I am not sure which is greater: intense physical pain or the pain associated with a child that rebels or a marriage that hits the rocks.
If you are a successful executive, business owner or retired millionaire, you may be dealing with conflict or the pain from years of unintentional neglect of your family. Your contribution has been through your ability to provide a good life for your family, giving them all they need, however, for every decision and sacrifice there is a price. These tragic conflicts that result in broken relationships are a mystery to the hard-driving entrepreneur.
In this post, I want to discuss the causes of these conflicts and the pain they cause and give you some hope on how to reduce it.
Almost every conflict falls into six basic categories:
1. General Neglect
Have you heard the phrase, “Any asset left unmanaged could become a liability”? There is no truer example of this than relationships with children. Children that grow up with one or both parents rarely present and that are then left to nannies or caregivers to raise their kids—can create serious problems as they grow to become adults. Children left in these situations often feel unloved, abandoned and cheated. Often the bitterness affects their self-worth, their marriages and even how they raise their children. (Not a legacy that any parent wants.)
2. Rejected Family Values
Many times children will reject the antithesis of everything that the family stands for. This can be devastating to Christian parents. Often this occurs as a result of not spending enough time with the children while they are growing up. The child may turn out lazy and unmotivated.
3. Failed Expectations
Have you ever heard this statement, “Dad, I’ve never been able to live up to your expectations for me…you never seem satisfied.” Wealthy parents often think that since they gave their kids the best schools, clothes, tutors and coaches that they should be the best in whatever they do—and be thankful for it. Living in the shadow of an extraordinary parent leaves most children giving up on everything. These relationships can be doomed if the parent is not sensitive to the child’s skills, talents, and desires.
One of the great advantages and disadvantages of wealth is that there is plenty. Children of wealthy parents usually end up wanting everything because they have the capacity to get it. They tend to be so focused on themselves that they do not know how to do with less, nor work for the things they want. They are denied their purpose in life because they never had to be self-sufficient or were given the time to find it.
5. Lack of Honesty
There is a kind of dishonesty that is pervasive with the wealthy. Ask a child of a wealthy entrepreneur how many times Dad was absent from a recital, sporting event or a birthday celebration. This kind of dishonesty took root when Dad said that he would be there but just couldn’t break away from work. The father isn’t overtly lying to his kids whom he loves —but he might as well have. The tyranny of the urgent trumped the priority of the important.
6. Parental Favoritism
This is more prevalent in the older generation, but prejudices exist when the secret rivalry between sons’ and daughters affects inheritances as well as positions in Dad’s company. It could be preferences of the older son versus the younger son. This type of discrimination makes children bitter and creates sibling conflicts that can last a lifetime. Another insidious demonstration of parental favoritism is treating the children different than their spouses.
If any of the above 6 points resonate with you, you may be thinking you need psychological counseling. But God has given us an example to follow—and it starts with forgiveness.
- Forgive God for making you in a way you do not like.
- Forgive the people or the circumstances in your life that have caused you pain or sorrow.
- Forgive yourself for the ways in which you have failed to love those that mean the most to you.
- Forgive others who have hurt or disappointed you.
- Pray that God begins to heal what is broken—starting with you.
Do you really want to resolve your family conflicts? Do you really want to reconcile the broken relationships in your life? Are you willing to say what needs to be said? Do you really want your family to be whole, healthy, happy and have fellowship together during the final days of your life?
Are you willing to set aside the urgent and concentrate on what is important? You may not be able to get back the years you lost, but with God’s forgiveness and immense love—all things are possible.
For a free consultation, please contact me at: 303.752.0590.
To learn more about how we help wealthy families deal with conflict, pain, and their wealth, please download the free resource below.
Download this free ebook that will help you understand the Kardia process and what’s possible once you discover how to become a better steward by eliminate taxes by focusing on Kingdom causes that will enable you to build an enduring family legacy.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.