What is a Family? Each one of us has a desire for significance and a desire to belong. The family is where those deepest human longings are fulfilled.
When the family is weakened, society suffers. Strong families make the world a better place. As there are no perfect people and there are no perfect families.
Looking back at the first family in human history we see they had their dysfunctions. Our first parents, Mother and Dad, disobey God and one brother killed another. That could have been enough for some to declare they made a big mistake and let’s start over. Instead they worked through their issues and they multiplied….and multiplied.
There was another time later when a family of eight built a big boat in the middle of the woods to survive a flood and saving humanity. Their neighbors wondered if Noah and his family were sane because they kept talking about rain and a flood. You have to realize that it had never rained before and the Ark was not built near water. If you are looking for a Biblical account of what happened at that time, the new movie Noah will not give that to you.
After the flood Noah’s family also had their dysfunctions.
Abraham, also known as “Father Abraham” is claimed by three of the world’s major religions. Despite his many challenges and flaws his faith and examples are a testimony of perseverance and redemption that have inspired many.
When you think things can’t get worse, remember Moses started out as a basket case. Yes, in order to save his life he was placed in a basket and floated down a river. He went on to have four of the five books in the Pentateuch devoted to him and Israel’s activities under his leadership.
King David certainly was not perfect and caused a lot of pain. However he recognized his errors, repented, and went on to do great and mighty things. His reign continues today. This month one of the three major religions that claims Abraham as their Father celebrates the largest act of love and redemption completed by his offspring, Easter.
These are just a few examples of how this world has never been perfect, there are no perfect people, and no perfect families. Having expectations of perfection for you, your family or others is a recipe for failure.
Your insistence upon perfection will help a whole sector of our society economically. Your insistence upon perfection could lead to several diagnosis listed in the ever expanding DSM. These diagnoses can start with anxiety and depression. Who makes money off your insistence upon perfection – drug companies and psychiatrists?
We worry. We worry about the IRS and the SAT and the FBI … We worry that we won’t have enough money, and when we have money we worry that we won’t manage it well.
We worry that the world will end before the parking meter expires. We worry what the dog thinks if he sees us step out of the shower. We worry that someday we’ll learn that fat-free yogurt was fattening.
All this worry leads back to a desire for perfection. Perfectionism is usually a sign that insecurities need to be hidden.
The strongest and longest lasting families are far from perfect; they learned there are no perfect people and no perfect families. The strongest and longest lasting families learned how to make room for imperfections and flaws while loving each other.
I had the privilege of previewing a movie called “Irreplaceable” which takes you on a world wide trip searching for meaning and family. The main character thought he had been a good Dad until his trip. Like Moses his life started as a basket case. He did find meaning and redemption. This movie nails the true meaning of family. You will only be able to see this movie in theaters on May 6, 2014. There will be a twelve week program with a DVD and workbook coming out to help others find the meaning of family as they work through the exercises.
Life’s Issues are not resolved in a quick text message, 140 characters or less.
Just like any good relationship, being a family takes work. Are you ready to do the work needed to strengthen your family?
You can watch the movie trailer
Rev Paul N Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of The Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.NarrowPathMinistries.org and http://www.FamilyRenewalCenterAZ.org