April 23, 2013

Estranged From A Family Member? It's Not Always A Bad Thing

Are you estranged from a family member, or feel on the verge of becoming estranged from a family member? Do you feel it's time to put real and feel-able space between yourself and a family member?

Are you tired of trying to adjust to a family member's anger, dysfunction, or endless drama? Are you dealing with a family member who always promises to change, but can't or won't follow through? Are you tired of crying over hurts inflicted by someone who is related to you and you feel should love you? How long have you tried to change someone who isn't motivated to change?

Have you spent too much time (only you know how long is "too much time") praying for a family member to change in a way that will make it easier, or possible, for you to get along with them and spend time with them free of arguing, extreme stress, and frustration? Are you measuring love based on how much time you can spend happily with someone? Are you feeling pressured to adjust to something that's wrong, immoral, or dangerous?

It's not always a bad thing to put space between yourself and someone who generates too much negativity, lack of safety, or disrespect.

In Matthew 10:36, Jesus warned his listeners how enemies may be found in one's own household: "a man's enemies will be members of his own household."

Was Jesus quoting Micah 7: 5-7 when he said these words? Here is the passage from Micah: "Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace, guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies are the members of his own household."

I am always leery of people who claim to have formulas for handling situations like this. I offer no such formulas. Some things can only be known through prayer, listening, and step-by-step obedience.

We should always hope for and welcome honest, truthful reconciliation when it's possible. It's not always possible.

It's OK to know and accept what's not possible and trust God to lead us in the right path.

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