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Who’s Your Daddy?

As usual, my blog posts start because I’ve been reading something.  This time it was An Emotionally Healthy Church.  The premise of the book is that an emotionally healthy church has emotionally healthy leadership, and it recommends some steps to becoming emotionally healthy.  But I’m having trouble with one of the steps.

The author of the book suggests that you evaluate your relationships with your family to see how prior patterns are influencing your attitudes today.  I tried to do that, but it’s hard.  I think I am more influenced than I want to believe, but I cannot decide what those influences are.

 An old Chinese proverb says, “If you want to know what water is, don’t ask a fish.”  The reason is that a fish is surrounded by water, lives and breathes it…water is tied to the idea of what it means to be a fish.  And it’s tied so closely, a fish can’t take a larger view and explain it.

That’s how I feel about trying to understand how my family connections influence me today.  I want to understand it – I think my family has influenced me both positively and negatively.  But I’m too close to it.  I can’t see what parts of me are influenced by my family, and what parts of me are actually, umm, me.  If that sounds confusing, it’s because it confuses me.

It probably influences my marriage as well.  My wife and I sometimes talk about our expectations for marriage – her parents marriage and mine were completely different.  Not necessarily better or worse, just different.  So it influences our marriage.  But like fish in water, we don’t always see it.

I worry about that for my son, too.  I want him to learn good things from me, and leave the bad stuff behind.  But if I can’t understand how to do that in my life, how can I help him as he grows up?  The book gives a few suggestions.  I think I need to work on it some more.  Any suggestions?

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  1. brianmcl
    October 30, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Isn’t this where Triangular Christianity comes in? It is impossible for us to be purely objective by ourselves, but through the conviction of the Spirit and having others in our lives who can do this for us…then we can learn. Of course, those of us who don’t know your family are no help for you…but we can help your son from making your mistakes!!! (please do the same for my family!).

  2. Star
    November 12, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    I definitely believe that the family that I grew up with for the first 16 years of my life have impacted my life beliefs and fears that I have today. My greatest sin I have had is not trusting God with my children, even though I know in my head that he created them and gave them to Larry and I. That attitude came when I grew up in an abusive home and cried out to God to take me away, and he did nothing. I thought if God could not take care of me in my childhood years how could he take care of my girls. So I held on tight and told God I would protect them at all costs. Well I since have grown in that area, not there yet but able to see how God took my abusive childhood to make me the Mom and Wife I am today. It has allowed me to minister to people on the outskirts of life. People that don’t normally fit inot a small suburban Baptist church, people that can see how Jesus changed my heart and attitude toward my parents. I think it made me a better mother to Brianne and Shannon as they in turn were never closed minded on different people. People with wild hair, tatoos, Gays, prisoners, durg addicts, etc., the very people Jesus came to this earth to comfort, heal, and save. He didn’t come for the well. So even though my relatinonship has affected my attitude in a negative way sometimes it also has helped my light for Christ to the Lost. I mentioned even as a wife, and that is because Larry and I grew up so different also, and he has always told me I have helped him so much to not judge people by their outward apperance and to look at maybe their background or current situation they are in. I agree with Triangular Christianity that it takes more than Larry and I to raise Shannon, Brianne is already raised. It is getting easier to trust God with Shannon, it is a day to day struggle, give her to God than take her back, but with the awesome Christ centered people that Godd, not me has put in her path this past year, God has proven to me not that he had to but it has given me hope that he does want the best for Shannon even better than I can imagine. Thanks Brian and Nikki for investing in Shannon’s life. I know God put you there, and it helps to trust him. So I am taking Baby steps and praying on my knees for God to conquer that sin in my life.

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