In the last two blogs I have defined the six causes of family conflict: 1) General Neglect, 2) Rejected Family Values, 3) Failed Expectations, 4) Self-Gratification, 5) Lack of Honesty, 6) Parental Favoritism. Today I want to discuss the ways we can resolve the conflicts and how we can build God-centered and focused families that have learned how to create a culture of the Blessing for generations.
What is the unfinished business that is creating the conflict in your family? After reading the previous two blogs, do you see anything that hits home? What is it going to take on your part to move forward and create a family that pleases God?
I remember listening to a psychiatrist speaking at a conference who said something that was so provocative I had to take some time and think through the impact of his statement. He said, “The need for ninety percent of all psychological counseling would disappear overnight if people would learn to do one simple thing.” That one simple thing was….FORGIVE!
I have a dear friend, Paul, who was in the military for 27 years and now runs a ministry called Operation Restored Warrior. He is a clinical psychologist and his business card reads, “psychology reveals, God heals.” I don’t think the psychiatrist at the conference and my friend Paul are saying anything different.
Healing takes three necessary steps. Forget one of these steps and the healing will not last nor will God bless it:
- We need to forgive God for making us in a way we do not like or allowing people or circumstances in our lives to cause us pain or sorrow. The key word is “allowing”. We have a choice in our happiness. We have a choice to accept that God made us perfect in His likeness and that our happiness is not dependent on someone else. God calls us to seek why He made us and for what purpose. Satan has his way when we allow someone beyond God to control our emotions.
- We need to forgive ourselves for the ways in which we have failed those we love and ourselves. Whether it is with your children or spouse, I guarantee that you weren’t perfect and I guarantee you made mistakes. That is why we humble ourselves to the mistakes and point to Jesus for the answers and cure. We ask them to forgive us and tell them that only Jesus can resolve all these issues. When we can admit that we are not perfect and that we screwed up; and we can say that we have asked God first to forgive us and then ask for forgiveness from those we offend, we are living in humble submission and love. Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as YOURSELF.” He is telling us to love ourselves first before we can possibly love our neighbor.
- We need to forgive others who have hurt or disappointed us. If you are the person offended, how hard is it for you to simply let it go? I have people close to me that think that if they let it go they are letting me off the hook. That is the furthest from the truth. The person that is getting out of jail is not the person that offended us, it is us! Paul says in Eph. 4:30, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving,each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
In Legacy Planning, I counsel parents and spouses about forgiveness. I ask them, “If it were possible to heal this relationship and resolve this conflict, do you want a loving, intimate and meaningful relationship with the other person?”
Almost without exception, the answer is yes.
In my next blog, I will discuss how to extend forgiveness and heal the wounds rather than just bandage them.
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
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.