Our Junior School chaplain Mr Trevor Sykes has put together a blog post about the importance of families to our College community. The blog post is part of a student well-being blog published twice a term.
The Swan Family
By Mr Trevor Sykes, Junior School Chaplain
“Families are society’s most important building block. Strong families equate to strong communities because they embody caring for others, connectedness with people, and providing hope, support and comfort.”
- Dr Brian Babington, Chief Executive Officer, Families Australia
As the chaplain at Swan Christian College I am fortunate to meet many families each and every day. It’s a great blessing for me to be welcomed into the deeply personal world of families as we work together to navigate life’s challenges and help their children be all that God created them to be.
I believe that families are among life’s most precious gifts. They take many forms, yet all families need support from time to time. Whatever form they take, families can be the greatest settings for receiving, giving and nurturing love, understanding and support.
Families connect us with our past and form the basis of the future through our children. I think they are the places where we have the best chance of being understood for who we are, not what we possess or for our achievements. They can give us meaning in life and hope when the outside world fails us; or even when we fail ourselves.
Families can locate us in the wider world and focus our joy and suffering. All families face storms: they can be strong and fragile all at once. They benefit from the character, abilities and sacrifices of their variety of parts. Strong families also grow and encourage other families around them. To withstand and prosper, they all require understanding, respect and support.
We are part of a community here at Swan Christian College and this sometimes operates very much like a family. We spend significant time together and have the opportunity to be a positive influence on each other as we invest in our children. Being a Christian school means we hold the example of Jesus as our model for relationships. A Christian family can be described as a group of people who are committed, first and foremost, to the person and work of Jesus Christ, faithfully sharing the love, power, and forgiveness of God to each other in this unique time and place.
All you need is Love
Loving someone and being loved brings happiness and fulfillment. We can have many loves in our lives; such as your sweetheart, your parents, your family and children, or your best friend. We all want and need love; love is an essential part of being human. We need to help each other, cooperate with each other, and reaffirm each other - what a great example of what it means to be a family!
As your heavenly Father, God is vitally important to your love relationships. Our love of God often grows as we mature in life. We are grateful for all His gifts, such as the beauty of creation and our family. We become especially grateful for his forgiveness when we fall. His gifts to us are so plentiful that it becomes only fair and natural that we love Him. We begin to appreciate that God is love. He is a wonderful example of love, because His love is unconditional. We are the happiest when we are living in harmony with God and others. Someone who loves God will strive to be good, honest, and faithful, and develop all the values necessary to sustain a love relationship through the years. Loving God means you are both trying to live His way and that you are being fair and true to each other.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
As we reflect on family and all that it means to us, we can rest in the knowledge that God joins us in our struggles and heartbreak and He celebrates with us through the good times. He provides all that we need; the joy and power of family is dear to His heart. Whatever your place in your own family and the wider community here at Swan, I pray that you may give and receive love in equal measure.
Mr Trevor Sykes
Junior School Chaplain