Family relationships are hard! How is it that the people we love the most make us the most crazy? No matter what your family make up is there are going to be trying times. There are going to be times when you want to walk away and never speak to “those people” again. I believe that Scripture teaches us how to interact with our families in a way that is healthy, healing and God honoring.
The first thing we must do is build our relationships on the foundation of truth. This truth isn’t subjective; it is the authority of Scripture. The truth of God’s word should be the base on which all of our personal and familial lives are built upon.
The truth of Scripture gives us more than our do’s and don’ts. It is the filter through which we see the world and make all of our decisions. It is top priority!
For this to happen Scripture must be a part of your life!
I would suggest:
• Read the Bible daily
• Discuss what you are learning with your family
• Have a family devotional and prayer time
• Journal how you are applying Scripture to your life
• Be able to show another family member how to study the Bible on their own
The second principle that Scripture teaches that we must have to build healthy relationships is to experience and give grace.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have experienced grace! A lot of it! If we who have been immersed in the grace of God cannot freely give it to others, have we really experienced it?
Truth is powerful! It is necessary! Truth alone can lead to a harsh and unforgiving environment. We have truth as our standard, but in our relationships we must not forget that we are sinners and we are doing life with sinners. Failure will happen. When failure happens, grace picks up. We must give ourselves grace and offer it to others. Are there still consequences to our failures? Absolutely! Grace says even in the midst of consequences there is forgiveness and restoration.
Challenge: Make a list of your areas of weakness. What areas of your life do you have a continual propensity toward sin?
In this area you need to lean into the grace of God. This will keep you humble and act as a reminder to give grace to those around you.
Just remember that anything that you have done or has been done to you has been paid for on the cross of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
Finally, real love must permeate our familial relationships. I say real love because we get different views of what love is. Most of the time love gets defined as how someone makes us feel or it’s something that they do for us instead of what Scripture teaches. Love is action on our part regardless of what is done for us. Love is something that we choose to do. It always demands action. It is not reactionary.
Combined with truth and grace, the choice of acting out love to our family (even when we don’t feel like it) is a powerful and solidifying factor that is not easily broken.
As believers in Jesus we must not forget that there is another realm to this world. There is a devil who is powerful and wants to use our own feelings and idols to destroy our families. If you and I will build our lives on truth, experience and give grace and always choose to love we can overcome anything that is thrown at our families.
What does it look like to choose love?
Paul explains it best in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
To choose to love is to choose to move powerfully and intentionally in the best interest of the relationship. It is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is the right thing.
As you and I practice love, offer grace and live in truth we can see God do amazing healing in our families. We can witness him build stronger relationships and overcome generational sin. Our families will be healthier and the Kingdom of God will gain strength here on earth.
The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation. ~ Adrian Rogers, Pastor