Words of Hope

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Dr. Jeff Schreve offers extended encouragement and hope on topics.

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Is Your Family Dysfunctional?

When it comes to family, we don't have a choice. Our family is our family, quirks and all.  We don't get to choose them, but we do get to choose how we treat the family God has given us!

Sadly, there are many families that call themselves “Christian,” and yet, the culture within that family is just the opposite. There is a lack of love, a lack of forgiveness, and a strong tendency to pretend obvious problems don’t really exist ... and will go away if we just ignore them. This kind of dysfunctional family culture isn’t what God wants for us!

So, how do we create strong, healthy families that please God? It’s not about being perfect. It’s about following Jesus, walking in His light, and living humble lives in response to His wonderful forgiveness. 1 John 1:7 says, “As He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

I want to invite you to join me in changing the culture of our families. There are three aspects in particular that I want each of us to develop:

  1. An environment of encouragement.
  2. A sensitivity to the Spirit.
  3. A focus on forgiveness.

Creating an environment of encouragement in our families means remembering the power of our words! The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 18, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Families live in close quarters, so there will be times when we get frustrated and are tempted to use harsh words. But creating an environment of encouragement means we will use our words to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Creating a home that is sensitive to the Spirit means following the lead of Ephesians 4:30, and removing from our homes all those things that grieve the Holy Spirit. Perhaps there are times at home where you don’t tell the full truth, engage in gossip and character assassination, use offensive language, or take the Lord’s name in vain. Or maybe there is the presence of pornography, ungodly music, or other unwholesome materials in your house.

Whatever it is, ask yourself, is this something the Holy Spirit would be comfortable with? If not, it’s time to clean it out, and start afresh.

The truth is, none of us is perfect, and the same is true of our families. We will all make mistakes (some bigger than others), but the Bible says to do family God’s way we must have a focus on forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” It is by focusing on how much we have been forgiven in Jesus, that we can truly forgive each other. After all, while we were still His enemies, He gave up everything for us!

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