When Family Feels Like Living in a Civil War


Brad Mathias gives advice on how to handle relational issues that occur within your home.

Ever feel like your home has become a relational battlefield? Walking on egg shells to avoid aggravating one of two or three different factions within your own family? Caught between offenses and unable to clearly understand or appease the offended? That may sound all too familiar.

Take Hope, there is a way forward… all it takes is courage and a smidge of faith that God’s principles really do work.

The idea of conflict and controversy and bitterness between brothers and sisters is as old as the original first generation family of Cain and Abel. It seems the “default” setting on our human nature leads us to become antagonistic towards one another. Without a Supernatural change in our perspectives, we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of past generations.

The wedge that keeps getting shoved into our relationships comes not only from our fallen natural self, but from the repeated “nudges” we get from the enemy of our soul. There is a strategy in place to keep us divided, isolated and vulnerable. He desires to destroy us. Its cornerstone lie to our heart is to believe that God is not “for” us, followed quickly by a urgent selfishness; to look out for our own interests, before someone else takes what we “deserve."

In a typical family, that looks a lot like the bitter frustration and anger between siblings that carefully monitors every “offense." How many of us come home to a chorus of “not fairs‘” from our teens and tweens? How many spouses have to fight the urge to speak for our better halves as if we already “know” what they are going to say and think about a specific issue or situation, creating resentment and anger in them at our callous presumption?

Be careful… the temptation to allow yourself to be “manipulated‘ is high, the option to begin attacking and offending others is often overwhelming, especially when our emotions are amped up and our physical bodies are exhausted. Even the slightest aggravation can set us down a dark and steep path of fury and frustration. DON’T GIVE IN TO THAT!

Take a break, walk away… and invoke the promise of Eden once again in your own heart, in your own mind and bring it into the circumstance your facing as a parent, a spouse or a co-worker.

The promise of Eden is ours to keep, if we want it. A gift from the son of God himself to all who receive Him. It brings “Shalom” to each and every life moment we live in and allows for us to respond “Supernaturally” to otherwise predictably irritating events. We can speak with compassion, patience and love to those who otherwise would “drive us nuts”!

This is a CHOICE, a determination we all must make. We really can CHOOSE to respond to each and every circumstance, either in our flesh and human emotion, or we can “put on” our Christ like nature and live above the dangerous and emotionally charged moments of each day, with peace and wisdom instead of regrets of red hot anger and resentment.

1 Corinthians 1:10-12 (Message – source biblegateway.com)

I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.

I bring this up because some from Chloe’s family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—that you’re fighting among yourselves!”

So… as you read scripture (like the passage above), you will recognize the natural state of our world without God in it, a reminder of how “human” we all really are. If you're living in a “civil war," it may be time to invite Him to become a permanent part of your home. If you do, I believe you will be able to re-orient your perspective and live with greater harmony and a renewed hope for real and lasting peace in your home.

I believe you will agree…it’s time for many of us to have a cease fire.
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