Family Strife

Dysfunctional Families That Began With Adam And Eve Are Here To Stay

When I talked to Ed at thanksgiving time, he was feeling down and a little depressed. He had argued with his son, who had called him from Edmonton. His son hung up on Ed because Ed said that he had no patience for people who won’t get vaccinated. Since his son is determined that he will not get vaccinated, he ended the conversation between himself and his dad.

I told Ed that family problems are nothing new. With the members of our families, there is an expectation that we should love them most, but they may become the very people we fight with most when we cannot agree. We may not care if strangers disagree with us, but we may take it as a personal affront if family members disagree with us. As much as we want to love and honor family members, our sinful nature can have us defend our opinions, champion our causes, and assert our will against their opinions, reasons, and will. The devil always tempts us to be sure that we are right and others are wrong in our minds.

The Bible does not gloss over family problems. Adam and Eve started the habit of shifting the blame onto someone else. Their sons Cain and Abel began us on sibling rivalry and murder. The brothers of Joseph sold him into slavery. David was broken-hearted over his son Absalom’s rebellion in his effort to rob David of his position as king.

The Bible is an honest picture of our inability to love each other as ourselves. Adam and Eve could not remain obedient to God, and neither can we. We do not love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We lack love, and love is the fulfillment of the law as love does no harm to its neighbor. (Romans 13:10)

When push comes to shove, we lack the perfect love needed for God and family members. Paul says in Romans 7:18, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature, For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”

Thankfully, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sins to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21) The love of God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit is a love beyond our way of loving. It is love that is centered on what is best for others as part of God’s will. Believers in Christ live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. (Gal. 2:20)

Living by faith means the struggle to love family members and others in the example of Jesus. Our loving like Jesus forces us to humble ourselves before God and others. When challenged or insulted, Jesus did not retaliate or threaten but entrusted Himself to God. (1 Peter2:23) Let us do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit in our families. ( See Philippians 2:3-4)

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