At least once a week I am in the homes of folks who have visited our worship services or Life Groups. Over the years I have been in hundreds of homes and almost every one has pictures of the family members. Some are simply school pics placed on the fridge with a magnate while others are ornate formal sittings. I’ve seen hunting pics, camping pics, skiing pics, Christmas pics, prom pics, wedding pics, black and whites, beach pics, “Lady Godiva” pics (yikes), pics where the old boyfriend was torn out, and the list goes on….. NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING PICTURES OF FAMILY… I recommend it, endorse it, it is a great idea! They give a family a sense who they are or who they want to be. My house is covered with em!
Most families do their best to represent the family well when they are “out and about”… and they should.
THE PROBLEM: Many times the family picture of warm smiles and happy embraces is anything but an accurate reflection of what is actually going on in the home. Don’t misunderstand, all families have issues to deal with. However, I have watched families, especially folks who are in church (who feel some misplaced pressure to look and act a certain way), do all they can to “protect” the happy images represented in the pictures that hang on their walls…… while their family implodes. After the damage has been done most say they were too embarrassed to seek help….
The problems associated with deceitfulness, control, anger, lust, apathy, abuse, money, depression, suspicion, mismanagement, hypocrisy, fear, idols etc……When the family becomes a dumping ground for these issues and all members are expected to ignore, cover up and act like the “pretty family” in the pictures…it causes immeasurable harm in the following ways…
- teaches the kids to prioritize what others think vs. what God thinks. (Prov 29:25)
- trains family members to be (even bigger) hypocrites. (Matt 6:16)
- “hard wires” family members, who may want to “walk authentically” with God, to hide their sin from Him. (Psalm 32:5)
- builds resentment and distance between each other and those who want to get close to them. (kids future spouses) (Job 5:2)
- places mother and father is the positions of “chief liars” not Godly leaders. (Prov 19:22)
- weaves the problems into the fabric of our homes and breed dysfunction as a way of life. (Hebrews 12:1)
- developes a “mini-culture” of secret-sin that become almost a family treasure.
Men: Deal with your own junk before you fix your family. How can you lead your family if you can’t lead yourself? Get real.
Women: Don’t worry as much about what others think. Do they really care about your family…. or how they rank next to your family?
Both: Love Jesus…. yea, I know, but it will radically change your family.