The purpose and power of Family Life

TEXTS: Genesis 1:26-28; Deuteronomy 6: 6-7, 20-25; Ephesians 5: 22-33; 6: 1-4

WORD STUDY: Merriam-Webster dictionary defines family as “a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head”. This is often known as a “household” and it is the basic form of family. Broadly speaking, a group of persons of common ancestry often known as a “clan” is also regarded as a family. These definitions agree with the Biblical definition of family in the New Testament. The Greek word (Gr: patria) “family” stands for: “lineage running back to some progenitor, ancestry”. God designed the family unit as the foundation of the wider society, and speaks to humanity from this perspective. Though salvation is a personal responsibility, but God also sees salvation from the family perspective. He desires the redemption of families as a whole. (See Exodus 12:23-27; Acts 16:28-34)

INTRODUCTION: The family is God’s ordained centre for the propagation of His divine purposes on earth. The family is the first training school of every child. Characters are formed and ethics and values imbibed which often lasts for a life-time. The family is the basic unit of the society and the most important part of the larger society. Family was not an invention of man, but God’s original plan. We do not choose our family; God chooses our family for reasons and purposes beyond us. We are encouraged to embrace our families and seek divine direction on how to fulfill God’s mandate on the family. Every family is important to God-even the dysfunctional ones. Remember, no family is beyond God’s redemption and transformation!

GOD DESIGNED FAMILY FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS PURPOSE ONE EARTH- Genesis 1:26
God created man and placed him on earth to fulfill his purpose on earth
God desired the fellowship of men and women who are created in His image and likeness
The family is God’s original intention for the domination of the earth
The family is the foundation of God’s kingdom on earth

GOD DESIGNED FAMILY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF FUTURE GENERATION – Genesis 1: 28
The family unit is God’s ordained centre for generational expansion
The family unit is designed to be the custodian of God’s covenant and counsel for humanity.
The family as ordained by God is the centre for the inculcation and transmission of God’s purpose
The family under God is the greatest force for advancing God’s kingdom agenda on earth

GOD DESIGNED FAMILY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE FUTURE GENERATION – Ephesians 6:1-4
God designed the family to provide protection to the vulnerable members of the society
God ordained the family as the teaching centre for the eternal counsel of God
Redemption was orchestrated and protected through the family unit (Mary and Joseph)

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude

Freedom from Family Life traumas (pt. 4)

ACCEPT YOUR FAMILY AS A GIFT FROM GOD

Family trauma can lead to unhealthy assumptions about family and total rejection of the family life. Most young adults and even older adults today live in unhealthy relationships because of lack trust in true family relationship.

Believe in family as a Divine institution going through a process of restoration
Recognize that family members make mistakes and need to be forgiven
Pursue peace with all members of the family
Refuse to see your family as a curse, but a blessing
Believe that God can transform your family

SEEK THE HELP OF A QUALIFIED CHRISTIAN COUNSELLOR

Qualified Christian cousellors are trained to help you see your problems from a redemptive perspective. They will help you see the possibilities ahead of you which you may have considered impossible due to your present self-concept or awareness.

SEEK DELIVERANCE FOR REPETITIVE FAMILY TRAUMA

Most family traumas are generational. Often times, a particular type of trauma run in particular family line. In some cases, the individuals in these families found themselves helpless in the same situations that drowned their parents and grand-parents. This type of deep spiritual problems will require a deliverance prayer from someone gifted and experienced in the area of deliverance ministry.

ACCEPT JESUS AS YOUR LORD AND THE LORD OF YOUR FAMILY

The family that serves God together and pray together is the family that stays together under love and protection of the Lord. While Christian Families are not immune from family traumas, they stand better chances of easily overcoming the effects of family traumas.

CONCLUSION

Family is a beautiful institution designed by God to provide nurturing and protection for the people involved. The health of the future generation often depends on the health of the nuclear family. The society is often a product of what happens in the family. However, as Christians we must not let the failures in our family interactions to define us, because in Christ, we have a stronger family filled with unconditional love and acceptance.

No matter what you are currently experiencing as a result of family trauma, be assured, there is hope for you and your family.

