Dealing with (church) family tension

IN SHORT: Show love and allow others to love you.

In my last post I let everyone off the hook who feels guilty that they don’t always get on with their family. In the first of two lessons I’m learning I’ll talk a bit about love.

SONY DSCShowing love is a huge topic in itself. All I’ll say today is as well as accepting that we might get into disagreements, let’s also accept each other. Let’s accept that we may never agree on some things. We may also never get a ‘sorry’ when we feel we deserve it. Forgiveness is often the best way to show love and also the hardest. Whilst ‘sorry seems to be the hardest word’ for some, forgiving those who don’t say sorry is even harder!

Above all, don’t walk away from the relationship unless you feel you really have to. There are some cases where it is right to end a relationship, even with a family member but these are extreme cases and such decisions need to be made cautiously and with wise advisers around you.

I’ve seen people leave their church family over the smallest things, and I’ve seen people fall out with family members and years later they can hardly remember what started the breakdown, all they remember is the bad feeling they’ve been keeping alive. Show love. It’s hard work, it’s costly and it’s worth it.

Also tough, in a totally different way, is allowing others to love you. Here’s what I mean. Sometimes we can be fiercely independent. I mean, our society encourages independence. Especially as we’re growingup, it’s seen as a good thing when we start to dress ourselves, think for ourselves, etc. But there is a point where we need to stop.

This is why God put us in families. This was his design – that we would be inter-dependent. So when you’re next in a jam, don’t feel embarrassed if someone offers help. It does not mean you’ve lost your independence. You don’t owe them anything. Accept the help. Allow people in. Let them speak into your life, and learn what it means to be part of an inter-dependent community. Receive the love!

open hands receive

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One Comment Add yours

  1. mudpilewood says:

    A tough topic too writwrite about. But what to do when a family member rejects you? It is not easy to keep calm and smile yyour way through family meetings.

    Like

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