Family dysfunction is a serious problem that can negatively effect
the basic needs, peace of mind, stress levels, sanity, health and well being
of the family members.
Conflicts, turmoil, rivalries, misbehavior, neglect, and/or abuse
tend to be endless... and for some it has become their new normal.
Family dysfunction can be any condition that interferes
with healthy family functioning.
Although most regard family as their most gratifying aspect of life,
many regard it as their most perplexing and tormenting.
A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict,
bad behavior (faulty disciplinary methods), unaddressed family issues,
manipulation, neglect (ignoring the needs and feelings of members),
physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse takes place regularly
and influences others to adjust to... and/or go along with such reckless,
For some, dysfunctional families have become
the breeding place for abuse and neglect.
Dysfunctional and abusive homes make heavy, gloomy,
and oppressive the atmosphere of their own homes.
In dysfunctional homes there is little or no relational connection,
a lack of communication, little or no quality time together,
no respect for one another, no boundaries,
there are emotional and physical scars, a lack of nurturing,
and little to no encouragement.
Most families experience times and seasons where healthy functioning is
challenged by stressful circumstances (death in the family, a parent's
serious illness, etc.). Healthy families tend to return to normal functioning
after the crisis is over. Conversely, in dysfunctional families...
problems tend to be unleashed and ever present.
Dysfunctional families, left to themselves, can produce
Dysfunction can and will eventually have an adverse effect
on our beliefs, personal values, nervous system,
relationships, habits, and adult life, to name a few.
These adverse effects can extend into our society...
causing our society to become, harmfully, contaminated.
WHAT GOES WRONG IN DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES?
It is possible, the more acquainted one becomes with a person,
the more one knows about his or her shortcomings and,
hence, the easier it is to dislike that person.
There are people whose desire and aim is to scheme, take, wreak havoc,
cause pain, excommunicate family members, and outright destroy relationships.
In this instance, they are my family members
and/or their small circle of friends.
The family's rejection of Jesus is echoed in John 7:5,
where we read that Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him.
At first they may have taken to Him, and embraced Him as the Messiah,
and expected He would set up a temporal Kingdom; in which
they might hope, on account of their relation to Him, according to
the flesh to enjoy great honors and privileges; but finding that
Jesus was not inclined to anything of that nature,
and talked in a quite different way, they grew sick of Him,
and rejected Him, as the Messiah.
So, little regard is to be had, or confidence placed,
in carnal descent from, or alliance to the best of men.
The point is... these people did not know Jesus.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own;
but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said to you:
'A servant is not greater than his Master.’
If they persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you.”
In other words, it is very possible to have peace and reconciliation
between you and God, but be at odds with members of your own family.
Other versions of the Bible say "A man's enemies will be those
of his own household."
Christ makes the astounding statement that family will often
be a person's worst enemy.
We should know that we are in trouble... when, knowingly,
we do the wrong thing and it no longer bothers us.
Sometimes family members can be utterly larcenous and manipulative.
They plot, deceive, and create all kinds of dissension in order to keep
the family divided, long enough, to gain full control over everything.
The weaker members are intimidated into taking their side against
the family scapegoat. This lets them paint a picture of
the way they want to be seen by others.
While their behavior is unkind, unethical, and immoral,
they have a sense of entitlement about all of their unrighteous acts.
They are self-justifying and more concerned with the idea of wanting more,
trying to be associated with those they consider as high status people,
and will blatantly exploit and take from family... in an effort to impress and give
the appearance of being someone who has it all, which is, absolutely,
not supported by reality. They can be so narcissistic that guilt, family honor,
sensitivity, etc., are useless against their plans.
And then there are those who seek excessive admiration and attention
in order to feel that others accept and/or think highly of them.
Typically, they can be very critical of others... especially if someone
can see through their smokescreen and rattle their sense of self worth.
In other words, some may feel as if they have permission to be irresponsible
and begin spreading misleading-half-truths and/or outright lies, planting and
fostering rumors, manipulating information, attacking reputations,
and targeting one's character.
If another is gaining any ground in their endeavors...
there are some who will go over and beyond to bring unnecessary distractions.
They tend to dream up reasons to make belittling remarks designed to humiliate
and create stressful battles. They will drum up unfair criticisms,
sow all kinds of ill-will in an attempt to break another's
Spirit. They will, intentionally, try to make others feel worthless,
and they will set up obstacles and roadblocks to undermine another's efforts
in an attempt to keep others from attaining their goals.
Why would one be so terrified that if another wins...
somehow a win for that person equates to their loss?
If another is better off... that does not mean the other is off worse.
Among all the qualities which a person develops...
possibly none is of greater consequence
than one's feelings about whether or not they matter.
The family is seen as playing a key role, in the process.
The family has a major influence on how a member feels about
themselves. They are, usually, the strongest and most influential people
in shaping the member's life.
Some will either address the members with kindness and respect
or with disdain and extreme criticism.
The truth of the matter is...
