Family is the basic or fundamental unit of society. It consists of both structural and functional components. It is influenced by both inherited and environmental factors. Ones membership of the family starts and ends with anticipation and expectation. Prior to conception a lot of things were done to prepare for the pregnancy that includes but is not limited to physician visits, balanced diet, smoking cessation, alcohol stop, and preparatory psychological, financial, and social factors. After the period of conception many activities (clinic visits, preparation lessons, right food, etc) were carried out to ensure that all goes well now and during delivery. At the time of delivery happiness perfumes the air if all things went well as anticipated but if otherwise sorrow can invade the atmosphere. In either way stress is added to the family as in cases of complication-free birth the stress is considered as positive whereas in cases of complication-full birth, especially when life loss is involved, it is seen as a negative stress.
A functional family does not mean a perfect family but the fine line lies in ensuring that the family remains functional whatever comes along. It involves plans and planning. If one fails to plan, one plans to fail. A TRUE family is where Trust, Respect, Unity, and Encouragement reign. We should trust the family in time of success and failure. Let your family know who you are; one does not have to live in the shadow of pretense. Respect gives birth to respect; one earns respect by giving respect. It works through the law of reciprocality. Let the family unite in love and law. Genuine love for the family also involves setting boundaries. We should forgive and forget when the boundaries are crossed. It is important to encourage each other in the family and be there for each other in time of surplus and scarcity, happiness and hardship, success and failure, grace and disgrace, glory and gloom, joy and sorrow, obedience and disobedience, and appointment and disappointment.
Encourage free communication in the family and promote culture and nurture. Let everyone look forward to the family anniversary, gathering, meal table, fellowship, or special time. It is good to keep a family diary. Let us be quick to listen but slow to answer, yes and to keep family secret secrets. In spite of all these measures we should anticipate that things may go in the wrong direction but the family should patiently and conscientiously work and restore things to normal if possible. It is not the trials and problems we face that define us but we are defined by how we weather the storm – to overcome or live with it where it is not possible to overcome. We can make the best out of a terrible situation. A nation in Africa plagued by the genocide overcame the trial through forgiveness, love, justice, and putting the past from the present and back to the past.
A dysfunctional family could arise from ANGER. Anger is one of the culprits in a dysfunctional home. We can choose to overcome anger with love, do not say or do anything when you are angry but walk away from the scene at the moment. Of course that does not prevent a healthy discussion when the anger subsides. Negative attitudes destroy a functional home, even ones immune system; so one can be more susceptible to diseases. Try a positive thinking attitude and see how your body immunity will build up and the rate of flu or depressed mood will decrease. A “Getting” syndrome creates an atmosphere of apathy in a family so replace it with giving. Remember it is more blessed to give than to get, our Lord advised.
Extravagancy can drain the purse and pulse of the family. One of the causes of divorce is finance, so it is good for the family to live within the family budget and if there needs to be any deviation it would be wise to come together as a family and discuss it. Everyone is important in the family and should be equally represented. Rudeness ruins family. It pays to be courteous but pains to be rude. Above all these sayings a relationship with God can “de-dysfunction” or “re-function” a family. Why not try Him today? No consultation fee! No insurance company requirement but His assurance reinforcement and companionship.
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