Monday, January 19, 2009

How to deal with hurt from a family member

How to deal with hurt from a family member
We've all heard the saying, "Blood is thicker than water", but sometimes it can be so thick it can choke you.
I have the privilege of having my parents in the same city as me. Actually they are exactly five minutes from our home. They are a great help with the kids and I have to admit it is nice having some of our family close to us. But sometimes...........
So how about you? Have you ever heard one of these statements:
  • Why did your husband move you so far away from me?
  • Are you guys still doing that ministry thing? When are you going to get a real job?
  • Ya know, working at a church is great for when your a youth, but don't you think it's time you got a better job?
  • There is no way I could live off of what your husband makes. That would drive me crazy.

Our families mean well, but sometimes their words can cut like a knife. I have had so many friends in the ministy who have turned down great opportunities because their parents didn't want them to move away. Or, they took the wrong job because they were trying to run away from someone in their family that they did not want to be around.

This time last year I read a verse that knocked me on the floor. (Probably because I was living this post out). Leviticus 19:17 says, "Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives." I don't think it can get any clearer than that. :)

Our family members are not perfect, but I believe we are called to honor them no matter what. I can speak from first hand experience that my family has not lived up to my "expectations" or plain needs but I know that no matter what I have to honor them. And really, it's because I know that the members of my church see the way I respond to them. We have to be the example for them because they are watching our every move. When you are on staff at a church you are in a life-sized fish bowl. People will follow your example. If they hear you speak ill of a family member or make fun of your parents that is what they will do as well.

I can remember every single time my "home" pastor (aka Preacher) made fun of his mother. ZERO TIMES.

And now as an adult I can tell you what an impact that has had on my life.

Whether it is a brother, sister, mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle........whatever, we have to honor them.

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