This past Sunday, as a family, we were speaking in three different states. Jeff, my husband was in Tennessee, our oldest son, Lyle and his wife Allison was speaking in Washington DC and the other boys and I here in Owensboro, Kentucky.
As I look over the years, my boys now men raising their own families, it came down to asking them questions as their viewpoint of how our family was considered in this topic. We all want to be better parents than our own parents or at least I did so I asked them the same questions. It’s not that we had ‘bad’ parents, it’s just that we all have different personalities, opinions and different parenting styles. We all change somewhat as we become parents ourselves however the distinct pattern of parenting of programing will linger in some areas.
WHEN THERE IS AN EMOTION/FEELING/PAIN/or CONSISTENCY attached to a routine/instance, children will remember. If your children are grown, take them on a trip of memory lane and ask them these questions too. Tears were brought to my eyes, just listening to the fun times of family moments. Our family was not perfect and we survived!
Here are my notes on “We Are Family” message.
There are many kinds of families.
Grandparent raising grandchildren – great-grandchildren
Families are much more than of people who share the same genes or the same address.
Family should be a source of love and support. Blood is thicker than water….
Every family is different. But many families face similar issues. No family is perfect and if you spent a day with another family, you might not see their flaws. But live with them for a month and surely you would. Everyone does not get along all the time. Conflicts are a part of family life.
While the specifics of the problems you go through will be unique to your family, it can be reassuring to know that you’re not alone.
Myths about Family Life
- Good families do not have problems.
- If you are a good parent your child will not have problems.
- Raising children is easy. You should not feel stressed as a parent.
- Well-adjusted people balance parenting, work, and personal life with ease.
- Therapy is only for really troubled families.
The truth is, normal, healthy, well-adjusted families often encounter problems. The top 12 problems in families:
- Communication Problems
- Financial problems
- Parenting Concerns/Boundaries
- Divorce Adjustment/Blended Families
- Lack of trust/respect in a relationship
- Frequent arguing or Disagreements/Angry outbursts
- Physical conflict
- Alcohol or drug use
- Difference in opinions, personalities, beliefs, values or goals
- Issues relating to sexuality
- Negative emotions – anger, sadness, anxiety – Feeling isolated, alone or withdrawn
Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.
Genesis 4:1-2 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”
Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Was God the perfect parent? Did God fail as a Father?
In the beginning after God created man, he soon acknowledged that man should not be alone. So he created a companion to be with Adam. The act of putting Adam and Eve together shows us that relationships are important to God. So every human since then has been born into a primary social group (family) to connect with.
There is something wonderful about God making sure that we are always connected and not alone. God sees relationship as essential in making us successful creations. Even though our family sometimes annoys and embarrasses us, it might actually be worse if they didn’t exist. The role of the family then is to love and keep a connection with us.
The very first family in all of history = dysfunction
- The curse of sin entered into this world that you and I are still paying for.
- God kicked them out of the garden to fend for themselves and life became immeasurably harder. They experienced for the first time pain and hardship and they brought two boys into this world who grew up and jealousy arose between them.
The perfect family is a mirage in the desert. This expectation of perfection is that dis-empowers us from investing in our own families and if we compare our family to this false image of the perfect family, we give up…. Divorce happens etc…
Throughout the years, I may not have always used the Word in the content of love, so what was our Scriptures the boys remember most?
FAMILY SCRIPTURES – Phillips family Scriptures we instilled in our children:
God didn’t give us Spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind
Reap what you sow
Sin you will always find you out
Disobedience is same as witchcraft
Greater is he than he that is in the world
Repent and be baptized every one you and you shall get the holy ghost
QUESTION: WHAT SCRIPTURES CAN YOU REMEMBER THE MOST GROWING UP IN YOUR FAMILY LIFE? Boys will answer.
Train up a child in the way they should go and they shall not depart from it. To choose to be around others that are up to no good, you will get in trouble to. We tried to be the best parents that we could be and protect them the best we knew how.
No one is without authority. In Romans 13:1, Paul tells us that we should submit to authority over us. HONOR….God does not want us to be without direction. When we submit ourselves to family, there is so much we can learn and helpful suggestions we can get. God put many people in our lives to help support our journey in discovering him and ourselves. We all can learn something from everyone in our family.
Our blind spot is an area that we cannot see. As a child, we feel like our family doesn’t quite see us for who we are, but for who they want us to be. They don’t recognize our gifts and talents and acknowledge our ideas, but instead put their experience and wisdom above ours.
