Christian Living


Mommy and the Joyful Three

Coping with Family Dysfunction

Dealing with a dysfunctional family and trying to uphold a Christian way of life is not always easy.

I’ve been thrown into maddening cycles of ups and downs with my immediate and extended family since childhood. From a very young age, I was in the crossfires of gossip and arguments. I was pitted against my cousins and brothers. Fighting seemed was not only accepted but desired.

Perhaps you have people in your close family who cannot admit their mistakes, blame you for their problems or are manipulators and enablers. This all can bring a Christian person to their knees in frustrated despair.

The Bible has many examples of dysfunctional families. Take the story of Joseph or the story of Cain and Abel for examples.

None of us are guaranteed great families. Our job is to show them love in the face of discord. God’s mercy can bring us peace even in the midst of chaotic relationships.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

This verse (one of my favorites) is telling us that God is the Father of our future. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are sons and daughters of the One True King. And He wants the very best for us.

I have a few in my own family who have emotionally harmful to me for years. They take advantage of others. They, at times, make me feel unwanted and incompetent. All I can do is react in a godly way. It’s hard to not fight back when someone’s “fighting” you, but it’s the only good response.

I’ve prayed and prayed about how to interact with my family. I’ve cried many tears, as I am sure many of you have.

God does not tell us we have to stay connected to those who hurt us. We should love them, but we don’t have to let them speak negatively into our lives.

This coming year, I will pray for and love everyone in my family. I will not participate in the tornado of torment they cause anymore.

In fact, my energy will be put toward serving my family in Christ. And I will look to my Father God for the love and acceptance I crave.

Do you come from a dysfunctional home? If so, how do you cope?
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