As motivated Christian parents we often think brokenness will never characterize our homes. Many reading this post are likely diligent about investing in their marriages, discipling their children, and leading their families to be missional in everyday life. Despite our best efforts, brokenness can quickly invade our homes. Everyone experiences moments or seasons of brokenness; in their marriages, with their children, in their lives. As designed by God, every member of the family is interwoven with the others. When one is broken we all experience the dysfunctional effects of brokenness. Sadly, for some Christians, the first reaction is to hide the issues, adding to the painful schism we never anticipated.
The Bible is wrought with families committed to God that experience seasons of intense brokenness. As you will recall, Adam and Eve had two boys (among others), Cain and Abel. In a horrific moment of rage Cain murders Abel and is forever marked as broken. How’s that for trauma? And in the very first family. Remember Abraham and Sarah? They became so impatient with God’s promise to give them a son that Sarah decided Abraham should sleep with her maidservant. He does and Ishmael is born. Later, Sarah bears Isaac and soon Abraham’s sons from two different women thrust the family into a broken feud that continues to this very moment. King David’s house was anything but functional. King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 harem girls in disobedience to Gods commands. We could go on and on…
Why do we experience brokenness?
There are many specific and unique reasons that you may be experiencing brokenness at home. In general terms, there are really three reasons that we experience the kind of shattered brokenness that only Christ can make right.
- Sin – This could be obvious sin or hidden. It could be ours or others’ but we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This is the most basic reason we experience brokenness in the home. When even one member of the family pridefully yields to sin and self, the entire family suffers.
- Rebellion – Sin not admitted and repented gives way to rebellion. This could be our rebellion, spousal rebellion, or the rebellion of one of our children. Any rebellion in the heart of any member impacts the entire family negatively.
- Harsh circumstances that break us. – Sometimes we experience circumstances that simply usher in a sense of brokenness. Trauma or abuse imposed on a member of the family, unfortunate financial crisis, disease, death, etc. are all examples of real life circumstances that cause brokenness at home.
Where should we turn when our once peaceful homes become broken and devoid of peace?
When home is broken we need power to overcome and power to heal. This is only found in the Lord.
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in Spirit”
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:13-14 “He strengthens the bars of your gates; He blesses your children within you. He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.”
5 steps to take to find help and hope when home is broken:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your part in the brokenness. We have to own our part. When we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our sin so we can confess it, He is faithful to do just that.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
- Repent of your sin or rebellion and reconcile with those you have sinned against. Once the Holy Spirit reveals your sin, repent. Ask God to forgive you and seek forgiveness from those you have sinned against in the process. The Bible tells us that when we confess and repent, God forgives and restores. What hope!
- Find hope in the Scriptures. In times of brokenness it is easy to lose sight of the promises of God for people who believe Him. These promises are contained in the Scriptures and bring hope and instruction to difficult and depressing situations.
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
- Tell someone. Seek counsel and find support when the situation is beyond you. You may be dealing with something that feels overwhelming to you. Perhaps it’s a personal stronghold, an addiction, an abuse that you or a family member has suffered that you need help navigating, or even a prodigal child that is devastating you. We are always better together. Don’t try to go it alone. Trust someone else to intercede for your family.
- Pray without ceasing and pray with others. There is power in prayer. Prayer is our best way to turn to God for the answers, the healing, the miracle, the mending that our family needs. The Scriptures teach that praying together is powerful. Pray a lot and pray with others.