In this day and time families face some seemingly insurmountable challenges. It seems so common now to hear about families breaking up and breaking down.
I read a story recently about a man and his wife who were mourning the loss of their youngest son after he was brutally murdered. It was an extra sad story because their oldest son couldn’t even attend the funeral...why? Because he was the one who committed the murder. To make matters worst the mother and father had recently been evicted from the only home that they had ever owned; the home that they had worked so hard and long to maintain
I read another story about a married man who had numerous kids from extramarital affairs with three other women. The problem was his wife couldn’t have any kids and so I suppose he felt justified in cheating. Things got really sticky while trying to juggle child-support, visitation, and all the other necessities that go along with child rearing. And of course all of this attention that these “other children” (and their mothers) were getting really made his wife’s blood boil. Then of course the other women made it worse by calling a little too often, and parading their children in front of her while they’re wearing the new clothes that her husband bought.
If you haven’t noticed yet, both stories come straight from Scripture. The first story is about Adam and Eve. The second tells of Jacob (who later became Israel) and Rachel. The point is this: sin has brought untold havoc and suffering to this world and “ground-zero” of its devastating destruction is the local, immediate family unit. This is where Satan sets his sinister sniper’s scope.
If he can cause our families to break up, then he can make each of us break down. However, by the grace and power of God we will be built and tied firmly and tightly together...forever.
Here's three things we can do to make sure we do just that.
Seek God together.
It's been said a million times or more that “the family that prays together stays together.” It's true. Families who seek transcendence, meaning and insight from the Highest Power outside of their own will often find a type of refreshment that is unrivaled in this life. Regular family prayers and devotion times, regular church attendance, and the like adds buoyancy to any family system. Have you ever noticed that it's impossible to stay angry with your spouse while you're praying for them? It's because seeking God provides perspective that we just can't develop on our own.
Seek therapeutic support.
If you've never experienced a major setback or loss, then I'll tell you as the old folks used to say, “Just keep on livin’.” One day, someday, you're going to experience a level of trauma and devastation that can be downright crippling. Maybe it'll be the loss of a parent, the loss of a child, the loss of a job, or a terminal illness of some sort. Something is going to interrupt the flow and fruitfulness of life in cataclysmic fashion, and when it does it's essential that you rally together as a family, seek out a trained professional and let them walk with you through the dark places. God is always there, and it’s an added bonus to have other caring professionals around to help as well.
Seek celebration opportunities.
- We’ve already established that the family that prays together stays together, but I'd like to add an additional axiom to that. A lesser known saying is “a family that plays together stays together.” We have to be very careful to set aside time just to enjoy. Take time to play, have fun, laugh, be silly and smile. Maybe it's a graduation, or anniversary, a birthday, a promotion or something as simple as family game night. Dedicate time to just celebrate, have fun and enjoys God’s blessings together.
Life is hard. Terrible things are bound to happen to us and around us. And all of this is because there is a destructive power called sin that we are subject to. Moreover, it is the destructive power of Satan that brought sin into the world. Nevertheless, the power of Christ makes us free from sin and Satan. We are most blessed when we pursue and experience that freedom together. Our families have the potential to make this freedom journey so sweet. Let's love on each other and enjoy each step...together...forever.