During the Holidays, many of us reflect on spending time with family. Ideally we hope for meaningful family experiences of love, belonging and celebration. These images are portrayed in popular art such as this classic Norman Rockwell’s portrait. Originally appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell portrays a joyous family homecoming at Christmas. We love the picture of an entire family together, having a wonderful time. Although we should never compare our family to these types of portraits, the images fascinate and compel us to imagine what our own families could be like. Wouldn’t it be great if somehow we could experience the kind of closeness, warmth, and support of the classic “All-American family?”
Unfortunately, some families that may seem to be healthy to outsiders, upon an honest examination are on the verge of crisis (or in active crisis already). Even more families face an epidemic of disconnection, chaos and separation. When family connections are suffering, it can be most apparent and painful during the holiday season.
Leading a family during the Christmas season is one of the most important roles that one can take. Whether you are a mother, father, son or daughter, you can contribute to the strength of your family. If you are single, or currently without children, keep in mind that your contribution to the church community is also a family experience. Making the decision to make family a priority is available to everyone.
Finding victory in your family experience means setting priorities, as well as seeking a new perspective on a daily basis. Whether you are the family in the Norman Rockwell picture above, or you face a difficult and complex situation this Christmas, focus on this truth:
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD Himself, is the Rock eternal.”
We can never avoid strife in the world around us, but we can choose to fix our thoughts on God. When we make this choice, God promises us perfect peace, even in difficult times. The above scripture counsels us to focus our mind on God and His Word. As we do this, our mind becomes steady and stable. This stability can become a powerful influence in any family situation.
Use the reflection questions below to assess where your influence is most needed in your family this Christmas. Consider writing these reflections in a notebook or journal.
If you’re facing a challenge this Christmas or feeling overwhelmed and alone, maybe it’s time to reach out for help. Call us, we would be glad to start meeting with you over the Holidays. Christian Counseling Associates is available!