As I was enjoying my quiet time with God today, He placed the importance of family on my heart. The information I’ll be sharing is vital – possibly even life & relationship changing – so get comfy in a chair and allow this to speak to your heart. This may be the most important post someone reads today. ❤️
If short on time, please feel free to skip to the prayer in bold below.
I once heard a quote: “Family isn’t just an important thing…it’s the most important thing.”
As I’ve walked through grief and life challenges, I have found it to be truer than I ever thought. My family has loved me…encouraged me…carried me through tough times…cared enough to make the best memories with me…corrected me when I needed it…been there for me…they’re my absolute favorite people on earth.
Family is a gift…an extraordinary gift…even if family members don’t always act like one (ourselves included). Families can hurt one another…get too busy…be thoughtless at times…or miss the mark. Any human relationship is flawed. That’s why we need God and prayer.
Family. is. worth. it!
Family (God, grandparents, parents, siblings, spouse, children, in-laws…yes, even out-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, church family, etc)…are the precious people who have been personally chosen and handpicked by God Himself for us to do life with. To mistreat or reject them is to mistreat and reject God.
But what if your spouse or family (or church family) has wounded your heart? What about the times a spouse or family member rejects, dishonors, or mistreats us? Let’s go deep and honest here: what about the times we’ve failed or hurt others, too?
Just like marriage, family relationships are designed to make us more holy than happy…to build our character more than our comfort — ultimately, family is designed to make us more like Christ. We shortchange ourselves (and what God can accomplish in us and our loved ones’ lives) when we merely throw our hands up in the air and refuse to care or repair disagreements, hurts, or what’s been damaged or strained.
Of course, God’s perfect design is for families to treat each other right…to bring each other joy…to live in harmony with one another…to learn from each other…to help one another…to comfort one another…be loyal to each other…to protect one another. Even the Bible says when someone continually causes conflict or hurts, this can separate even the closest of brothers. There are so many facets and responsibilities God has entrusted to us by giving us the gift of family.
This includes making things right when we’ve done wrong. When we drop the ball of family, or fail in our responsibility – any gift in life has responsibilities – we can create a huge mess. In fact, conflict comes when we (or a family member) fails to do the above.
Every problem in life, and even in the world, is directly because someone has failed to be responsible or failed to treasure, respect, love, or value God, another person, or themselves.
Ultimately, when we fail to do our part (our responsibility in our God-given relationships) or we fail to care about God’s design for marriage or family, we truly can do a lot of harm to God’s heart and one another. Where there is conflict (or problems)…it is completely linked to not obeying or honoring God and His precious Word…and failing to treat others well.
Even under normal circumstances, life and relationships can present normal challenges…but today, due to the pandemic, financial challenges, and the social/political climate we live in, marriages and families are going through even tougher times. It is so important to seek God’s help and deeply pray.
There are true enemies of family and marriage these days…and the goal of the enemy is to kill, steal, and destroy God-given relationships … (John 10:10, Ephesians 6:12) … It is so important to realize the warfare at hand…or we can continually react to those we love best. Eventually, families and spouses can tear each other apart…even destroy one another…if wisdom and understanding are not applied (Galatians 5:15).
We need to deeply realize: Conflict in marriage/family is spiritual warfare. Divorce is spiritual warfare. Problems with in-laws is spiritual warfare. Adultery is spiritual warfare. Rebellion is spiritual warfare. Not being respectful and responsible in your marriage and family relationships is spiritual warfare. Failing to genuinely love your spouse is spiritual warfare. Failing to make time for family is spiritual warfare. Choosing not to love, cherish, and put your children’s needs above your own is spiritual warfare. Addiction is spiritual warfare. Not loving, respecting, and honoring parents or family members is spiritual warfare.
So how did everything get so messed up? One. choice. at. a. time. How does each spouse or family member repair the damage that has been done – and prevent future conflict and harm? Same thing – one. choice. at. a. time.
It takes less time to get into a mess than it takes to clean it up…cleaning up relationships is rarely fun…but God will ask us to give an account one day of what we did with the gifts He blessed us with…especially how we treated Him and our loved ones.
The choices we make – whether positive or negative – do make a huge impact…especially on our loved ones. Our attitudes…our words…our actions…how we treat one another…our character…it all carries blessings or consequences.
We don’t live in a perfect world…so how do we create and maintain strong families and marriages when there are so many things fighting against this?
“Life,” grief, busy schedules, and day-to day stress can place a tremendous amount of pressure on marriages and families. Conflict is at an an all time high. So how can marriages and families heal … and grow?
Best line of defense – and offense – is prayer.
Of course, action has to back up each prayer…but when we entrust our marriage and family to the Lord, He is faithful to enrich and sustain our relationships with those we love best. God loves us and is for us. He loves our family members more than we do. With God, all things are possible. Healing is possible.
Today, let’s dedicate our families and marriages to Him…for His good purpose. Let’s commit to daily praying for our marriages and families (as well as our homes and churches).
