I DO know for sure that there is a high level of dysfunction in many families. The easy way of seeing this is to see how dysfunctional our communities are.
By Kilton Moyo
Remember that there is no community that can be what the family is not. Families are foundational communities that make our collective communities and nations.
If the family dysfunctions, the whole community dysfunctions too.
Yes there may be a few families within the community working well, but they have little influence on the larger community that operates on the basis of a human culture that has fallen into debauchery.
The state of the family influences so much the state of the community.
It has always been my argument that if you want to build stable and wealthy communities, build first the family. The family is the beginning and foundation of human communities.
When God wanted to create humankind in Genesis 1, He created a family of male and female. By the way, this is family. The family is the first community of people that God created.
The family would then produce people in the image of God, creating more families and nations thereof.
The first level of dysfunction took place in the family. The moment the family dysfunctioned in Genesis 3, humanity lost her purpose.
When the first family sinned and was driven out of the presence of God, it dysfunctioned.
There was blame, shame, death came in, conflict set in and the family began to work without God. This means, as far as I see it, any family outside the presence of God is dysfunctional, no matter how rich and educated they are.
All forms of our dysfunctions in the family start from this foundational spiritual principle. It is, therefore, spiritual.
This is one reason why the Bible in Psalm 127 says that, unless God builds the house they labour in vain that build it. God can only build that which is in His presence.
In other words, if you want to fight dysfunctions in your family, take the family back to God. That is the starting point.
Dysfunctions can be passed on from one generation to another. I have seen families who perpetuate their problems from one generation to another.
Families should, therefore, be careful and wise enough in stopping these.
Have you seen how things like drunkenness, poverty, insanity, and many others can run in one family from one generation to another?
Some families look like they have taken dysfunctions as their identity and think it is what they deserve.
I realise that it is hard to fight some of these and that many families are really not keen in fighting and ending these. The moment you think it is part of your family, why then fight. This is where deception lies.
If you want, you can arise and kick out that pain and shame from your family. I want to suggest a few things on how to fight dysfunctions in your family.
Get your family back to God
When God created the family, He placed it in His presence, in Eden.
The family was created to function in the presence of God, allowing him to build it the way He wanted because He created it for Himself first. Outside the presence of God the family cannot function normally and cannot be what God wanted.
Your family is struggling and in pain, I suggest you go back to God through Christ Jesus. When God is the one building your family, you will be able to withstand challenges and solve problems with great love and honour.
Talk realistically about your tensions as a family
Your challenge is that you never give yourselves time and the chance to realistically face up to your challenges and tensions. Instead, you are ever blaming and shaming each other whenever trouble comes.
Your people are not the problem. People are never the problem. Do not focus on people as problems, but focus on the problem. You solve nothing by attacking and humiliating others.
Many families are caught up in this trap going for each other’s throats whenever there is a problem.
Beloved, this is not a normal human way of dealing with things. People engage and talk.
Look around you, and you will see families, institutions, churches, business, clubs and political parties falling apart because of blaming and shaming each other. This is a demonic principle and as a people we must never learn it.
Be realistic and engage in love and differ in love and compromise for the sake of the family.
Have freedom to make mistakes
There is no way you can have or run a family without making room for mistakes. Mistakes are part of growing up and part of life.
Our maturity comes even through making mistakes.
There is no room for perfectionism in wisdom. Allow people to err and allow yourself to err too. Forgive yourself and forgive others. This is the beauty of life.
Have laughter and spontaneity
Tension kills. Many parents are caught up in this belief that they are too old to laugh and have fun. I do not know where people learn this from. You are too serious for life and that is why you are not enjoying it. Have a good time together as a family and laugh and have fun. Play together even when things are tough.
Stop bowing to circumstances. I would rather bow to the principles of God and to his joy.
Create time for fun in the family. Laugh at home, at work, at church and everywhere.
Give yourself time to live.
Communicate consistent messages
Communication is key and can either build stability or cause divisions.
Dysfunctional families communicate double messages. They are never consistent. Lying and cheating is their culture.
But surely if you want to defeat this monster of dysfunctions be clear in what you are communicating.
Communicate also in love. Stop shouting and cursing. You are not a demon. Bless and affirm and praise even in correction. Correct with honour and love. Make sure you say what you mean. It is important in communication.
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