This article is not intended to remind Christians of their duty to God in family relationships. Certainly, we must do everything possible to provide for the needs of our family, act toward them in a loving and caring manner and give them an example of righteous living ...

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I know that some of you have done all of those things. You have searched the scriptures for wisdom, you have prayed --and still your family is a shattered mess.

Behind your brave smile, your mind is troubled with questions about what you might have done wrong --or what you should do now to cure the hostility and maliciousness of that one you love so dearly.  Yet, there seems to be no solution to the problem.

Then, when you hear politicians and preachers talk about building strong family relationships  --that just makes you feel more inadequate and guilty.  Sometimes your mind imagines happy family gatherings like the ones Norman Rockwell used to paint  --
but that just puts a lump in your throat and makes you feel like crying. You feel so alone because your family doesn't even want you.

I believe that it is time for someone to speak out and talk about what I will call "The Humpty Dumpty Factor" in family relationships.  Do you remember that nursery rhyme about the little egg that sat on the wall, and had a great fall, and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again?

Well, the Humpty Dumpty Factor in family relationships happened when Adam fell in the garden. Since then, righteous people have suffered many kinds of  persecutions from their families.  Such as: Cain killed Abel; Joseph was sold into slavery; and, the kinsmen of
Jesus publicly mocked him.  Those cases clearly show us there is no fellowship between light and darkness.

It is unfortunate that preachers seem reluctant to talk about the changes that come into family relationships when one person comes to Jesus and begins to live a righteous life. If the believer is unprepared for his trial, then when the hostility begins, his suffering is more intense because he doesn't understand that it is a normal experience.

Jesus told people, up-front,  to count the cost of following him.  He warned his followers that their families would be their enemies --but still, I can't remember ever hearing a sermon on these words of Jesus:

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matt 10:34-37

"Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."  Mark 13:12-13

When we are mistreated, our duty is to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us.  Then, we need to have the wisdom to understand that "All the king's horses and all the king's men" can not change another person's heart. Only God can give the gifts of faith and repentance. Let us always be thankful that He has given them to us.

Donna Kupp

   "And the dragon was wroth with the woman,
     and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,
                               Rev 12:17 (KJV)

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