Stop and Start - Part 1

A blog series on how families can apply the gospel into their pain and dysfunction.

Statistics on the American Family -Nuclear families have dropped to below 25% of all households. - The number of single dads grew 70%, and the number of households headed by single moms grew 25% in the last decade. - Every thirty minutes in America – 29 kids will attempt suicide, 2,795 teenage girls will become pregnant, and 22 girls will get abortions. - Studies reveal that 85% of the people who make a commitment to Jesus Christ make the decision by the age of 18, or they never will.

Part 1: The Blame Game 

"Why did you not do what I asked you?" He said. She responded, "I didn't feel like it and plus, I am tired." He reacts, "But you told me you were going to do it and now it is ALL your fault."

The blame game. We are all infected with it. It started back in the Garden of Eden. It is everywhere and probably rears its ugly head in your family as it can in mine. Each family has its own background and history with their own specific problems. Some families are extremely verbal while others are quiet. The starting blocks for healthy relationships is vertical before it is horizontal. I do not believe there is a quick fix to family problems. My purpose in writing this series is to establish some biblical truths that can be applied to relationships in the family.

We all come from families with different types of dysfunction. My church has started a series on the family ("Modern Family"). Lately, I have thought about some of the normal dysfunctions that families face and what God's Word has to say about it.

The first family killer is the "blame game."We have all seen this happen in a conversation. Usually blaming happens after someone has made a mistake. The definition of blame is, "to find fault with; to hold responsible, to place responsibility for."

At the heart of man's sinful nature is the desire to stay out of trouble at all costs. We want to look better than others (pride) and do not mind putting others down if it helps us (accusing).

Jesus said, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye." Matthew 7:3-5

How to STOP playing the blame the game and START establishing humility in the home:

Give yourself credit (Matthew 7:3-5)

We are responsible for our own actions. Parents who make mistakes in their past affect the future of their children. Every parent makes mistakes. But it is their mistake. One of the top responses I get from students is that they feel pressure that they caused their families pain. God's grace is sufficient to carry the weight of any families burden. Restoration is fulfilled when hurting people find their hope and truth in Jesus.

Renew your past with truth. (Romans 12:1-2)

It is vital to replace the old attitude and habits with a new clarity. Families that continually blame each other reveals the need for humility. It is going back to the foot of the cross and seeing yourself in need of a Savior. The brutal truth is the only way to renew your past and forgive yourself and others.

Give life by your words. (Proverbs 16:24) The power of life is our words. Word can shape a person's identity, especially children and students. Blaming is the opposite of giving life. It is giving death to resolving any situation.

Examples of life giving words: - "I know God has shaped you in specific way for His purposes!" - "God has unconditional love for you, no matter what." - "You are uniquely made by God!" (Psalm 139) - "Our family would not be the same without you, you are so important!"

Try to stop blaming and start giving life to each other. Who knows, the blame game might just become a faint memory.

What are your thoughts on the "blame game?" What would you add to the "stop and start" list?