Healing Wounds Caused by Family

By Yetta Yao, June 16, 2017 01:06 AM

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Psychology gives various theories (like "victim of a dysfunctional family" and "the inner child") to free individuals from the influence of family, guiding patients to discover people and events that hurt them such as what others think about them, criticism, and abuse. It identifies these negative experiences as causes of their psychological wounds.

However, Sha Yu, one of the authors of "Faith Brain Trust" and a contributor to a church WeChat account, asked in his article "How to Walk Out of the Influence of Family, "Are all these questions generated by the family? Can psychology really completely cure wounds caused by family?

It's true that one's family absolutely has an impact on character and behavior, but the reality is that family produces more good results for us than bad. Psychology tends to drag people into hatred to their family, but hatred is wrong. The author warned people with such an attitude to ponder whether they lack a grateful heart. Those kinds of Christians don't count the grace God gives them through their family.

A female Christian I know sought the reason why she was full of bitterness and hated the world. The answer was that her family led to the majority of her problems including mistrusting her pastor, fearing the pastor's criticism, and refusing to confess her problems to the pastor. Her parents criticized and beat her with a scolding whenever she made a mistake, hence she held a grudge against her mother. She later remembered in prayer that she was very naughty in her childhood and her mother, who seldom cried, wept for her wickedness and even wanted to commit suicide. Actually she hurt her mother more, so she was disqualified to blame her mother.

Sha also stated that hurting others is unavoidable in a sinful world. Everyone bites others and is a victim. Keeping record of how others hurt you while ignoring how you hurt others only deepens hurting one another, and doesn't contribute to healing. Shifting responsibility to others fails to obey biblical teaching. Fallen people only blame others (Genesis 3:11-13). In fact, many churches fall into such incorrect teaching.

What does the Bible say? The Holy Book tells us that the influence of family is not the decisive factor, whether it is positive or negative. It shows that Ahaz was a bad king (2 Kings 16:1-4) while his son Hezekiah was a good king (2 Kings 18:24) who then had a bad son named Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1-2).

What is the first step in healing? The author believes that you should follow the Bible and examine yourself before God rather than make a searching enquiry into how others hurt you. Otherwise you will live in bitterness. The Bible claims that "each one should test their own actions" (Galatians 6:4). It also records, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)

In addition, he holds that the best way to deal with hurt is to forget it. "Forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead," (Philippians 3:13), as God forgets our sins (Micah 7:19). Christians should not rake up old grievances every day because it displeases God. Instead, we should choose to forgive those who hurt us.

Moreover, Christians should believe in the power of God. Our Savior can sympathize with our weaknesses and struggles, and his wide, long, high, and deep love can lead you out of these negative consequences (Romans 8:28-29). His comfort overcomes all infirmities. "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. " (John 9:3) Our hurt will definitely be healed by God, which will become a precious testimony that can even be used to edify people who are similarly hurt.

The author concluded that Christians should deal with negative impacts from family according to principles. It's unnecessary to be controlled by these impacts which don't decide your future. Walk out of all the hurt and heal the grief by the gospel of God. 

Translated by Karen Luo

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