At Thanksgiving, we love to see those advertisements with a happy family sitting around a big table enjoying their turkey feast and fellowshipping with each other. This is a part of our American tradition where families love to get together, especially during the holidays.
But what about dysfunctional families?
A friend recalls his childhood family experiences with horror. His mom adored his older brother, but from his earliest years onward, he can only remember his mom’s contempt for him. She would punish him for the smallest infractions by spanking him always hard enough to make him cry. Then she would continue spanking him until he would quit crying. A no-win situation for a four or five year old child.
“You will never amount to anything in your life!” his mom proclaimed to him over and over again.
And guess what?
His brother grew up to be a wealthy businessman, but my friend was always in trouble. First, in elementary school and then later on as a juvenile delinquent. At 18 years of age, my friend forged a check for ten dollars. The judge sentenced him to ten years in prison for his crime.
His mom never once wrote him a letter or visited him while he was in prison.
When I first met my friend, he was thirty-five years old and had spent half his life in prison. He had become a Christian, had joined a church once, had been on fire for the Lord, but the church had treated him poorly. So, as you can imagine, my friend had trust issues.
I prayed over him once and had a quick vision. In it, I saw him sitting on a cot in a prison cell. He was weeping buckets of tears as he faced a brick wall. The vision panned outward, revealing that the prison door was wide open. All he had to do was stand up, turn around and walk out the door to his freedom.
To this day, my friend is still sitting in bondage to his childhood past.
This is an extreme example, but there are thousands of others that are much, much worse.
My prayer today:
Lord, send Your Spirit to bring Good News to families and their members, to proclaim liberty to any captives, to open blind eyes and free those who might be suffering from ill treatment by their families. (Based on Luke 4:18)
Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for our families.