Dealing with Family Problems? Head to Church
In today’s social media society, it’s easy to believe your family is the only family with serious problems.
On Facebook or Twitter, you’re only seeing a family’s highlight reel – not their real struggles.
Here’s the truth. There is no perfect family.
Every family has its own share of problems.
I am sure you can identify with Lifeway’s list of the Top 10 Issues Facing Today’s Family:
- Anti-Christian culture
- Absent father figure
- Lack of discipline
- Financial pressures
- Lack of communication
- Negative media influences
- Balance of work and family
Some families learned how to navigate these rough waters and still come out loving one another. Others have not.
The key to surviving family drama is to have an unshakable foundation in the Lord.
This is what makes all the difference between families that are rife with conflict and hurt and those who still enjoy being together during the holidays.
We know this is true.
That’s why “family problems” is one of the top reasons people visit a church.
According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 66% of people attend church services for comfort in times of trouble and 69% of people attend church so their children will have a moral foundation.
The reason people are drawn to church when they are experiencing family problems is they know church can help their family build an unshakable foundation.
In the book, Unshakable: Standing Strong When Things Go Wrong, Nelson Searcy writes, “We don’t have to struggle through family strife with plastered on smiles; that’s not what God intends. Instead, he wants us to cultivate unshakable families – families that are able to stand strong together in the midst of any storm that comes blowing through.”
But how do you cultivate unshakable families?
That’s what we are going to discuss in today’s blog.
Focus on God
First and foremost, an unshakable family begins by building a solid foundation.
That foundation is Christ.
Searcy writes, “The only foundation worthy of building on, and the only one strong enough to weather life’s storms, is the foundation of faith in God and his son, Jesus Christ.”
When speaking about family, specifically, this means building a foundation by focusing the family on God daily.
Searcy explains, “You can’t control the future for your family, but you can control the foundation it’s built on. When you focus on God daily by engaging in prayer and Bible study as a family unit, you will be building a house capable of standing through the roughest storms.”
Practice Forgiveness Regularly
Families are filled with people – and people sin.
Your family members will let you down, and you will let them down.
However, a difference between unshakable families and others is unshakable families practice forgiveness regularly.
As believers, family members forgive one another because Christ forgave them.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
– Ephesians 4:32
We’ve all heard stories of families who have harbored bitterness and hatred toward one another and family members who haven’t spoken for many years.
These families are broken, but they don’t have to remain this way.
Searcy explains, “Understanding your responsibility to forgive as Jesus forgives will make all the difference in mending your relationships and bringing family back into fellowship with each other.”
Prioritize Time Together
Two of the top issues facing families are “busyness” and “balance of work and family.”
The remedy to family problems that have resulted from these issues is to prioritize family time.
- Learn to say “no” to things that take away from quality time with your family.
- Learn to say “yes” to slowing down.
- Eat dinner together.
- Play together.
- And, most importantly, pray together.
Get Invested in a Church
“The best thing you can do for your family
is to build a great church, and
the best thing you can do for your church
is to build a great family.”
- Warren W. Wiersbe
When a family is struggling, they head to church. This is great!
But it takes more than just visiting a church to build an unshakable family foundation.
Your family needs to get invested in a church.
When your family invests in a church, it provides an opportunity for you to learn and grow in your faith together.
Plus, it provides parental guidance on how to foster spiritual growth in their homes, and children are given an opportunity to see faith in action.
According to Searcy, “You need a community to worship, learn and serve with – people who will rejoice with you in good times and comfort you in difficult times; people who can lend you their faith and strength when you need it most.”
You’re Invited to South Bay This Weekend!
Searcy writes, “Part of the reason God created the church was to give you and me a circle of like-minded people who are willing to come alongside us when we need support.”
As you invest in church, you get to know your fellow church members.
These people will be the ones you can call upon when you need support.
As your family gets to know people in small groups, you can let your guard down and allow them to see your “real” family.
If you have a real church, there will be no judgment, only love.
Seek Biblical Counseling
The church wants to help struggling families.
That’s why there are programs put in place, leaders placed in roles, and biblical counseling offered.
The Gospel Coalition explains, “Healthy shepherds in a healthy church are a gift from Christ to you and your family (Eph. 4:11–12). When a family conflict seems too much to handle in the moment, your leaders are a resource you may have overlooked.”
South Bay Bible Church has a library of resources for challenges families face. Let us point you in the right direction.
Also, South Bay Bible Church has certified biblical counselors on staff and offers faith-based counseling to those seeking God's answers to the questions and problems in their lives.
Our faith-based counselors provide counseling for families in the following areas: marriage, parenting, addictions, disorders, fear, anger, grief, depression, anxiety, and others.