Post 108…Dysfunctional Families


God created families. The family was to be the place where children were cherished, encouraged, treasured, loved, and where they could learn good things, walk with God, and have a good life.  However, something transpired in the Garden of Eden and sin began on earth.  No longer was there the accord that God intended when He created Adam and Eve.  What happened was the devil entered the picture and our world fell…while sin entered in.  Sin has affected everyone on earth since the Garden of Eden, and it won’t stop until Jesus returns.  Dysfunction began with the first family God created and it has not stopped ever since.  Families are still dysfunctional!!!

As we look at “dysfunction” in people’s lives…learn from it, and stop whatever you can from happening again. 

Many families today have secrets.  Secrets of what others in their own family have done.  Some things might be horrible things, some imagined, and some not so bad, but because they don’t want the embarrassment, they keep it inside and the secrets begin.  I think that happened a lot in the Bible as well.  People don’t want their families to look damaged in any way.

Many families shelter shame in their hearts and family.  What someone did was wrong and they know it, and some feel totally responsible for the person’s action, but the thing is we are all responsible for our own actions.  We all make mistakes, but some people, especially in our own family will never forget, or forgive, or even some won’t help get others back to God and on the right track. We can’t help everyone, even in our own family, but we can try. 

What about those people in our family who try to manipulate others, abuse them, bully them, and many have sexual sins with them?  There are more inappropriate relationships going on in families than people even realize. 

What about no communication within the family unit?  Everyone doing their own thing but no one actually communicates their thoughts, what they need, what they want, and what they don’t want.  What about those that blame others all the time for their own actions?  What about the goody-two-shoe family members who are quite convincing and in the process they get people to hate another when nothing was true they said? 

What about the blaming and even indirect blaming of another member of the family so they can get whatever it is they, themselves, wanted?  We live in a very abusive, angry, reactive, confrontational, evil world and many families won’t deal with the issue but keep them going and in the process, they destroy their own family.

What about how the family enables “some” other members of their own family while being hard on another member of the family?  (favorites some call it) Some family members can sin and sin, yet they don’t face the consequences for their own actions, while another member of the same family might not even do something and the boom comes down on them. 

What about the blamer?  Every family has them.  This began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve started it.  Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the devil.  It has not stopped since then.  People make excuses because they don’t want to be blamed for their own deeds.  No one wants to admit wrong choices in life, so they make excuses at the expense of another.  People everywhere are known for shifting responsibility and it happens all the time in the family setting.

We are all guilty of something within the confines of the family setting.  I know I have been.  We have all sinned and fallen short.  We sinned and if honest…we hurt others in the process of our own actions.  I know if I could change my past I would jump at that chance, but I can’t.  What I did or did not do…I did it.  No one forced me to sin, no one forced me to hurt another.  I can’t take back my actions or I would.  Maybe you feel like that as well.  The one thing is that we can learn greatly from our past so as to stop the dysfunction and go forward.  Harboring in our mind day after day, month after month, and year after year only hurts us more.  Give it to God and go forward for there is nothing in your past you can go back and change.

How many people hold their emotions inside?  They harbor them and keep stuffing them down until they burst.  That is not good for anyone.   Some people just go about and try to numb what they feel by doing even more things they know they shouldn’t…like drugs, alcohol, sex, and so on.  Some people just react in the wrong ways in their life.  They need help yet they won’t get it. Why?  Maybe they feel they will be judged/found out, and so they

Have you ever felt abandoned in your life?   I have known many people who felt abandoned, alone and felt no one cared.  Sometimes people don’t care and you can’t change them….but you can change yourself.  Feeling abandoned is a horrible feeling.  I’ve been there and it was not good.  You can’t make people love you…even family members.  They are going to love you or not love you.  Some parents play favorites and can destroy the child they ignored or worse.  Some not only show love to one or more kids, while another is treated horribly.  Some take things out on one child while always praising and showing love to another.  It is wrong, it is dysfunctional, and it hurts. 

What about denying there is even a problem within your family?  Some might know there are problems, but then minimize the problems because to grasp them you would need to deal with them. Denying problems in a family/marriage etc…is really nothing more than a protective mechanism. 

What about boundaries in a family?  Many a family has no boundaries.  They just give into their kids and their kid’s whims even knowing that what they are doing is actually hurting the child.  Some parents want to give and give and don’t know that giving a child everything is not what makes a good character in that child.  Give you!  Give God!  Give morals!  I see a lot of disrespectful kids in this world.  Kids expect their parents to keep giving more and more to keep up with others.  Stop!  Make them earn what they want in life for you are not doing them good to keep giving them without teaching them about God and morals.  Families need boundaries.  Families need to respect each other! 