Satan is hell-bent on discouraging, dividing, killing, stealing, lying,
scrutinizing, crucifying, accusing, tearing people down, and crushing souls,
he tries to prevent and pervert God's plan, and he does this by planting seeds
of negativity, inferiority, and misery.
We should never base our worth on another's approval
or how others may view us.
Who we are is not in the power
of anyone else to determine.
Even when we cannot change our familial circumstances,
we do control what we tell ourselves those circumstances mean about us.
I've always believed that we could and would succeed a lot quicker, in life,
when we have a clear purpose and meaning that is useful and honorable... when
our meaning and purpose are more about offering up what we do... than what we
accumulate... when we dare to live... when we do what we love and have the God-
given abilities and talents to support it... when we trust and have enough faith in
God to take that leap of faith... when we fail and make mistakes...
own the mistakes and failures, learn and grow from them.
When we fall... we pick ourselves up... dust ourselves off... and get back in the
race... even if it means stumbling forward faster,
and lastly, we can succeed a lot quicker by helping others to succeed.
In my family, it appears that nobody is happy unless everyone
stays in their place (remain safely planted in their comfort zone)
and become a part of their twisted belief system…
where they redefine what truth is.
Unfortunately, the more some members grow and evolve,
the more others, who aren’t ready to take risks
or strike out on their own, will do...
to back the evolving member into a mental corner...
just so they might be able to hinder the evolving members' growth.
Some intentionally stoop to various levels
of extreme toxicity.. to hinder another.
Some seem to relish in going over and above to
immobilize the growing members.
When others succeed... it doesn't mean everyone else failed, in any way.
Some family members will do whatever they can to hold members back.
They can be cunning, crafty, and quite deceitful in their scheming.
They seem threatened by a family member’s need to evolve.
It is painful when you find those who should want the best for you...
resenting you instead.
When the old pattern is interrupted by a change in the familiar functioning,
and a member begins to think differently, rise above what they were,
and begin to take the form of who God created them to be...
it seems as if their sense of security feels challenged.
It’s like a big barrel of crabs…
whenever one of the crabs comes to the realization that they are a part of
something much bigger, in their attempts to climb out and escape
the dismal and wretched bucket, the other crabs will grab hold of him
and pull him back down in a useless "King of the hill" competition.
They may even get stuck in the competition rut, which is often one-sided, because
the abuser is the only one competing!
All of the struggling crabs could easily escape from the barrel,
but instead as one ascends closer to the top of the barrel,
nearing their escape...
The entire system will shift in response
and clamp their claws to one's ankle and drag him back down
into the barrel.
They don't want to see him succeed.
This crabs in a barrel mentality has created the worst kind of loyalty.
It is like some honor code that prohibits anyone from changing or growing.
The mentality is...
“If I can’t get out of this barrel of crabs,
nobody is getting out.”
Some will do and have done unfathomable undermining
to control and contain family members
so they will not have the opportunity to grow into
who they really are.
As God has built in a desire for growth,
so there are others who do their best to hinder our Spiritual growth.
Satan’s clear purpose is to stop the advance of God’s people.
He will, intentionally, use any willing fleshly vessel
to place all kinds of obstacles,
stumbling blocks, and devilish temptations before us.
If we are not alert and awake,
Satan's evil schemes can overshadow our godly desires.
When we try to do righteous things in life...
we are going to encounter great offenses.
Transformation of another seems to send some into a tailspin.
They continuously mock, belittle,
and discourage the others efforts
in hopes that they will finally cave
and rejoin them in their bucket of misery.
Once the member caves... they immediately accept
that individual back into the barrel of crabs.
When we try to walk in our calling... we will have "haters".
Their main objective is to get us off course...
to pull us down and keep us down.
Some people actually suffer from, the unfortunate,
crabs in a barrel syndrome, and they have it bad.
Sometimes our own family can become our worst enemies
in an effort to derail our efforts and destroy our spirit.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are those,
closest to us, who will, purposely lash out
with all kinds of negative energy.
In some cases, their intense hatred and rejection
is much like the behavior patterns of Joseph's older brothers.
Same song, from thousands of years ago,
... just a different verse.
In many cases, we find that the close-knit family
encourages every member to succeed,
lovingly uplifting each member on toward their destiny.
Some people come from very helpful families—
ones where the inhabitants form a helpful ladder
for the members to climb up and out.
In dysfunctional situations...
there will always be those who try to tear us down.
But regardless of the words or actions of the naysayers on the sidelines...
we can always choose to take the high road.
At the end of the day...
it is taking the high road that will bring us inner peace,
even in the midst of the useless turmoil others may try to create.
No matter what obstacles come against us,
let us keep the Golden Rule of...
"Doing unto others as we would have others do unto us."
This is a command based on words of Jesus
in the Sermon on the Mount.
Treating others as we would like to be treated...
Let us press on... and not do evil for evil.
Let us keep our eyes on the prize...
and always stay true to ourselves and our God.
God, who planned out Joseph's days, thousands of years ago,
is still the same God...
Who plans yours and mine... even as we speak.