In our experience working with hundreds of families, there is one common denominator in every family that is considered healthy. Yes, that’s a big statement and yet in another sense it’s not a big surprise. Especially as I write this on the eve of Easter. Tomorrow we will celebrate what Jesus Christ did on the cross for each and every one of us. The bad news of the gospel message is because of sin we face a broken relationship with God. The good news of the gospel is the cross makes it possible for that relationship to be restored. That is the Easter celebration!
John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That’s the gospel message and we can talk more about that another day.
Family relationships can get very complicated
Healthy families, whether they realize it or not, have learned to re-enact the gospel with each other. Healthy families have learned the secret of forgiveness. Every relationship in your family will eventually be broken. It happens because we are human, because we sin, and because we are selfish. Eventually we will hurt each other… guaranteed!
The only question is what we do next. Healthy families, even if they deny the existence of God, learn to follow God’s example. No, we don’t have to die on a cross; Jesus already did that for us. But we do have to apologize, repent, and ask for forgiveness. And then, we have to be willing to extend forgiveness when we are the one wronged. Books have been written on the subject of forgiveness. Let me give you five reasons why it’s so important for families to practice the art of forgiveness.
- The bible clearly instructs us to forgive one another. As God has forgiven us we are to forgive one another. To keep clear with each other isn’t just a good idea, it’s God’s idea.
- We miss out on parts of the relationship when we are burdened with un-forgiveness. When our relationships are tense, it’s hard to enjoy the good things happening in the family. How do you celebrate a victory or an award your sibling receives when there is bitterness in the air?
- Forgiveness is good for the forgiver. Someone once said to withhold forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill someone else. Our motive to forgive should be obedience and love of God. However, to carry around un-forgiveness does indeed eat away at us.
- It prepares us for the coming storms. Every family experiences storms. Your family’s ability to successfully weather the storms increases exponentially if you have practiced the principle of forgiveness. You personally could find yourself at the eye of the storm. If you have unresolved conflicts with the rest of the clan it’s hard to reach out to them for support. We have an e-book coming out shortly on family storms.
- There is an enemy and he will do anything to keep you from forgiving one another. The last thing satan wants is a for a watching world to see a family modeling the gospel message with each other.
This Easter season, be grateful for the forgiveness we find in the cross. Then, practice forgiveness with those in your family. Do you need to apologize for something? Do you need to forgive someone? Do it today.
We are moving our blog and website one more time in the next several days. It shouldn’t affect anything on your end, but just in case we wanted to give all of you a heads up. Thanks for reading and please share this with a friend.