“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
– 1 Peter 3:8
The decline of family unity
Today’s verse is one of several profound Bible verses about family. Not only does this verse refer to blood relations, but about God’s entire family – the Church and all followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Family unity has been on the decline for decades due to a number of factors. In past times, families tended to live in closer proximity within geographic regions, as well as often worked together.
However, due to modern transportation, families have become spread farther apart as individuals seek economic and career opportunities.
The decline of religion is also another factor in diminishing family unity. Religion taught unity, tolerance, respect and the obligation to care for others, especially for a family.
However, the dedication to family is not what it once was. People have become more consumed with self-interest. Changing belief systems have also driven families apart.
The Pope’s New Year’s resolution for families
Last Sunday during his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis urged families to strive for more unity and communication, citing Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as examples for all of us to follow.
They “prayed, worked, and communicated with each other,” Pope Francis said referring to Jesus and his parents.
Pope says unplug
Pope Francis pointed out that people no longer talk to one another and, during meals together, people spend the time being focused on their mobile phones rather than communicating face-to-face.
“I ask myself if you, in your family, know how to communicate or are you like those kids at meal tables where everyone is chatting on their mobile phone,” the Pope said, “where there is silence like at a Mass but they don’t communicate.”
“We have to get back to communicating in our families,” Francis added. “Fathers, parents, children, grandparents, brothers and sisters, this is a task to undertake today, on the day of the Holy Family.”
Bible verses about family unity
There many Bible verses about the family that directs the behavior of husbands and wives toward one another, as well as parents to their children, and children to their elders. Here is a sampling:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”
1 Peter 3:1
“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,”
1 Peter 5:5
“Young men, in the same way, submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'”
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”