Welcome to this eleventh month of glory, where God will deck you and your family with miracles in all aspects of life in Jesus’ name! This month, we shall be exploring Handling Family Challenges.
I have observed that the topmost on the counselling list of churches are family-related issues. Many people have questions about the family, for which a few people seem to have adequate answers. The general impression is that no human being can enjoy success in family life. But nothing could be farther from the truth. God, the designer of marriage and family, designed it to be successful and to be enjoyed. His purpose for instituting marriage remains the same. Nothing can alter it, not even civilisation, technological advancement or philosophical reasoning. Therefore, the fact that many families are frustrated, unhappy, fed up and failing does not tamper with the truth of God’s Word. Marriage is designed for success. This truth must be appreciated in order to be appropriated. That is precisely why the Word says: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8). Success in all areas of life is God’s will for you, but it does not come by chance.
A successful family is where there is joy and laughter, where scarcity is not known and where rest and love are found. This is God’s utmost desire for you. Just like every game or sport has rules guiding it, there are rules to follow to enjoy a successful family life. Breaking any of them does not only disqualify you from having a successful family but also results in challenges in the family.
What are challenges? According to the Oxford Dictionary, challenges are defined as difficult tasks that test somebody’s ability. Therefore, handling family challenges from the definitions above can be said to be the ability to deal with, manage or control some difficult situations in the family. In order words, it requires taking care of the family by removing every destructive element in it.
Therefore, there are some little foxes that pose challenges to our peace, joy and happiness in our family life. The Word says: Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes (Song of Solomon 2:15). Foxes are usually identified with destruction in the Scripture; they are little things that some may think are too insignificant to merit any attention. But it is amazing to discover that these foxes can cause destruction of all sorts in marriages and families if not properly handled.
What are these foxes that can lead to family challenges and how they can be successfully handled to give rest?
Unforgiveness: This is a grudge against someone who has offended you, and this breeds bitterness. The Word says: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15). The term “springing up” connotes a thing that starts little and then suddenly shoots up. Bitterness starts from very little things. Perhaps your spouse or a family member has done something to hurt you, and you refuse to forgive him or her, and every remembrance of the incident brings pain to you. Watch it! That is a root of bitterness springing up gradually. If not handled immediately, it will ultimately trouble you.
It is important to note that unforgiveness has many negative effects, ranging from loss of peace and rest to falling short of the grace of God. Not only does it trouble individuals, but it goes beyond that to defile the person (Acts 8:23).
Also, unforgiveness and bitterness torment, and they open the door to the tormentors of life, such as poverty, barrenness, sickness and the likes in the family.
Now that we know the effects of unforgiveness and bitterness, wisdom demands that we properly handle them to have success in family life. Therefore, to overcome unforgiveness and bitterness, the answer is simple to forgive! The Bible says: Let all bitterness…be put away from you, with all malice (Ephesians 4:31). Forgive whosoever has offended you. Don’t wait for the person to come and apologise because he may not. Learn the secret of instant forgiveness. That is forgive as soon as you are offended, whether the offender asks for it or not. This is one of the secrets of success in family life. The Word says: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work (James 3:16).
Many have lost their families to bitterness; you don’t have to join them. This principle of instant forgiveness has helped me a great deal. My husband and I practise it, and it has paid off for us. It pays to forgive!
However, to live a life of forgiveness, you need the help of Jesus. If you are not born-again, please say this prayer of faith: Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner, and I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your Precious Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan to serve the Living God. From today, Lord Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You Jesus for saving me! Now, I am Born-again.
Congratulations! You are now born-again and a child of God. He loves you and will never leave or forsake you. With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace, in Jesus’ name! Please write or call to share your testimonies with me through email@example.com OR 08141320204 and 07026385437.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores: Building a Successful Family,Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Success in Marriage (Co-Authored with Bishop David Oyedepo), Success Strategies (Bishop David Oyedepo), and The Wisdom that Works (Bishop David Oyedepo).