Freedom from Family Life traumas (pt. 3)

FACTORS THAT FACILITATE FAMILY TRAUMAS

Lack of or poor communication skills
Lack of interpersonal skills
Lack of problem solving or coping skills
Lack of commitment to the family or relationship
Lack of headship or leadership in the family
Lack of stability (frequent relocations)

TRAUMAS AND EFFECTS ON THE FAMILY

Despair and frequents exhaustion
Frustration-this lead may lead to verbal abuse and violent behaviours in the family
Anger
Anxiety and depression
Feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
Physical withdrawal
Alcohol, drug abuse
Sexual abuse- including rape and incest
Sexual immorality
Manipulations and control of one another
Self-blame and counter-blames (blaming one another for every fault)
Lack of trust
Low self-esteem/poor self-image
Delinquency-especially in school works and social interactions
Decline in work efficiency
Emotional withdrawals
Separation and divorce
Physical illnesses
Phobia
Mental illnesses

HOW TO BE FREE FROM FAMILY TRAUMAS

DEALING WITH INNER WOUNDS

Family trauma can cause deep hurts and emotional wounds which can lead to bitterness and resentments. If these are not dealt with quickly, they can lead to a pattern of behavior which can become a stronghold that imprisons the individual.

Accept the fact that what happened has happened. It is gone!

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”- 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)

Learn to forgive and love

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”-Matthew 6:14 (NASB)

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”- Luke 6:27,28 (NASB)

Accept who you are Christ

“How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ.
Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love.  His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!”- Ephesians 1:3-5 (TLB)
Think and Focus on what is True and Holy

“And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”- Philippians 4:8 (TLB)

Freedom from Family Life traumas (pt. 2)

COMMON PHASES OF RESPONSE TO TRAUMA

OUTCRY PHASE: The immediate response to a traumatic event may range from acute alarm (mild attack of fear, though very serious) to stunned inability to take in the meaning of the experience (leading to panic attack).

DENIAL PHASE: Following the initial shock, some people may experience denial lasting weeks or months before manifesting emotional responses to the trauma. Symptoms include: amnesia, numbness, sleep disturbances, somatic symptoms, frantic over-activity and withdrawal.

INTRUSIVE PHASE: This is characterized by experience of flash recollection of the trauma resulting in what can be described as sudden emergence of exaggerated startled responses, intrusive thoughts, and preoccupation, sleep and REM disturbances. This can lead to considerable anxiety and a fear of going insane. Most individuals will respond well to reassurances that these experiences are normal and transient.

WORKING THROUGH PHASE: During this phase, individuals examine meanings of the traumatic event and other associated events and memories. They mourn loses and injuries and consider new plans for coping with future.

COMPLETION PHASE: This phase is reached when the person recognize the impact of the trauma on their psyches, exhibit hopeful plans for the future and have resumed normal life, work, and leisure activities.

PATHOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO TRAUMA

MALDAPTIVE RESPONSES: This includes anxiety attacks, withdrawals, substance abuse, psychosomatic reactions, depression, psychoses and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
SELF-IMAGE DISTORTION: Identity impairment and poor self-image
RELATIONAL IMPAIRMENT: Moderate to severe impairment in family/marriage/sexual functioning, work/social functioning and spiritual functioning.

TRAUMAS OF FAMILY LIFE

This implies a family life filled with and producing conflict and destructive interpersonal behaviours and attitudes. This eventually becomes the reality of the nature of interactions experienced by members in such a family

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY FAMILY

Communicates and listens
Affirms and supports one another
Develops a sense of trust
Demonstrates respect toward one another
Has a sense of play and humour
Exhibits a sense of shared responsibility
Teaches the Truth on what is Wrong and what is Right
Has a strong sense of family virtues
Share a common Christian/Biblical Values
Spends time together in active interactions
Admits mistakes, seeks and received forgiveness
Supports one another in careers and calling.

