As far as I know, I’m the only blogger on this list that hasn’t had a spouse and kids. So when I think of family, it is impossible for me to think of this without also thinking of community. While I do have a biological family that I love dearly, they either do not care to know Jesus or the depth of their relationship with Him is so superficial that I consider it non-existent. Furthermore, certain decisions I’ve made to follow the Lord have only served to widen the gap between myself and them. At times this can be extremely difficult, but God chose to put me in this family for a reason, and I accept that.
As a result, certain aspects of the family of Christ have become clear to me. For instance, I can have greater fellowship with people I have just met than with those that have known me my whole life. There is simply NO comparison to the bond that is created when a person surrenders their heart to Christ and becomes grafted into the Family of God. There are times I can recall having greater depth of conversation with a brother or sister in the Lord after a few minutes than any conversation I have ever had with my natural sister whom I’ve known all my life.
On the other hand, there are hurts that spiritual family can inadvertently cause as well. Many years ago, I was in a small group with a couple whom I greatly respected. They were 25-30 years my senior, and had four great kids ages 14-22. I wanted to have a deeper relationship with them as I was disconnected from my own parents for the reasons mentioned above. I will never -in this life- know if I am accurate in what I say next, but I believe that they were meant to have a stronger role in my life for that season. I hypothesize that they allowed their biological family to distract them from reaching out to me or at least including me in some of their family events. I say this with no bitterness or ill will towards them. Nevertheless, for a season I was dejected over it, but there was nothing I could do. I mention this only to say that well-intentioned godly believers are still capable of inflicting pain on their own spiritual family.
So from my vantage point, the phrase “blood is thicker than water” is an incomplete statement. I think a more accurate version would be “blood is thicker than water, but Jesus’ blood is thicker than biological blood.”