Stretch A Little

Tom Arthur & Beth Hobbs

devozine IMG_5974 grad house2My experiences of family have stretched the definition of that word for me. I grew up in a blended family with three brothers, a sister, and two stepsisters, only one of whom is biologically related to me. When I went to graduate school, my wife and I lived in a house with several other Christians who offered hospitality to women and children in transition. In many ways, this community became more of a “family” to me than I had ever known as together we lived out God’s call to mission. Our guests were also a part of our family. We shared in parenting their children; we ate meals together; we prayed together in the evenings. Our Christian friends and those to whom we opened our home became family to us simply because we lived with them. To some extent, the people we live with are our family. Who are your fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers?

—Tom Arthur


EXPAND YOUR DEFINITION: As an MK (missionary kid), I live 8000 kilometers from my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Even in this digital age, that’s pretty far away. Yet I’m surrounded by “family”—close friends with whom I can talk at any time and my church. As the body of Christ, the members of my church are my grandmas and gramps, aunties and uncles, and cousins. It’s like going to a family reunion every Sunday! In God’s family, I am a sister, niece, daughter, and granddaughter to every Christian on the planet. You’re a part of my family too!

—Beth Hobbs, 16


Jesus stretches our concept of family in Mark 3:31–35. Check it out! Then tell us below how your definition of family has been stretched by your experiences.

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