Thursday, October 19, 2006


Maybe I still live in a crazy naive world, but I always thought that family was supposed to love each other no matter what. And so, it never fails to devastate me when I realize that of all the people on this earth who hurt me the most, it's certain family members who tend to do the greatest harm. I don't want to be specific, because even though I'm talking about enemies, I'm sure you've all realized by now that I don't want to hurt anyone, and I especially would never want anyone hurt because I called them my enemy.

But the truth is, we all have enemies in our family. There's someone, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, a child, an ex, or some other random psycho who tends to make our lives a lot more difficult. We have no choice but to love these people, and certainly, we're forced to share way more family dinners than we'd care to with them.

In all honesty, I'd just prefer to remove these people from my life. My greatest dream has always been to live on an island somewhere where I never had to deal with some of these people. Pretty unrealistic, eh? But Jesus has another answer-He asks us to love our enemies. Which means all of my evil plots are for naught.

What strikes me, though, is how I am not alone in having family members like this-every person I've shared details with has shared a similar family story.

Lord, I want to pray for the enemies in our families, for the relatives who take great pleasure in tearing us down, in letting us know that we will never be good enough, and in making us feel like we are nothing. In You, we have a greater family, headed by a loving Father who looks at us in adoration, regardless of what we do. Though certain members of our earthly families might break promises, act without integrity, and wreck havoc on our lives, You, our Heavenly Father, will never break a promise, will never forsake us, and will never leave us out to dry-You will always act in your good and perfect will. I praise you that you are the perfect example of love, and for those out there who never had that example in their earthly families, I thank you for showing us a better example. I ask that you forgive these people who've wronged us, for they don't know what they are doing. I thank you for the woman who tried to offer me comfort in the checkout at the grocery store. Even though she knew nothing about the situation, except to hear the tail end of the conversation with the person who wronged me, she suggested that this person probably was only doing what had been modeled to her, that it was a cycle being perpetuated. Lord, I know that there are so many families out there, where a member of the family is perpetuating a negative cycle, such as violence, alcoholism, emotional abuse, etc, and I pray that you open their eyes to their sins, that they would see that what they are doing is wrong, and that they would repent of their sins. Further Lord, I pray that the victims would be given the strength to end the cycle, to make the conscious decision that it stops there and begin a new cycle centered on your love. I pray for forgiveness and healing in these families. Lord, I pray for forgiveness and healing in my family.



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