Several years ago we all began hearing the term “dysfunctional family”. It was tossed around like it was the answer to what is wrong with many families. At the time I didn’t give it much thought. After all, these things were defined by people with lots of letters on the diplomas that hung on their walls. What did I know, I was just a regular Dad trying my best to make sure none of my kids tried to insert a peanut butter sandwich into the slot on the VCR. Dysfunctional families? Made sense to me.
However, what I have since discovered is that the idea of the dysfunctional family is nothing new. In fact, I believe that the dysfunctional family is the normal family. Now before you freak out, let’s look at the definition of the word “dysfunction”. The dictionary says it means:
1 : impaired or abnormal functioning
2 : abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group
Is there a family out there who doesn’t have someone in it that would fit that description?
Not only is it true in our days, but way back in the Bible times it was true also. Take a look at the chapters I read in Genesis today. In chapters 20 through 23 we find Abraham lying to someone by telling them that his wife was really his sister. This is the 2nd recorded time that Abe did that….and then he tries to make excuses by saying how it really wasn’t a lie, it was just "sorta" a lie (see /Genesis 20:12), then he sends one of his sons away from home with the boys Mother, and they would have died if God had not intervened. On top of that he then went on to offer up his son Issac as a sacrifice, which God had instructed him to do, but then God stopped him as it was only a test of Abe’s faith.
Talk about dysfunctional! Abe could have wrote the book! He was a habitual liar, an absent Father, guilty of abandonment, and the little thing with Issac would have messed up any kids head. I think of all the kids who complain about how their parents have “forced” religion on them…and then you have Issac who was almost sacrificed for the religion of his Father. Whew!
But then I think back even further…Adam and Eve had one son who killed another son…sounds a little dysfunctional to me! And let’s not forget Joseph, whose brothers wanted to kill him, but instead decided to make a profit off of him and sell him into slavery.
You see, dysfunctional families are the norm, because we are dysfunctional people! The only way for us to move from our dysfunctional state to a functional state is to put our faith and trust in Jesus to save us from our dysfunction (sins).
Even then, as long as we live on this planet the way it is, and live in these bodies, we will constantly deal with our dysfunctional lives. One day, either when we go to be with the Lord, or He comes to be with us, we will shed our dysfunctional bodies and this dysfunctional planet and be all that we were created to be.
I look forward to that day more and more as I get older. I’m tired of being dysfunctional. I’m tired of hurting the ones that I love, of arguing with those closest to me. I look forward to the day when sin is no more and our relationships with one another are full, complete and perfect. No more arguing. No more mean spirited words out of our mouths. No more spiteful comments. No more insults.
Most of all, I look forward of being face to face with my Lord and Savior, Jesus, and I look forward to not hurting Him anymore with my dysfunctional life.
Until that day though, I will continue my journey here on this dysfunctional planet, in this dysfunctional body, following Jesus and allowing Him to turn my dysfunctional life into a functional one.
Ok, so there’s that.