Looking at your Family

One of the most popular books on emotional health from a Christian perspective is Pete Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. One chapter in this book is entitled “Going Back In Order To Go Forward: Breaking The Power Of The Past.” Scazzero addresses the reality that we are all born into a certain family of origin, and for some of us that can lead to a decent amount of “emotional baggage” we carry with us throughout our lives.

Consider this quote: “…We may choose to become Christ followers, but in reality we continue to follow, probably unconsciously, the commandments and rules we internalized in our families of origin. The great problem, of course, is when our family’s invisible scripts are contrary to Christ’s. And when the family commandments passed on to us are so deeply embedded in our DNA that we cannot even discern the difference, the result can be tragic.”

I invite you this week to consider what influences have impacted your development. What “family commandments” are you carrying that hinder you from moving forward. For some, these deep influences may not be immediate family, but any significant relationships. What narratives are eclipsing Christ’s narrative of redeeming work in your life? Identifying these “scripts” can be a wonderful first step in breaking free from being defined by familial expectation and moving into more of the life that Christ has for you.

It is worth noting that some people have a particularly messy past with regard to their family of origin. If so, it’s helpful to remember last week’s lesson that we are made for community. Healing may be found by discussing these hard topics with a friend, or even a counselor. It’s in the context of Christian community that we can truly break free from any false expectation or narrative in our lives. These trusted confidants can help us see our blind spots and help us walk more authentically with Jesus than if we tried to do it on our own.

David McDurham

David McDurham

David is the Minister of Communications at First Baptist Arlington. He is married to Amy and they have one daughter, Ella. David has worked at First Baptist since 1995.

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