Recalling families that have been labeled ‘dysfunctional’, I thought of how that label was derived; what was its conception. Was it so because individuals perform comparisons and see their family as lacking something, as less than perfect, as flawed – as dysfunctional (not performing normally; acting outside social norms or malfunctioning)?
Then I thought – we are all a part of God’s design. Just as He called into being the majesties of the earth and the heaven, we are placed in our families, by none less, than divine design. Where or what is the dysfunction in that divine placement? Could David’s family be construed as dysfunctional? What about Abraham’s family? But – look how God used their family members. Joel Osteen preached a good sermon the other day: “don’t allow yourself [your family] to be labeled as damaged goods: don’t allow yourself to see your family as none other than good. Being a member of your family, whose actions are sometimes less than perfect, is not a mistake. It is purposed. Nothing that happens in our lives is by chance.”
Sometimes we get stuck and selectively forget that love and forgiveness go hand and hand. Letting go is an easy thought, but not necessarily an easy application. It is a choice. Life is a series of events from which, hopefully, prayerfully, we are not hindered in our journey, by false labeling, but we learn and we grow in grace and love and maybe gain some wisdom along the way. And this “love from a distance”, I cannot fathom God, our Father, the creator of love, who is love, could He ever love from a distance? I think not, so why should we. Why should anyone feel that love from a distance is acceptable?
Be open to all that God has for you and yours this day.
Father, guide us in truth. Let us not be defined by what others say of us, but what we are in you. Let us not be defined by other people’s standards or the world’s standards, or false labeling but only your standard. Perfect that which concerns us. Teach us to make Godly choices and teach us to learn from our mistakes and forgive one another as you have forgiven us. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.