STAGES IN FAMILY LIFE TRAUMAS

Marriage Adjustment- This occurs during the 1st to 5th year of marriage and may last longer
Separation which may lead to Divorce
Pressure of work or at work
Buying a property
Infertility
Pregnancy or birth complications
Arrival of new baby in the family
Raising children
Menopause
Unemployment
Debilitating illnesses such as mental illness (Alzheimer, Bipolar etc.)
Death in the family

Freedom from Family Life traumas (pt. 1)

DEFINITIONS

TRAUMA: “a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time” –Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Broadly speaking, a trauma is usually the result of an event or disaster that has occurred and thereby producing a distressing state of mind in the individual concerned and evoking emotional responses and behavior that is not in keeping with the person’s normal behavior and responses.
Trauma can range from mild to severe!

EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world.
Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.

TRAUMA AND STAGES OF LIFE
Trauma can occur at any stage in an individual’s development.
1)Foetus in the womb
2)During birth
3)Puberty and Teenage
4)Adolescence
5)Adult
6)Menopause
7)Old Age
8)Death

FACTORS THAT CAN CAUSE EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMAS

1)Major illness-especially terminal illness (Malignant Cancer)
2)Accidents (Especially fatal accidents)
3)Severe Bullying (especially verbal and physical bullying at school)
4)Suddenly loss of job and financial crises
5)Abuse (Includes: domestic, sexual, verbal, emotional, physical etc)
6)Fear (Both known and unknown cause)
7)Bereavement (Loss of someone dear to you)
8)Sports injuries
9)Relationship break-ups (dumping and jumping)
10)Major surgery at the early part of life (especially first few weeks to months of birth)

EMOTIONAL TRAUMA PATHWAYS

1)It happened unexpectedly.
2)You were unprepared for it.
3)You felt powerless to prevent it.
4)It happened repeatedly.
5)Someone was intentionally cruel.
6)It happened in childhood.

How to identify and deal with the little foxes that spoil Marriages

When a marriage is consummated on any reason outside of the original Biblical purpose found in Matthew 19:4-6, that marriage will not stand the onslaught of the little foxes that attack every marriage relationship.

Below are some of the foxes that destroy the vineyard of marriage.

Fox#1: If there are tension or sharp responses to each other then there is most likely a fox of unresolved conflict lurking around.

Be sure to quickly resolve every conflict or disagreement as soon as you can. When an unresolved conflict lingers, it breeds tension and communication breakdown.

Fox#2: If you are quick to judge your spouse’s motives as to why they did or didn’t do something before asking them why, then there may be a fox of unforgivenes chewing at your heart.

Be sure to learn and know the details and motives before passing judgment. Don’t be quick to judge one another.

Fox#3: If you have not been purposeful in setting aside time alone together at home, or on regular date nights, then you should look more closely for the fox of neglect.
Be sure to have date nights planned, just both couples without children and job interference. This is how water and nourish your marital vineyard.

Fox#4: Maybe you find your mind constantly going to your job, even when you’re “off”, and it keeps you from being totally “there” for your spouse. You don’t look at them when they speak and you only listen to them halfway. This could be the fox of all work and no play.

Be sure to spend QUALITY time with your spouse. Focus on them while he/she speaks to you and give he/she undivided attention when communicating with each other.

Fox#5: The fox of idols of the heart can be much more difficult to catch. This is because our idols are the things that have not only caught our attention, but our affection. To discover them we must examine where our thoughts go when we have nothing else to think about? Or what do I want to do more than anything else with my free time? Just because we desire to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an idol, but it could be. The only way to know for sure is to ask God to help you discover this little fox. He will be faithful to help you see it.
Be sure not to allow anything immoral, obsessive and possessive to control your thoughts and emotions.

Fox#6:Lack of purpose or vision leads to a division. The couples are drawn apart and are moving i the opposite directions.

A couple should have a common purpose or try to discover one for themselves. A common purpose is the key to a longer fulfilled marital life.

Fox#7: Substance abuse-especially done secretly can wreak havoc to a marriage. It is the quickest way to betray the trust your spouse has on you.

Be sure to come clean with your spouse on your substance abuse or addiction. An understanding spouse may be your only chance of deliverance from the incapacitating power of substance abuse.

Fox#8: Family, friends, in-laws, ‘out-laws’ etc, may become intrusive in a marriage. If the intrusion is not properly handled, these can seriously affect any marriage.

Be sure to protect the culture, values, integrity and purpose of your marriage and family from any conflicting ones from anyone including your friends and families.

