Today I am going to discuss what kind of healing that God has available for adult children from a dysfunctional family.
In my opinion, there are basically two different types of families. There are emotionally healthy families who are not perfect because there is no such thing as true perfection (all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) but these families strive to keep an emotionally healthy atmosphere/balance within the family.
The second type of family is a dysfunctional family. A dysfunctional family is one that does not operate in an emotionally healthy way. There are many factors that could contribute to the reasons a family would be called dysfunctional. Some of those factors could be that a personality-altering addictive behavior exists within the family (alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography addiction) or a family member could be suffering from mental illness, or one or more of the family members may be victims of abuse by another family member. These are only a few of the major things that could cause dysfunction but there are many other variations.
My personal belief is that the difference between an emotionally healthy family and a dysfunctional family is in how dysfunctional behavior is handled by each family.
When one is an adult child of a dysfunctional family it is inevitable that they have been wounded, not once but continually.
Many people who are a part of a dysfunctional family don’t ever feel the need to change the way that they are living or seek healing for their wounds. On the other hand many others do have a desire to change, to be healed and a desire to create a better life for themselves and their offspring. The big dilemma that the latter face is “How to do it.”
God places His people everywhere, because He is no respecter of persons. He uses the circumstances in their lives to draw them to Him because they are not satisfied and sometimes miserable with living the way that they are living.
After we are born again into God’s family we are accepted into His kingdom and He places a call on the lives of many. I believe that the initial call He places on those who are wounded is to become a fully healed and whole human being (body, spirit and soul). This call may not seem like a tough one at first but we learn at some point that in order for our family dynamics to be changed, we need to prepare for some really rough shaking to start going on. The more dysfunctional the family the more rough the shaking will be. Some families never receive complete healing because when the shaking starts happening, it is just too hard for them to handle and they will turn back to their old, familiar ways of life. Some do make it, though, because they never want to go back to the former way of life.
I, personally, am one of those people who wanted the change and after a lot of slipping and sliding backwards, have been able to receive a lot of healing that God has for me. Healthy family life is most likely to be achieved when founded on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;” Luke 4:18
When Jesus officially announced His ministry on earth, he quoted this passage. It is because this was and still is one of His biggest reasons that God sent Him to this earth
Many of us start praying about the change and asking God to help us because we don’t know where to start.
Once the praying has begun, what do we do when things start happening around us that we are not sure of? What do we do when our life (even if it is unhappy, bad and unsatisfying) starts falling apart? What is there to do? What choices are there if we want to continue to move forward?
I was one who wanted change, complete change in my family and that is what I prayed for. When the shaking started (and there is still quite a bit of shaking going on around me) it made me uncomfortable, I would get really scared. I wanted to be in control of my change. In the beginning, I started trying to avoid the painful changes and started trying to direct my own changes in the areas that I felt like I could live with. (In reality I thought I could do a better job than God.) What ended up happening was that things/circumstances would get even more messed up.
It wasn’t until I finally gave up the need to control the changes that were coming to my life, that I started experiencing freedom. Notice I gave up the NEED. I still wanted to direct things in the directions that I wanted them, but at some point I stopped fighting the changes. There came a point in time when I just got too tired and I ran out of ideas. Be it, age or stress that got me to that point or the fact that I finally opened my eyes saw that my efforts had availed absolutely nothing.
This is when I stopped mouthing the talk: “Oh, yeah I am a Christian, I go to church, I got baptized, I give a tithe every once in a while, I take my kids to Sunday School…”
When I finally recognized the necessity to change or be destroyed, this is when I stopped doing my life in the way that I always had and started doing life in a way was completely foreign to me. This is when I had nothing to lose by trying a totally different lifestyle because I had already lost EVERYTHING and EVERYONE (except my husband) that I had ever valued.
Here are some simple steps that I have taken and am still taking in some areas of my life to bring about necessary change:
- Pray-1 Thessalonians 5:17, Mark 11:24
- Break generational curses, renounce anything in your life that is not of God, repent of sin (It would probably be good to ask your pastor or a seasoned Christian to help you with this) Jeremiah 31:28
- Line yourself up with one or two like minded people who will give you Godly council throughout the process-Titus 2
- Trust God and hang on to Him for dear life when: The shaking starts, The control of the situation that you are praying for is totally removed from your grasp, You mess up and wonder why you did something a certain way (it is probably something God wants to use) Psalm 18:2
- Trust God
- Trust God some more
- Start doing whatever He has set in front of you to do, even if it doesn’t apply to the situation that you are praying about.-Matthew 25:21
- When breakthrough starts coming through, don’t stop doing what you are doing, continue to trust God and let Him do the work.