How to Read this Exhortation
I ask that you read through this exhortation prayerfully and slowly, with a listening heart. In this way, you can receive what the Lord has for you, fitting for your own journey and your family’s journey. Many of you, though from strong and intact families, have yet to hear family life presented as a beautiful, noble and joy-filled life that can certainly be lived with God’s grace. Others of you give thought regularly to your family’s mission, and are looking for a challenge; I trust you will find it.
I also am keenly aware that for many, the family pain that you experienced, or are experiencing now, has injured the hopes that such happiness in a family could be attainable. Do not be afraid. Great hope remains in Jesus Christ who has overcome the world. If this place of suffering is where you find yourself at this time, you may profit by reading chapter four first, on suffering, sin and healing.