What about your family disowning you because they have an issue with you even if it is a lie?  Families that don’t want the conflict of fixing things…will just cut the person off.  It is not right, but it happens all the time.  How many relationships within a family could be fixed if people would just talk and try to mend it? Some family members make up stories and con others into believing their lies.  It makes them doing it feel in control of the situation…but didn’t it just destroy a family member in the process?  Not a good thing to do.  I have seen this over and over…people lying about a family member, telling others, and keep repeating the lie…until they convince others to also believe it.

What about when a family is in pain from whatever is going on, but no one discusses that pain so nothing gets fixed?  You don’t talk about the issues but walk on eggshells around it and the persons involved. 

What about people in a family that are forced into a role that they should not be in.  What about making a child be the parent role?  What about being a scapegoat, an enabler, and so on?  Everyone has a role in a family but don’t make a child deal with the grown-up issues of life too early, and don’t make them suffer for your own deeds.  They only get to be a kid once. 

What about rules within a family?  Are they the same for everyone?  Why or why not?  Why make demands way over a child’s head to make them feel unloved, unwanted, or that they can’t do something that is way past what they should be doing in the first place?

We were given our family to love, to protect, to teach, to show the way in life and that life needs to include God and morals.  If you are not doing this then you need to be.

What about those things people call generational curses? How many families cover it up and just don’t help change the pattern?  If we don’t help change things that problem goes on.  No one needs this…not even one person.  The effects of past sins in a family need to stop yesterday.  Don’t pass down sins.  These so-called generational curses destroy the lives of so many people along the way.  Not just the person it happened to prior, but they take that garbage into relationships with others later on.  Get help for the issues now. 

All of that to say what is next here.  Know this:  We all have sinned and broken God’s rules.  We have all lied at some point and if honest broken most all of His laws.  If you say you have not then most likely you are lying, because God says we all have sinned and that all includes you and it includes me.  So what about the dysfunction in the bible?  It began at the beginning of our world and it won’t end until Jesus comes for us, His bride, and He deals with the sin once and for all.  So here are a few of the dysfunctional people in the Bible.  I found the below…so I will share it with you.  There are so many more, but you need to search them out and see just how dysfunctional they really were.  Nothing is new under the sun. 

  • Cain killed his brother, Abel, because he was jealous.
  • Sarah sent in her handmaiden to bear Abraham a son and then demanded she and the child be kicked out of the house because she was jealous.
  • Abraham was torn between choosing one wife and child over another and gave in to Sarah’s demands. This is a dilemma similar to current stepfamily coalitions where someone has to choose between a new spouse and a child from a prior relationship.
  • Hagar and Ishmael were thrown out and abandoned because Abraham sided with his new wife.
  • Rebekah favored her son Jacob over Esau. Isaac favored his son Esau over Jacob. These family coalitions weren’t healthy. Rebekah and Isaac should have been aligned and working together for the best interest of the family and both sons.
  • Jacob and Rebekah schemed to trick Isaac into giving him the blessing rather than Esau. Esau hated his brother for tricking him, even though he agreed to do it. This was the result of the dysfunctional coalitions in the family.
  • Jacob had to marry their sisters, Leah and Rachel, because Laban, his father-in-law, manipulated and lied to him.
  • Leah and Rachel competed with each other. Leah was unloved but bore children; Rachel was loved but didn’t have children for a long time.
  • Because he was Jacob’s favorite, Leah’s children hated Rachel’s son Joseph and conspired to kill him. They sold him as a slave instead.
  • Lot’s daughters got him drunk and then slept with him incestuously to have children.
  • Eli did a great job raising Samuel (Hannah’s son), but allowed his own sons to be disobedient, bringing judgment on his whole family line.
  • Out of fear, Abraham lied about Sarah not being his wife, stating she was his sister. Isaac, his son, later did the same with his wife Rebekah.
  • David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. The child she bore died, as a result.
  • Amnon, David’s son, raped his half-sister, Tamar, who lived in shame thereafter. David did nothing about it. It became the family secret. His brother, Absalom, killed him two years later. He never confronted him openly; instead, he hated him in his heart and conspired to kill him.
  • Absalom then went into hiding for three years. After a time, David was willing to forgive Absalom but still refused to see him,  maintaining the relationship cut-off. Years later, Absalom tried to take over the throne from his father and slept with his concubines and wives to disgrace him. All of this family anger and pain came out and ultimately destroyed David’s family.

As you can easily see, dysfunction in families has been there since sin entered the human race and the generational effects continue to this day.

God can use anyone along the way.  With God we can always get another chance if we are honest with God, confess our sins, repent/change, and get right with Him. Don’t let your past dictate your now or your future.  You are not disqualified from God’s service when you make things right with Him.

Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight– That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part, You will make me know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:1-12 (NKJV)

Now may God bless you, keep you, provide for you, heal you, fix your family where necessary, and help you every step along the way.  God bless you.