EVERY family faces friction (both when the kids are in the home, as well as once they’re all grown and out of the house). It’s a part of family life.
Sometimes the tendency is for there to be even more friction in the family once everyone is grown and on their own. So when it happens (and it will… Didn’t I just say that?) here are some important things to remind yourself of:
1) Remember, YOU’RE FAMILY. In life, your friends and acquaintances will come and go, but your family is your family forever. God designed family to the be closest earthly relationships, so naturally these relationships have the potential to cause the deepest and greatest hurts. No matter the cost, learn to do whatever is necessary to keep the communication open and the love alive between you and your family members. While it may seem like a difficult or sometimes even impossible task, in the end it will be worthwhile. Remember, you’re family.
2) Remember, THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS. Guess who loves to reek havoc in families? Guess who likes to cause misunderstandings, and who relishes in getting us to read into things and take everything personally? Satan is the great divider. He caused division in the very first family, and has been doing a masterful job ever since. God loves the family. Satan hates the family. And when things go awry, remember who’s really behind it all, and don’t give him the pleasure of seeing you bite the bait. Remember, the devil’s in the details.
3) Remember, THE ONLY PERSON YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR IS YOU. So often, when we’re hurt by another family member, our naturally tendency is to hurt back, or at least respond by treating them differently. Yet, one of the greatest things we can ever practice or teach our kids when it comes to being wronged is to remember, ‘you are only responsible for you.’ You can’t decide what others do to you, but you can decide how you respond to it. You can choose to love unconditionally like your Heavenly Father does. God will not one day judge you based on what others have done to you, but He will judge you based upon what you have chosen to do to them. Remember, the only person you’re responsible for is you.
4) Remember, A LITTLE KINDNESS CAN GO A LONG WAY. Consider Joseph’s family, one of the most dysfunctional families in the Bible. Yet we see in Josephs’ life a perfect example of how to respond to being wronged, as well as how to overcome evil with good. Joseph lived out the principles of Psalm 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” and Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” There’s still great value is doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Pray for them, overload them with kindness, and see what God can do. Remember, a little kindness can go a long way.
5) Remember, GOD CAN SOLVE WHAT YOU CAN’T. There are no new answers in the Bible. God has given us all the answers we need, it’s just up to us to believe them and practice them, and then let God do what we can’t. But the question we need to answer first is this, ‘have we done what God expects of us?’ Have we exercised long-suffering? Have we removed the beam out of our own eye? Have we intentionally chosen forgiveness over bitterness? Since God has no new answers, we must first do what God requires of us, then trust Him with the rest. Remember, God can solve what you can’t.
Every family faces friction. So, when your family faces it, what will you do?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23