Fox#9: Lack of or too much money can cause a lot of problems in any marriage. The issue is poor management of the financial resources not really the money itself.

Be sure to live within a budget. Never spend more than you earn. Discuss financial management with professional financial counsellor.

Fox#10: Career-minded couples can spend their energy on their job with nothing left for their spouses. Career pursuits must not be esteemed above marital health.

Be sure not allow your job to control your marriage and your family. Plan your time properly and do not forget, home is where the heart should be!

Fox#11: Hyper-supernatural people use God and working for God as an excuse to abandon their marital obligations and family responsibilities. This is against Scriptures!

Be sure not to allow ministry, church or religious institutions to become your god! God never requires anyone to abandon his/her family for any religious reasons.

Fox#12: The wise saying: “familiarity breeds contempt” is true for marriages. Couples are too easily prone to ignore and take each for granted after many years of marriage. This is a little fox that can cause a huge rift and crisis if not checked.

Be sure to continually let your spouse realize he/she is the most important person in your life. Send a romantic text message, send encouraging emails, verbalize your love and randomly surprise each other with acts of love!

CONLUSION
While the list above is not exhaustive, the little foxes mentioned are the most common ones. Marriage is a work, just like a good vineyard-keeper, be sure not to allow these little foxes to intrude and destroy your blossoming vineyard. The more your vineyard blooms the easier it is to become the targets of these little foxes. Be watchful! Be unguided! Your adversary, the devil roams around seeking marriages to devours! Determine not to let the enemy win! May God bless your marriages, now and in the future for those hoping to get marries soon!

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude

Understanding the little foxes that destroy Marriages

When a marriage is consummated on any reason outside of the original Biblical purpose found in Matthew 19:4-6, that marriage will not stand the onslaught of the little foxes that attack every marriage relationship.

Marriage is a privilege, a gift from God that allows us to reflect the love Christ has for the church. (Ephesians 5: 22-33)

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [a]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [b]respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33 NASB)

In our culture oftentimes the most important part of getting married is the wedding itself! Imagine if a vineyard owner spent all his time, attention and money on setting up a great vineyard only to neglect the vines after they’re in the ground? It would be foolish and a wasted investment.
A fox doesn’t come and only eat the fruit of the vine–they do much more damage. They like to gnaw on the trunk, dig holes around it and expose the roots. They don’t simply eat the grapes, they like to destroy the entire vine!

LITTLE FOXES THAT DESTROY MARRIAGE VINEYARDS

Fox #1: Unresolved conflict–this includes unforgiveness and anger
Fox #2: Uncharitable judgments–not thinking the best, but assuming the worst.
Fox #3: Neglect and selfishness
Fox #4: Busyness and lack of romantic gestures and adventures
Fox #5: Idols of the heart–video games, shopping, children, addicted to work, pornography, extra-marital online dating, pleasure, etc.
Fox #6: Lack of purpose
Fox #7: Various typed of substance abuse and addictions
Fox #8: External influences from family and friends
Fox #9: Poor management of finances
Fox #10: Career pursuits at the expense of family and marriage
Fox #11: Deceptive spirituality
Fox#12: Taking each other for granted

All of the above can cause lasting damage to the marriage if they aren’t caught and dealt with quickly. So how do we trap these little foxes? How do we recognize them in our own marriage?

The Irresistible Man

images“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me” Songs of Solomon 2: 3-6.

Love is a powerful thing. But true love is not an emotion, but an action, a longing to fulfill the heart desires of the one who is loved. This is the level of love and fervent commitment that Jesus Christ has for the Church, as a bridegroom for the bride. Waters cannot quench it, floods cannot drown it. And time cannot dilute or erase the love between God and His people, or a husband and wife who are committed to each other for life. This love flourishes when the needs of the couples are met. Here are some of the needs of a woman:

Affection: Affection is the binding force in a relationship. It is a symbol of security, comfort, protection and approval to a woman. Women love the feeling that comes with the bestowal and reception of affection. This has nothing to do with sex though sometimes it may lead to sex. Affection is the atmosphere of a marriage. It is the umbrella that covers and protects a marriage. It is an expression of love that gives sex a more appropriate context to women. They need affection for sex to mean much to them.

