We've all been there—gathered around the dining room table, staring down at your plate as you push the same glob of mashed potatoes around, trying to lay low as your family argues. Try as you might to make the holidays more peaceful, your family still tends to bicker about anything and everything. Could be about the politics of the day, the weather, or family gossip. Whatever it's about, your dining room table scene is not the tranquil picture you envisioned, is it?
While we all wish we had zero family drama, the fact is, we live in a broken world. We love our families, even though they may be a bit dysfunctional at times. Even with the best of intentions, it can be tough to make it through the holidays with your mental health intact.
As you know, we've dedicated this little corner of the internet to discuss what's been on our hearts lately, in hopes that it serves you, our beloved LiF community of sisters. Holiday family friction isn't something we hear about often, but it's something many of us face, and it takes up precious real estate in our thought life. The point is, if we're concerned about something, then God absolutely cares about it and wants to provide us with some wisdom and peace.
This blog post is our space to chat about family drama—how to cope, why it happens, and what Jesus wants to share in the midst of it all.
Christmas is a beautiful time, LiF sister, and you deserve to have a relaxing day filled to the brim with festivities of every kind. I hope this message gives you some hope today, and that you realize you're never alone.
First, Take a Deep Breath
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." ~ Psalms 34:18
All that stress you've been carrying is one heavy burden. Before you can begin to pick apart your family dynamics and question why things happen, you must come to Jesus' feet and offer up this burden to Him.
Jesus tells us in Mattew 11:29-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
He desperately wants to connect with you and lead you in His way of peace, but you must open up the conversation first. So, take a deep breath. Slow down a bit. Take some time to reflect, pray, and thoughtfully give your worries over to God. He is not unable to sympathize with us, after all. Jesus walked on this earth, He lived alongside us broken, fragile humans. He understands our woes more than you realize.
A Complicated Issue
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." ~ Romans 3:23
None of us are without sin. We've all gossiped, coveted, said things we shouldn't have, and we're surrounded by those who have done the same. Even though we may be Christians and have the best intentions, we're broken people living in a broken world. This earth is not as it should be.
This is never more evident than in a high-stress family gathering. What should be so beautiful, so satisfying, so healing, has become something twisted and far more volatile than anyone intended. How can this be? Why is it so hard to sit in a room with family? It's something I've wondered about for years now.
When it comes to interacting with people who are different than us, no one did it better than Jesus Himself. Consider His conversations with Pharisees, tax collectors, or even the disciples. He knew how to expertly guide conversations where they should go, even when it caused discomfort—for the sake of truth and love.
He didn't abandon all hope when He found Himself amidst someone who thought differently than Him. No, Jesus spoke with love and compassion, even when He needed to be firm. The same can be said for us, too. When faced with opposition, even within our own family, we should be tender and loving.
God's Vision For Family, For Community
"Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled." ~ Hebrews 12:14-15
As Thanksgiving neared this past week, I found myself revisiting some key passages the Apostles, passages where Paul shares his vision for the Christian community. Of course, it comes as no surprise to us that thoughtfulness and gentleness lead the way.
"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." ~ James 1:10-21
Our own family unit may look a bit different than we'd wish, but every single person is a gift from God, and they bring their own unique perspective. I can't give you advice tailor-made for your family's specific needs. Each family is unique, with complicated histories and turbulent relationships. But I can encourage you in the Word, reminding you of Jesus' great love for you.
Despite the possible stressors pervading your thoughts, I hope you can find some joy this season, LiF sister. I hope you have a Christmas filled with laughter and memory-making. I hope there's great healing for your family, too.
- No one is perfect, and no family is perfect, either. It's not always easy to survive the holidays with a dysfunctional family, but God has placed you where you are, surrounded by your family, for a reason.
- Regardless of the mountains you're facing, whether it's family drama or fear, there's an open invitation to give your burdens to Jesus today—without judgment or shame.
- When faced with those who are different (sometimes very different) than us, we're still called to love them. What does this look like, practically? Take a look at James 1:10-21.
Peace On Earth
Despite the fast-paced nature the Christmas season brings, there is an opportunity to slow down and celebrate the true reason for the season, and that's Jesus Christ. Our team has had the best time crafting our new Christmas designs for our Christian apparel, blending cozy winter cuteness with the timeless truth of the Gospel. Shop now, thank us later!