Some people think that all Christian families have it together.
They step inside a church building and see people who they perceive as having it together. In fact, they may assume that these people do not have problems in their marriages or families. Some people wonder how they could ever fit in with such a group.
Quite often people in churches perpetuate this perception.
“How is everything going?”
“How are the kids?”
“How was your week?”
Yet the truth is that marriages and families are not always fine. In fact, there are seasons of marriage and family when there is much struggle.
Sometimes husbands and wives are very lonely within their marriages.
Sometimes children and their parents just aren’t connecting emotionally.
Some daughters wish their dads’ would make the effort to get to know them.
Some sons wish their dads’ cared more about their lives than about what is on television.
Some fathers wish they knew how to connect with their children emotionally.
Some wives really wish their husbands would be spiritual leaders.
Some wives wish they could completely trust their husbands.
Some husbands wish their wives would encourage them more.
Given these realities it is incredibly important that we learn to be honest and intentional. Families are notorious for covering up reality. They don’t want anyone to know that they struggle and have problems. Consequently, they spend much energy trying to create a certain image before their friends, their church, and their extended family. Unfortunately, more energy is spent on image management than changing the reality of their marriage or family. They become more concerned with what other people think than dealing with the reality of their lives.
We may be imperfect (and all families are) but we can be intentional about our behavior. If we are not intentional, we will resort to the default positions in our lives. In other words, we will continue bad habits and dysfunctional behaviors which feel natural because we have practiced them for so long. We may complain about certain behaviors of our parents or grandparents but then we perpetuate these same behaviors because we are not living intentionally.
How would you describe the reality of being married? How would you describe the reality of being a family with children, etc.?