He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 (NASB)
Because of divorce or other societal ills, most of the families in America today are somehow fractured. This is never more apparent than at the holidays. Our family is no different. Every year at this time, my daughter and her husband have to travel from Georgia to Baltimore to take her stepchildren to visit their mother. This also means that her four year old has to endure a twelve hour car ride each way, and his own Christmas time playing with his new toys is cut short To break up the travel, she stops at my son’s house in Virginia to spend the night. Fortunately, I’m glad to say Kevin’s family is still intact. There she will also meet her dad and possibly even her step-grandmother, as well as (hopefully) my deceased daughter’s son whom we haven’t seen in almost three years now since his father decided contact with our family was too painful a reminder to Darron of his mother’s loss.
But families in the Bible were fractured too. As the Bible says, there’s nothing new under the sun. Just look at the lineage of Jesus. Jacob had two wives (and two concubines) who waged a war on who could produce the most progeny, and this resulted in so much hatred and jealousy between the brothers that they threw Joseph into a well before they decided to sell him into slavery in Egypt. Then Judah (you know this story is one of my favorites) got drunk and ended up with a Canaanite wife before meeting Tamar dressed as a harlot by the side of the road. Jealousy and evil destroyed his older two sons before God allowed him to see the truth, and be redeemed. Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, had a family that was completely fractured by multiple wives having children who vied for their father’s attention and throne. I guess Solomon wins the prize for the most wives and children though. Can you imagine the holidays in his household?! The noise level alone would have sent me to the insane asylum. I get antsy when there are eight bickering kids in the house.
So, what’s the answer to our fractured families? I can’t honestly say that I know. All we can do is do the best we can with what we have. If you’re married, I urge you to do everything you can to stay married unless it’s a question of your own or your children’s safety. I do realize that it’s not always possible. Sometime we don’t really have a say in the matter. We can’t make someone love us or want to be with us if they’re determined not to.
For those of us who are already divorced, we need to follow the scriptural advice to do everything in our power to live in peace with everyone. Sometimes that means making a twelve hour drive, or sitting down to a meal with someone we may not be comfortable around, or making polite conversation with someone who has done us great wrong.. That may seem impossible, but with God all things are possible. He can heal even our fractured families if we give the problems over to Him, do what He bids us to do, and let Him orchestrate the results. .
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: How does your fractured family deal with the holidays? Or if all the generations of your family are still intact, can you share with us a secret to your success?