by Cris Corzine-McCloskey
As a therapist, I believe much of what breaks our hearts are unmet expectations. Especially when it comes to family. We get bitterly disappointed by that kind of betrayal and rejection. My clients often lament “why can’t my family just be normal!” But what is a normal family? Let’s go to the scriptures and find out.
First husband and wife: Adam threw Eve under the bus when God questioned him about his sin. First sibling relationship: Cain murdered his brother in a fit of jealous rage. First recorded parent/child relationship: Noah’s sons shamed and disrespected him after he had too much to drink. From there, things got more interesting. Abraham (our father of faith) lied about his wife to save his own skin. He also slept with another woman. Ishmel, Abraham’s son from that affair, persecuted his brother Issac, so Abraham sent the boy and his mistress packing. Then Issac became a father. His son Jacob swindled and stole the blessing and birthright of his older brother Esau. Jacob went on to play favorites with his boy Joseph, and it resulted in Joseph’s brothers throwing him down a well and selling him into slavery. There you have it, family relationships throughout Genesis.
Things got worse after that. Moses’ brother and sister tried to stage a coup to steal his ministry. David’s family relations were pitiful, and his son tried to kill him. Job had a nagging wife and bad friends. It goes on like that until we get to Jesus. It says in John 7:1-5 that because they did not believe in him, his brothers tried to get him killed. See, even Jesus did not get a pass on family dysfunction.
Sad as it is, we shouldn’t be surprised. Our family relationships exist in a broken and hurting world. But in Psalm 68:6 it declares “God will set the lonely in families.” What family? His family! Because of our faith in Christ, we are adopted into the Family of God. How cool is that?! We automatically get a new Dad (the Lord Almighty is His name, the Maker of heaven and earth) an amazing big brother, Jesus (aka the Prince of Peace) and a world full of brothers and sisters who have been born again by His spirit.
So, if your blood relationships or marital relations are full of betrayal and pain, guess what, you have a normal family. And if you have a warm and loving family, praise God! I ask you to spread that love outward to those who have thorny branches in their family tree. Seriously, don’t hoard the love, you are meant to extend it. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I encourage all of you who have a close family to set an extra place or two at your table and share the love. Your family is not normal (Yay God!), and you are abundantly blessed. So share that weirdness with the less fortunate who happen to be more normal than you! Thank you and God Bless.