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Overcoming Family Violence

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Navigating Faith, Death, and Suicide --

***Almost three weeks ago, a close relative of a member of our church killed his wife, whom many have described as the love of his life, and then committed suicide after years of battling depression. Last week, I wrote about mental illness and suicide. [Read the other blog here] Today, I would like to write about violence inside the home.

I pray that my words help...

Beloved Church family, conflict has been a part of human history since the beginning. From the tragic tale of Cain and Abel to more recent examples, the Bible highlights how the betrayal of trust and violence within families can shatter the home's sanctity, peace, and purpose. While some conflicts may be inevitable due to our human nature, there are ways to recover the spirit that was lost. Let us believe that God has the power and the willingness to sew back our hearts together. By the Grace of God, there is life and forgiveness after violence.

There is hope and healing after the violence, but only when surrender to God and not to despair.

One of the essential teachings of the Bible is to treat family members as blessings rather than responsibilities or obligations. Creating a healthy family environment involves providing a safe space for every member to express their thoughts, battle their fights, and share their opinions but also protecting and having clear boundaries for them and us--freedom and boundaries go hand in hand.

Family relationships are unique and hold immense potential for both love but also conflict.

The word "violence" first appears in Genesis 6:11, but the initial act of human violence is recorded in Genesis 4 when Cain kills his brother Abel. In just one generation after our first parents' disobedience, sin leads to the tragic taking of human life, revealing humanity's profound moral and spiritual brokenness. However, God, being the Redeemer, shows mercy to Cain and provides another son, Enoch, to Adam and Eve. This tells us that it is God who shows the way after a family tragedy, not human understanding or insight. Believe God is always with us, not promising perfection in our families, but that our families will never be alone.

People of God, whenever possible, remember that a healthy family is not one where there is an absence of disagreement but rather a place where differences are acknowledged, respected, and resolved with Grace. Whenever possible, invest in purposeful relationships where nothing is taken for granted and there is always and extra portion of Grace because of God and not because people have earned it.

Unfortunately, there are times when violence occurs within the home, leading to immense pain and brokenness. When a family member kills another, the repercussions are devastating for everyone involved, including those who hear of the events on the news or social media. People never think about these possibilities, so most people are shock or at the very least they are caught off-guard and often without resources.

In these dark moments, it is essential to remember that the answer is not always to understand or explain the reasons behind the act but to care for those who are still alive.

The priority must be to care for each other, to love one another, to pay attention to one another, and to be purposeful in seeking God's guidance and relying on God’s healing power, which eventually will bring restoration and peace to shattered hearts. This much you must believe and embrace.

In times of violence, even in death, consecrating and rededicating the family at the center of conflict can be transformative.

The act of consecrating and rededicating (prayer and anointing) the family after a devasting event has the ability to shift hearts and mindsets. God's grace can mend even the deepest wounds and rebuild broken relationships.

In conclusion, violence with the family of God has existed throughout history, reflecting the sinful nature of humanity. However, the Bible offers invaluable guidance on fostering peace and healing within families—even when members of the household are the offenders. So be reminded of the importance of consecrating and rededicating.

By aligning our lives with God's principles, treating each other with love and respect (despite the adversities), and seeking His guidance in times of trouble, we can navigate the challenges of family life and find strength in caring for one another.

Ultimately, through God's grace, brokenness can be healed, and the sanctity of the home can be restored.

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