One of the benefits of social media is meeting new people. I have been fortunate to meet many men and women who inspire me as a follower of Christ. Among them is my guest this week, Christina Dronen. She and her husband Eric started Finally Family Homes where they seek to give justice, hope, and a future to aged out foster kids in the greater L.A. area. Their work is inspiring and challenging for the Body of Christ. I encourage you to read her post and consider ways you can support her with prayers and finances.
How I View Family
I made up my own phrase, well re-phrasing of how I view family. It is said, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family is blood and is always more important. But I say “Spirit is thicker than blood,” meaning our connections in Christ, as believers who are “one in the Spirit”, are more important than shared genetics.It is said, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family is blood and always more important. But I say “Spirit is thicker than blood.” Click To Tweet
Scripture backs me up on this one. As Jesus said in one of the more difficult Scriptures to hear, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, and even his own life–he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26). To hate, here, means to value or love less than, meaning less than Jesus.
And in Romans 8, Paul addresses us as “brothers” saying in verses 15-17 “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father! ’ The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
One Big Family
We are family in Christ – our greatest allegiance is to our Father in Heaven, Christ the firstborn, and to our brothers and sisters who are one in the Spirit, by adoption. This doesn’t mean we should neglect our own families or not love them, but that we should seek to get our greatest sense of belonging from unity in the Spirit.
What difference does this perspective make in our practical lives?
For me, it means the brokenness in my upbringing doesn’t define me. My Father defines me. It means that I reach out to my brothers and sisters in Christ when I need support or to feel connected to a community. It means, as one who has been adopted, that I have a special compassion in my heart for the orphan and widow – those without family support in this life. And it means I want more than anything to bring my blood only relations into Spirit relations. I want to build the bond of connection in Christ with my children, who are at first only connected by blood.
The Facts of Foster Care
My connection to my adoption in the Spirit has also moved me to reach out the orphans in my community, Los Angeles. At least 400 foster youth per year just in Los Angeles go from foster care into the streets – never having connected to a family or home enough to have somewhere to sleep when they turn 18. Over 1000 former or current foster youth sleep on the streets on any given night. These kids want so desperately to be grafted into a family and will accept whatever “family” pursues them – gangs, human traffickers, etc.
How I Responded
So with my faith community I’ve started an organization to offer an alternative family to these kids, providing food, shelter, guidance, and community. I want more than anything for them to be grafted into the family of Christ. I want them to know that though blood has failed them, though government has failed them, it isn’t over yet. The strongest bond of all, the Holy Spirit, is there for them to enter in and be connected to “Daddy, Father” in Heaven and to brothers and sisters on earth through Jesus.
As James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
What Can You Do to Help?
Please join me in praying for Finally Family Homes as we approach opening our first transitional home in Santa Clarita, CA. Please pray that God would provide the right place, that we would connect to and serve the kids who would benefit most, and that God would bless our crowdfunding event starting on May 15th – that we would get all we need to furnish and house 6 young women in need.
Christina is a wife and mother of three, a writer of parenting Bible study guides, and the founder and Executive Director for Finally Family Homes – a nonprofit ministry helping youth who are aging out of the foster care system.