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Surely this sentiment has been expressed or imagined by many while attending a family reunion. In theory, reunions are supposed to be opportunities to share wonderful moments; make memories, and reconnect with family members you’ve not seen in years or didn’t know existed; and have a great time with people you are connected to while enjoying new locations. That’s the theory. However, too often, it’s not the practice. In some cases, counseling is needed after attending a family reunion because of the trauma from the event.

Family reunions can get ugly and even dangerous. They can stir up old rivalries, open wounds from past squirmishes, or become de facto arbitration sessions trying to settle or justify who is getting what from the estate of deceased family members.

Believers are particularly conflicted because, in many cases, fam- ily reunion activities challenge their belief systems and moral standards; and can actually alienate them from others—even when they don’t flaunt their religion.

Even dating is more problematic today because it is increasingly possible that a person could be romantically interested in someone who is, in fact, his or her brother or sister.

If you haven’t attended your family reunion in a while, do so. If none are planned, start one. When love triumphs in family reunions, the benefits will reach future generations.

Family Reunions:

1. Help reaffirm the importance of family;

2. Present the opportunity to solve long-standing problems and heal old wounds.

3. Are an opportunity to put the love of Christ on display.

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