By Dr. James A. Perkins

Many families live tension-filled lives, yearning to find freedom. Some end up leaving home, thinking an escape to new things brings liberty. Others remain among family, yet continue to endure conflicted relationships. How can we live a liberated joy-filled life, regardless of the way others think, feel, or chose? Here are 3 Insights about Living in True Family Freedom.
1. True family freedom is not about doing what I want, when I want, how I want, where I want. No. True freedom is joyfully sacrificing my way to minister life to others. By surrendering myself to serve others, an inner liberation often emerges. Abraham Lincoln wrote: “Freedom is not the right to do what I want, but the power to do what I ought. Let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us; to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” The joy of true family freedom rises, when one decides to live with inner freedom, even while others chose not to.

2. True family freedom may be experienced, when one commits to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Do you love yourself? Of course, you do. Each of us knows we possess a deep longing and appreciation for our own self-worth. So, to increase true family freedom among others we must love others exactly as we love ourself. In fact, a healthy level of self-love is good and normal. Long ago, theologian Thomas Aquinas said it best “Well-ordered self-love is right and natural.” Now go, and love yourself as you love others!

3. True family freedom ultimately requires depending on Jesus living His life through us, so we may reflect Him in everything we say and do. For loved ones to observe and appreciate your witness, you must depend on embracing the truth Jesus revealed, saying,”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” More of God’s kind of love revealed through you will allow others to sense Him, even when you say nothing.

Long ago, hymn writer B.B. McKinney wrote the following lines. Allow his words to encourage you to live in true family freedom:

“While passing thro’ this world of sin, and others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure without, within; Let others see Jesus in you.”