Today I’m going to start a series called “Rebuild”.
Rebuild – Redefining a Healthy family
Redefining health: One thing that I discovered in counseling is the need to define what is healthy. Whether you realize it or not, each of us would define what healthy looks like a little differently than the person next to you. Here’s an example:
Back in 1996 I took a trip to Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia. While I was there I spent a lot of time with missionaries and pastors. I remember one day I saw a pastor and a wife walking down the road. The husband was walking with his walking stick about 20 feet in front of his wife who was loaded to the hilt with bags full of food and supplies, and 2 children, one on her front and one on the her back. My first thought was “wow, I love this place”… ok, just kidding. Actually, my question to the missionary was, “at what point do you, as missionaries, work with the pastors and believers on ‘honoring’ one another.” He asked what I meant. “I mean, look at this- the husband is 20 feet in front with nothing but a walking stick. He’s treating his wife like a pack-mule.” He told me, “you’ve got it all wrong. Here in this area of Papua New Guinea, he IS honoring his wife. If he would walk down this street carrying kids, and supplies, he’d tell all the onlookers that his wife was incompetent and unfit as a mother. Allowing her to fulfill her “societal duties” is honoring to her and thus keeps their marriage healthy.
In a similar way, as the counselor, I am forced to first and for most work at coming to a consistent definition of what healthy will look like for each person I meet with. In my opinion, for many of us in today, our definition of a healthy family is very far off the definition that God. We link the concept of a healthy family too much with that of the American Dream. We believe that a healthy family involves no conflict, having our needs and wants met, and above everything else, we want to be in control.
What’s a healthy family look like? in the next few posts we’re going to look at:
-Laying a good foundation
-Framing it with strong values
-Shielding your Family with an on-going commitment to growth and communication.
I really don’t think God’s going for a picture perfect family. He knows us far too well. What He wants is a healthy family though… I’m excited to dig in and REBUILD