“Dearest Heavenly Father,
We thank You so very much for the gift of marriage and family!
Families and marriages are at an all time high of being attacked.
Life has sped up…there are so many activities and things that compete with You, as well as marriage and family time. May we always choose wisely and put our relationships with You and family first. Absolutely first! Refine our priorities, activities, finances, and time so we always put You, our family, and the “best yes” above everything else. Show us the activities and things we need to rid our lives of to clear our schedules and improve our priorities…give us the grace we need to actually act on this and effectively do it.
Help us to see what a tremendous gift You and family truly are. Help us to not only treat our spouse and family right…help us to greatly love and treasure them as You do. Help us avoid regrets.
Help us to be so very mindful of the condition of our hearts…our actions…our words…our attitudes…our love level…our choices. Especially when it comes to our relationship with You and family.
Please help us see the 90% of what’s right about our loved ones instead of focusing on the 10% of what may be wrong. Help us to see we are so in need of grace and mercy, too. Help us to pray for, speak, and encourage our loved ones’ potential instead of continually looking at or speaking their flaws. Help us to also be mindful that we are not perfect either…help us to be humble – take away our selfishness and pride – and fill us and our loved ones full of grace and the willingness to forgive.
Convict our hearts when – actually before – we are about to disobey You, or hurt You or our family.
Where there’s been conflict, May there now be harmony and genuine love.
Where there’s been judgment, May there now be grace and sincere prayers going up to heaven for family members and the hard things they’re facing in life.
Where there’s been backbiting or gossip, May there now be loyalty and encouragement – and deep prayers.
Where there’s addiction, May there now be conviction, grace, sobriety and a making up of precious time that has been lost.
Where there’s been any abusive behavior – spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, verbal, etc, May there now be repentance, tenderness, self-control, and kindness.
Where there’s been hard-heartedness or rejection, May there now be sincere love, willingness to forgive, and acceptance.
Where there’s been a disconnect, May there now be connection and a deep understanding of one another.
Where there’s been a turning away from God and faith, May there now be a sold-out love and iron-clad full devotion to You.
Where there’s been a lack of forgiveness, bitterness or resentment, May there now be mercy, grace, genuine concern, love, and forgiveness.
Where there’s been dishonor or disrespect, May there now be honor and consideration for one another’s feelings.
Where there’s been division, May there now be true restoration, peace and rich family fellowship.
Where we’ve focused on the problems, May we now focus on the solutions.
Where there’s been apathy or a lack of care, May there now be a willingness – a fervency – to do what’s right, love our family extravagantly, and care more than ever.
Help each of us to fully understand the great value and extravagant gift of You and family! May we never take You or family for granted.
Help us to choose our actions and words wisely – especially during hard times and when having tough conversations. Holy Spirit, guide our thoughts, actions, beliefs, and words.
May each of us seek to obey You in how we love and treat You and one another. Help us to richly strengthen our God-given relationships and homes so they are a sweet aroma and blessing to Your heart.
Heal us. Bless us. Equip us. Sustain us. Build up all of our relationships with You and our family members.
May we seek to be a blessing and a source of love and encouragement in everything we do.
Ultimately, help us to see that all conflict originates from a lack of, a flawed, or hurting relationship with You…and that family and marriage conflict harms not just us, but Your reputation. Give us an abundant amount of wisdom and grace to be right with You! You are our greatest treasure! Never allow us to make our loved ones an idol or place them in front of You! Forgive us for the many times we’ve placed loved ones, activities, goals, or things above You. Life is meaningless if we don’t have You in it! May we first and foremost heal our relationship with You and love and deeply treasure You above all!
We look forward to seeing how You will “work all things together for our good” in our relationship with You, our marriages and families as we seek Your heart, trust You, and love You most.
Please abundantly bless each person who is praying for their family today! Please answer their heart’s cry and prayers. We ask You to heal, restore, and do more than we can ask, think, or imagine!
We love You so much and ask all of these things in Jesus’ precious name, Amen!”
To all who are reading this, God’s got you! He’s got your loved ones! He loves you and your loved ones so very much!
Praying God richly blesses you and your loved ones today!
Here are a few other blog posts on conflict resolution to encourage your heart:
Perhaps you’re reading this today and you’d like to get to know God better. Maybe you’d like to make peace with God and allow Him to make a difference in your heart, your marriage, or your family. He’s made all the difference in my life! Please allow me to introduce you to my Best Friend: http://www.peacewithgod.net
Gratitude & blessings,
PS – It would be irresponsible of me to not say: Certainly, if there is blatant disregard or legitimate abuse, it is important to seek wise counsel from a pastor or Bible-based therapist to help create wise boundaries. There is a big difference between someone doing evil and normal human/family error. I believe 99% of issues can be worked out…and with God’s help, can be worked out…but nobody should subject themselves to anything illegal or harmful. If there is sexual or physical abuse…addictions…anything that could put someone in jail…legitimate safety concerns…or ongoing adultery…that’s never to be overlooked, ignored, or condoned. Seeking help is much needed.
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7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus
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