“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18 ESV
Why does it seem that it’s easier to live at peace with friends than with your own family? Family relationships seem fraught with tension, stress, and conflict. My family got together this summer for a family reunion. We rented a 6 bedroom home to share. Three sisters, three husbands, four children, ages 3-7, and a grandmother. It sounds blissful, right? Or does it sound like a nightmare? It all depends on your family dynamic.
Our family comes with its fair share of baggage. My dad passed away 7 years ago and my mother fell into a deep depression that never lifted. She also has early onset dementia. It’s hard not to resent her for her illness and to mourn the mother/grandmother she should be. I’ve struggled greatly with anger and disappointment on past family trips. It’s hard to explain mental illness to your young children and to not blame the person suffering with it. I spent time praying before the trip and intentionally sought harmony with her.
That mindset of wanting to live peaceably made all the difference. Instead of reacting with anger and frustration, I found myself responding with love and understanding that clearly had its root in God’s love and not my own selfish human love.
Whatever tension and stress comes over you during a family reunion or trip, I encourage you to go to the Great Physician and ask for healing of the relationship and the ability to live peaceably with your family. I’ve heard it said that your family is the best at pushing your buttons because they helped install them. With God’s help, you can rise above the squabbles and annoyances and truly enjoy the family that God has placed you in.
Dig Deeper |
Action Item |
Spend time thinking about your family relationships and seek the Lord to know what actions you can take to live more peacefully with them.
Heavenly father, help me to live at peace with my family. Help me to take responsibility for the tension that I may cause. Help me let go of past hurts.
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