The dysfunctional family is the disease of today’s society. Over the last several years, we have seen the development of numerous kinds of self-help groups designed to bring healing and restoration to those who have been broken through the ills of our society. These societal ills include (but are not limited to) alcohol and drug abuse, a 50% plus divorce rate, domestic violence and those stresses brought about by poverty and racism.
Until the last few decades, the Church has been dormant. Now, they have joined the bandwagon of the self-help movement. Much good has come from this as churches have recognized the responsibility to minister to those who are hurting.
Yet, as is often the case, the Church moves forward with little or no conscious recognition of God’s plan, His design, His purpose and His objective. God desires to fill up (bring to fullness) all things in Christ and to develop the Church, the Body of Christ, to become whole and complete.
God is definitely restoring His church! But, in order to restore the Church, the individual people of the family of God must be restored. Eventually, the nations must be turned, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to righteousness and holiness. As many of the prophets of our day have echoed, “it’s a time for the healing of the breech,” which is spoken of in Isaiah 58:12 (NIV).
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
To bring restoration to broken places, the patterns human beings live by, whether they be functional or fragmented, must be examined and understood. It is essential to observe them from both a Biblical and a psychological/social viewpoint. Beginning with generational patterns, we can see how the symptoms of dysfunctional behavior are passed on from generation to generation. We will observe in the spiritual realm how generational curses or patterns of negative, maladaptive thoughts, emotions, beliefs and behavior are transmitted from generation to generation.
Along with reviewing and analyzing these patterns, biblical truths will be brought to light to facilitate the process of healing and restoration provided to individuals and the Body of Christ via the power of God. Using God’s Word, prayer and spiritual disciplines, negative patterns, iniquity of the fathers, or “curses” will be broken, new wholesome patterns will be reestablished, leading to more effective and purposeful living. At times, the problems the Church is facing seem overwhelming. In spite of what is seen, the reality is that all things are in the Father’s control.
The Lord can be trusted to afford mankind with the answers vitally needed to provide necessary direction to produce healing and restoration for the wounded in the Body of Christ. To begin our understanding, there are three questions often posed by someone raised in a dysfunctional family:
1. Who am I?
2. What is my purpose?
3. What must I do to be safe?
These questions must be resolved for an individual to be able to fulfill our destiny in God, and will be addressed briefly in the next blog. To each of the questions there are varying sincere responses. They range from the material to the spiritual, from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Dr. Stan E. DeKoven
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