeing. This is particularly the case for adolescents as they grow greater independence and their sense of personal identity. Connection to an extended family, which may include significant adults outside of the immediate family, helps people to see themselves in relationship to others and develop an understanding of mutual responsibility. Families are a place where young people can learn the importance of give and take in sustaining relationships. Learning that they have responsibility for the care for siblings, parents and extended family members even when relationships are not easy, builds emotional capacity within young people.
God models this type of familial love where He continues to love us despite us constantly being less that what He would have us be. At our best and our worst, He walks with us and does not give up on us. We are called to do this in our families too. Beyond the brokenness, there are strong bonds of love and a constant invitation to come home and rest in the safety of home.