Who Says… We Should Strive For A Perfect Family?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-05-11.

Nothing will bless parents more than imperfect siblings who truly love one another.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: 1 John 4:20

Everybody has a favorite family, besides their own, especially when the children are younger. We tend to pattern our families after those who “appear” to have it all together and whose children model Christian virtues. At least we did. However, as our children grew older, cracks started to appear in our “perfect” family, especially once the children reached puberty and discovered that their parents were, well… less than perfect. Don’t get me wrong, our children were not failures, crazy or overtly rebellious, they were just being adolescents who were stretching their own wings in preparation for independent living and we were, as we now understand, trying to put a stop to it! Why? Because we were deceived by a religious spirit that advanced the lie that Christians were not only different but better than the world and that “bad things only happened to bad people”.

Even though we knew in our hearts that something was amiss with this thought, we fell for the gimmick and were devastated when our children failed to live up to the unreasonable expectations we had come to believe should be required of those professing Christianity. What made matters worse was that there was no lack of self-righteous individuals who really believed their children were “phenomenal” and were quick to condemn those who displayed a “lower level of spirituality”! Distraught, we approached those we had esteemed as model families, only to discover that in reality, we were the ones who had elevated them to being not only models, but perfect. But, they all had issues! Every family had issues because every person had issues. Once we reconsidered the impossibility of creating perfect families from imperfect people, we were freed from having to pretend that things were “phenomenal” because they weren’t. My imperfect family could now enjoy each other’s company, in spite of the imperfections, rather than arrogantly professing the impossible. We learned that God’s love cannot be earned; that love was a decision rather than a feeling; and that there was no better place to practice love than within the close proximity of the imperfect members of our family. Our decision to home educate really brought the imperfections of our family to light. Once it was established that we would love each other no matter what, we were presented with plenty of opportunities to test that resolve. Honesty, admitting error, forgiveness, looking out for each other’s welfare while striving to come to knowledge of the truth, built us a family of imperfection basking in the perfect love of our Lord. Christ died to set us free, not to put on us a yoke of bondage.

Today, our children are all grown up and have imperfect families of their own. I know it is hard for grandparents to admit that those wonderful grand-kids are imperfect, but we continue to emphasize that fact. Our family continues to be tried, tested, hurt, betrayed, discouraged, disappointed, attacked, smashed and bewildered, but we continue to love and support one another in ways that the imperfect world should see as the greatest gift anyone can give another. This unconditional and undeserved love that we freely receive from our perfect God is all we need and it is all that we can truly pass on. We remain each others’ best friends in spite of all the harm the world has dealt to us. Our “phenomenal” children are indeed phenomenal in that they sincerely love one another and are there for each other during every trial and temptation. From a Christian parent’s perspective we have the best things available on this side of heaven. Not perfect, but blessed, as it is the free gift from God.

Who says we should strive to be a perfect family? Arrogant, self-righteous individuals who turn people off from receiving the unconditional love of God with their impossible, religious expectations for a Christian life. Let Him “perfect” your family in his love!

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