Communication: Often times we find women complain that their husbands hardly talk to them and we rarely find men asking the same questions. This is because women are made to talk, they desire communication attention, and they enjoy having conversations especially with their husbands. Men do not really have much need for that. A husband who wants to meet his wife’s needs of feeling close to him will have to provide her with sufficient time and attention. While dating, women usually fall in love with their partner as result of the time they spent talking and exchanging affection. Having good conversations help couples communicate their needs to each other and learn how to meet them. It also can keep a couple from growing apart.

Openness: The feeling of insecurity is a bright golden thread that strings through all of a woman’s emotional need. A husband who is not truthful and open is his communication with his wife, undermines her trust and eventually destroys her sense of security. A woman has no foundation to build a solid relationship on if she can’t trust the information her husband provides or the signals he sends as well. Also the absence of openness and honesty presents a lack of ability to negotiate. Negotiation is an essential component to building a successful marriage. Honesty is said to be the best policy for ensuring a good marriage.

Financial support:
Women often want to be assured that they will be adequately taken care of by their husband even if they are making money themselves.

Commitment: Women often want their husbands to take the leadership role in their family and commit to the moral and educational development of their children. A woman often wants to be married to a man who they can respect and look up to and who also is a model to his children. A father usually has a great influence on his children and this is important to a woman. Fathers who get involved with their children’s lives often earn greater respect and admiration from their wives and also help increase marital fulfilment.

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude.

How To Create Feelings Of Admiration And Respect For Your Spouse

images“What an amazing write up”. Jane’s eyes lit up with excitement. I was really inspired. You are a genius. I’m not sure of that, I have a long way to go. Oh sweetheart, you underestimate yourself. You are so good at it. I have read so many write ups and I can’t tell when I come across a good one. I am so proud of you.

Jane always complimented Chris before they got married. However, after they got married, this started to change. The compliments started to dwindle. This is often the case in so many marriages. Like Jane and Chris, couples start off on a high note and eventually the pressures of life hit them and they lose steam of the things that bond a couple together. There is still hope though, these feelings can be recaptured. Here are some tips that can help:

Discover those things that can build and destroy your feelings of admiration and respect for your spouse: You may start by making a list for each category. You may focus on areas such as affection, finances, truthfulness, conversation, commitment.

Show it to your spouse: Both of you should take time and go through it. Look out for areas of improvement and agree to overcome the things that destroy your admiration for each other.
Focus on changing your habits and not your traits: Try to change the way you think about your spouse. Do not dwell on his personality but on his actions bearing in mind that specific habits can be changed.

Adapt new habits: You may start by defining which habits you desire and then plan a strategy for developing that habit. Give enough time to learn this new habit and evaluate it after. Bear in mind that there might be some setbacks. The virtues of patience and optimism are very crucial to this task. Don’t forget to voice it out.

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude.

Help, I’m Having A Hard Time Communicating With Spouse

images“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly” Proverbs 15:2.

Good communication is one of the keys to a great relationship. It is not usually natural but has to be learnt. However, there are some things that are obstacles to our being able to appropriately communicate with our spouse. Some of these things include:

Making demands and not request. Demands sends out that you do not care how they feel when fulfilling it. All you care about is what you want even if it’s at the expense of your spouse. Making demands destroy love and also inspires rebellion.

Verbal abuse: Verbally punishing your spouse is no

thing short of mental and emotional abuse which causes more harm than physical abuse. Sometimes couples develop phrases designed to hurt each other. This leaves a lasting, hurtful expression that is unforgettable. Resentment from past verbal battles could cause a couple to hate each other.

Insisting on one’s own way: Forcing your opinion on your spouse can be very irritating. Couples need to bear in mind that the accommodation of their feelings should not require their spouse to loose their personal values or judgement.

Focusing on past or current mistakes: Most people resent criticism or corrections. This often leads to justification of their act and casting the blame elsewhere. In that case, it is hard to communicate. One’s defense level is high. People can willingly accommodate others with some change in their behavior if they are not criticized.

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude.

zp8497586rq
© 2017 Family Life Centre - Home | About Us | Our Store | Contact Us