Did you know? God’s choice to birth you into the family you grew up in has a huge influence on your life as a follower of Jesus. However, most Christians aren’t really aware of the ways their family dynamics impact them today. Think about it in your own life: Are you really aware of how your family dynamics impact you and your relationships?
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JOSEPH
Take this example from the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Joseph experienced three major traumas in his life that impacted him deeply. However, Joseph drew near to God and was empowered by God’ grace to put old patterns in the past and live a life set free to be who God created him to be. When Joseph was just a young man, he was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, and lost a decade of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect family - and Joseph’s family was anything but perfect! Whether you grew up in a positive family environment or not, we all have patterns and characteristics taught by our families of origin that we don’t want the next generation to repeat.
PATTERNS OF GENERATIONAL DYSFUNCTION END HERE
In God's grace, Joseph saw God's plan and purpose for his life even in the midst of intense hardship. If you faced hardships in your family growing up and even in your family today, remember this: Your family history is not your destiny! In Christ's strength, you can set healthy boundaries in your relationships and deal with conflict in an emotionally healthy way. In fact, there are 3 practical steps you can start taking to heal hurts, develop healthy habits, and walk in God's freedom.
#1: TRUST GOD IS GUIDING YOUR LIFE (IN THE GOOD AND THE BAD)
The book of Genesis tells us time and again that "The LORD was with Joseph." Even in the midst of great suffering, God was working behind-the-scenes. God is sovereign - which means that he holds all of human history in His grip. Honestly, God works in ways that are often hidden to us on Earth. But, we can take heart that every mistake, every sin, and every detour you hit on your journey with Jesus can become God's runway for a future blessing.
In the end, Joseph was able to forgive his brothers. We can show our families grace too, because Jesus showed us grace first.
#2: GRIEVE YOUR LOSSES
Next, the life of Joseph teaches us that it's ok to grieve our losses when we face pain and dysfunctions in our families. Genesis 50:15-17 shows us that Joseph wept when his father died. He grieved the hurt he went through due to his brothers' betrayal. He didn't shake off his pain and pretend it didn't happen to him. Joseph acknowledge the hurt with honest grieving. It's there in God's grace that Joseph was able to forgive his brothers.
#3: TRANSFORM FAMILY PAIN WITH FORGIVENESS
When you think about your own family pain, it may feel impossible to lean in and offer forgiveness. The truth is, what Joseph did was show his family grace - something they did not deserve. In this way, Joseph foreshadowed what Jesus Christ would do for us on the Cross. In your own strength, you can't forgive. But grace is supernational. Only the Holy Spirit living inside you can empower you to extend grace and break chains of generational dysfunction. You don’t have to repeat the patterns of the past.
As you learn how to develop an Emotionally Healthy Spirituality in your life and relationships, we pray the Holy Spirit will spark a spiritual revolution of healing in your life and home.
To learn more about how you can invest in your own Emotionally Healthy Spirituality this Fall, check out these additional resources from Liquid Church:
- MESSAGE: Know Yourself That You May Know God - Our world is desperate for authentic Christians who are alive and unafraid to live out of their true selves in Christ! Don’t follow somebody else’s script for your God-given story. To watch the message from Pastor Tim Lucas, click here.
- ARTICLE: The Problem Of The False Self - Learn from the example of Saul how you can move away from the "false self" and towards Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Click here to read the article.