In life, the thing we need the most…. is the thing we don’t give enough of. So if we feel like our parents don’t respect us, then we don’t give respect. If we feel as if someone is not trying to understand us, then we don’t try to understand.
Understanding that conflict is normal is the first step in learning to deal with these situations. It is important for families to learn appropriate ways to deal with problems that will promote growth and cohesion.
Poor Family Communication
- The conflict in this arrangement is that there are no opportunities to discuss family values, issues and other important topics; this often leads to disagreements. Communication conflicts are also present in families that lack healthy communication skills and engage in yelling, cursing, blaming and insulting.
- Parent-Child Power Struggles: A parent-child power struggle can create conflict and stress for the entire family. Having a child who wants to control the parent leads to increased parent frustration and decreased patience when dealing with other family members. The other children often feel that the defiant child is receiving more attention and may start acting out them.
QUESTION: WHO IN OUR FAMILY SEEM TO HAVE MOST POWER STRUGGLE? Boys will answer
- Talk– communication is the key and often the first step to finding solutions. Be calm and honest about your concerns when discussing your problems with a loved one. Communication issues are usually at the root of most relationship problems
- Accept your differences– it can help avoid unnecessary conflict if you can recognize that people have different ideas, opinions and beliefs and you may not always be in agreement. Agree to disagree. Fighting fair.
- Have fun together– even when things are tough, it’s important to find the time to have fun with your loved ones.
QUESTION: WHAT IS ONE WAY YOUR FAMILY HAD FUN TOGETHER? (Vacations/play games/dad involved in sports/ mom let us make home movies/ paint faces /sledding)
4. Staying Close Knit – It’s all too easy for family members to drift apart. That’s why regular family meals (whether it’s breakfast or dinner or even weekly meals if members are living apart) are so important; ask basic questions at dinnertime (e.g., what went well this week and what we’re looking forward to next week) while you’re all still living together.
Keep up important daily and weekly family traditions, such as weekly game night—even when everyone gets seemingly too busy for everything else. Keep up important daily and weekly family traditions, such as weekly game night—even when everyone gets seemingly too busy for everything else.
QUESTION: WHAT IS ONE THING YOU CAN REMEMBER ABOUT MEAL TIME/SHARE TIME? (Bless the food, restore, prayer time , what happened at school)
5. Balancing Work and Home Life/ Getting the Family Organized – If life were perfect we’d have enough time to pursue our dreams and also spend as much quality time with our family as we want every day. This being the real world, we all struggle with work-life balance. Remember, it’s quality time that matters most—those micro-moments of connection we share every day, rather than quantity (although quantity matters too!). It’s hard enough getting yourself organized. Through a partner and possibly kids into the mix and chaos can quickly ensue.
QUESTION: WHAT IS ONE THING YOU CAN REMEMBER? (Laid clothes out/ironing clothes….lunch money, etc)
6. Agreeing on Parenting Decisions/Boundaries – The biggest parenting decision is whether or not to have kids in the first place. After that, you and your partner might disagree on things like discipline, saving for college, teaching them religion, and even lying about Santa. This is another one of those “choose your battles” topics—fight for what actually matters most (which daycare or school to send your kids to) and let go of or compromise on the rest (whose turn it is to give the baby a bath).
QUESTION: WHO WAS EASIER TO TALK TO? (Boundaries)
7. Handling Arguments – There are good fights, the kind that clear the air, and then there are bad fights, the kind that expose and further widen the cracks in our relationships’ foundations. Sometimes it’s all a matter of how we argue, not what we’re arguing about. Use a more rational (rather than emotionally charged) approach when you argue and offer the solution first to help keep the peace in your family. Fighting in front of your kids isn’t a bad thing, either.
QUESTION: HOW DID YOU HANDLE ARGUMENTS? BETWEEN PARENT/CHILD/SIBLINGS
8. Divvying Up Chores – Speaking of chores, just about no one enjoys doing them, but unless everyone pitches in family members can start to feel resentful. Chores also teach kids important lessons.
QUESTION: WHAT WAS YOUR CHORES? HOW DID YOUR PARENTS GET YOU TO DO YOUR CHORES?
So every human is born into a (family) to connect with.
God makes sure that we are always connected and not alone.
God sees relationships as essential part of making us successful and find abundant living as well as leave a legacy! .
The role of the family then is to love and keep a connection to pass on to future generations. Agree? WE ARE FAMILY!
What are they going to do better?
Better with own children: Resolving conflict resolution – without disconnect
Thru the busiest, try not to have seasons being disconnected. Connection is important!
Below is our recorded messages.