"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Dysfunctional families are a tragic and growing part of our society. In a dysfunctional family, the authority line between the parents and children is blurry. It is hard to detect who is in charge.
In this type of family, some parents try to live their lives vicariously through their children. For example, some fathers may press their sons to excel in sports because they were never successful themselves.
The parents blame each other for parenting problems they encounter. Sometimes one of the parents may be an enabler to the child with deviant behavior. Patterns of permissive parenting and neglectful parenting are common in dysfunctional families.
Some families are disengaged. In a disengaged family, there is a strong authority line between the parents and children with little going on emotionally. The boundaries in this family are rigid with a lack of communication. The disengaged family is low on support but strong on rules and control. It is common in this family pattern for children to look forward to reaching adulthood so they can leave this domineering system.
Consider this …
Today's scripture addresses the needs in dysfunctional and disengaged families. Parents are not to provoke children by placing unfair expectations or being inconsistent or exerting rigid control without building a loving and caring relationship. But they are to discipline in love and teach them the ways of the Lord.
Father, we need your guidance and help in our family. Teach us to be wise and loving parents, parents who love our children enough to discipline and teach them—all according to your plan and in your love. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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