A family is a group of persons related by marriage and blood ties and generally living together in the same household. In our case, most of the families we reach out to are not living together, because of separation by prison walls. One of the exception would be our outreach to victims and their families.
God's ideal for the family is that it be a harmonious unit, where love for God and neighbor are instilled into each member. Jesus was asked: "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matt. 22:36-39 NLT).
The fact is unless we know God's love for us, we are not spiritually healthy to love God and others. "God showed how much He loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love -- not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:9,10 NLT)
Once we are born of the Spirit through receiving Christ into our heart, we are empowered to experience God's love and to love others. "Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other" (1 John 4:11 NLT).
The most important thing we can do is to pray the following for ourselves and our family members. "May we experience the love of Christ, though it is so great we will never fully understand it. Then we will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God" (Eph. 3:19 NLT). I can not stress praying this prayer enough! If we do, we are promised, "By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope" (Eph. 3:20 NLT).