Is your family normal?
And really, has there ever been a normal family?
Sitcoms like ABC’s Modern Family represent an emerging trend of tv shows that are beginning to look a little more like our families do – mixed up, bizarre, full of drama, and full of love. Every family has its black sheep, weird uncles, hidden secrets, and long-standing feuds. Every family has its family gatherings that are as heart-warming as they are chaotic. Every family has their someone who has been abandoned or hurt.
I wish it weren’t so – I wish we could find the blueprint to perfect families.
But until then, we have to accept, that as much as we receive love and support from our families, they can also be a major source of imbalance in our lives. One misspoken word, embarrassing story, old grudge, festering hurt, or perceived snub can set off another one of those whirlwinds of chaos in our lives. And this doesn’t even take into account those who have been really abandoned and rejected by their families – for not living up to lofty ideals or because God created them a little bit more uniquely than mom or dad or grandma might have wanted.
You can’t ever really avoid drama in your life. It happens.
But you can learn how to keep it from tipping you off balance – you can learn to say “no”.
One of the first words my 3 year old daughter picked up was no. It’s a powerful word. It began to give her identity apart from her mother and me. She was able to voice her opinion. She was able to begin to claim her power in a small way, even if she had to go to bed or eat her sandwich anyway.
This Sunday, we’re going to explore the power of saying “no” in our own modern families – not necessarily to try to cut ourselves off from them if they are causing us imbalance, heartache, and pain – but to use the word “no” to help put up healthy boundaries in our lives.
And with boundaries, we discover our own identity and power, a gift from God.
I hope this sounds intriguing and helpful to you – come learn more and share in the conversation this Sunday at the Table.