Is Your Family System Dysfunctional?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

There are three layers to a family system. First, there is the individual health and maturity level of each family member. Second, there are relationships between family members that range from toxic to healthy. Third, over the individuals and relationships is a family system. 

Often, people and relationships are unhealthy and stuck because the family system is broken and dysfunctional. Until the family system is intentionally architected according to godly wisdom, the family members and family itself cannot be healthy or enjoyable. 

For example, if the patriarch in the family is grandpa who is an angry, aloof, non-relational, religious person with a judgmental attitude prone to criticizing, barking, and punishing, then the family system will be constructed to keep grandpa from blowing up because he is like living with a grenade with the pin pulled at the center of the family. In this family system, the most angry and stubborn person is the leader or head setting the family culture. 

As another example, if the mother has a lot of unhealed traumas that causes her to be broken and fearful, she will become emotional and controlling out of the false notion that she is saving her children and/or grandchildren from impending doom. When she is not obeyed, she becomes very emotional, which triggers some family members to sympathize with her, take her side, and pressure the other family members to obey her so that she stops screaming, crying, or stressing. In this family system, the least healthy and most emotional person is the leader or head setting the culture of the family.

The goal is not for one unhealthy family member or another to rule and reign the dynamics of the family but for the entire family to let Jesus be the head so that every member of the family can live in the freedom and joy that He gives.

Have you accepted God’s forgiveness for any wrongs you have done as a member of your family? Have you forgiven your family members?

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