- Family and Parenting
The Dynamics of a Dysfunctional Family
A Remedy for Families in Distress
I continually hear about the dysfunctional family within our society. In fact, people are concerned, and rightfully so, about the future generation. They argue that raising and rearing children is more difficult in today's world because of technological advancements in social networking. Though there is some truth to their cares and concerns, the fact remains that there has been some degree of family dysfunction throughout the ages. While technology enhances the opportunity to reach out to the world in a matter of a key's stroke, the family has suffered since the fall of Adam and Eve.
So what it is it that makes the family dysfunctional--the easy answer would be sin. But sin is all encompassing...it effects each and every person whether we want to admit to it, acknowledge it, or even accept it. Sin comes in a variety of guises such as selfishness, pride, jealously, envy, covetousness, hatred, strife, anxiety, and the list goes on...yes, it is sin that has severed the very fibers and fabric of the family. And what's even more alarming is how today's children will continue to carry the seeds of sins into future generations...the cycle will replicate itself and reproduce. The question is does it have too?
The answer is no it does not. Sadly, many families, though they know that the engine needs oiled, refuse to seek a remedy. If crisis and conflict are not at the forefront, then something must be terribly wrong...and when things are simple and subtle it is surprising to see how someone is willing to skip a stone in the still waters just to watch the ripples swim across the surface...Conflict, confrontation, and crisis seem to be the battle cry for most.
So, how does one overcome the debilitating and damaging effects of a dysfunctional family? The first step is to admit it. WOW! That's a shocker. Just ADMIT IT! So many families try so hard to make everyone believe their family is perfect...Mother and father never disagree, next to the Cleaver's on Leave It To Beaver, the children are prim and proper, and everyone in the family has been given some gift for the betterment of the humanity. How we deceive ourselves into believing in something other than the truth. And we wonder where are children learn to live a life of lies. Just admit when things are out of tune...as I say this please note that I am suggesting that we broadcast our woes and worries to the world, but by all means be real, be truthful, be genuine, and be human. Confess when a wrong is committed and seek ways to change.
Furthermore, let God be your judge. I know that is frightening; almost intimidating. However, when you come to fully come the grasp the full extent of God's grace, you will discover the love you seek is yours for the taking...God loves you, yes He loves. In fact, He loves you so much that He literally gave the world His Son so that we may have an abundant life and more importantly, an eternal life. For years I struggled with trying to please my father. Sadly, he died when I was just a teenager. I found it amazing how I still sought his approval even years after his death. Words cannot even express or explain how I struggled from deep within. Then one day I read Jesus' call to His disciples...He states: If anyone seeks to save his life, will lose it. But whosoever shall lose his life for My name sake, shall find (Matthew 24).
You see, our identities should be fashioned and formed from our Father in heaven. And why shouldn't they be...He created us in His image. In Christ, we will find the love our spirit so desperately desires. I know, it is difficult to digest...but believe me, if you want to change it begins by becoming a new creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). Believe me, you will find more grace before God before you will others. Let's be honest, if your eternal fate was in the hands of family and friends, do you honestly believe you will pardoned...I think not. What most people do not understand is that they will ultimately become the person they desire to be when God is at the focal point of their lives. Does that mean your family will be perfect...Absolutely not! What it means though is that the way you deal with conflict and with crisis will change. It will be bathed in grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness.
And finally, begin studying the pages of Scripture. You would be amazed to see the dysfunctional families that lay within the Bible. God did not hide anything from our eyes...In fact, we are told that we can learn from their mistakes. Paul states that they were written for our example and our admonition. Why not learn from those who walked before. Ask yourself the questions learned in school..the who, what, where, how, and why's? Who were the main characters? What did they do right and wrong? What could they have done differently? How did impact and influence that person, those people, and future populations? How was God glorified? And the infamous question of all...Why?