The Illumined Heart: Capture the Vibrant Faith of Ancient Christians by Frederica Mathewes-Green
In communities, at work, but particularly in families, people are put together in something like a three-legged race. God means us to cross the finish line together, and all the other people tied together with us play some part in our progress. They are there oftentimes to rouse our stubborn sins to the surface, where we can deal with them and overcome them - striking them in the head and chest, as St. Theophan says.
Bundled together in families, a giant seven- or nine- or fifteen-legged pack, we seem to make very poor progress indeed, and fall to the ground in a bickering heap with some regularity. But God has put us together - has appointed each other person in your bundle specifically for you, and you for them. And so, "little children, let us love one another" with might and main, and keep hopping together toward the finish line.