|pic from on-line|
There's a song from the hippie years with the chorus, "Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends...." and so on and so on. It's about different relationship struggles. Break-ups, husbands and wives, kids and parents, neighbors. All the things that can bring strife into our world.
The truth of the matter, is that we have lost our way to live in harmony with one another. Ever since the peace of God's initial creation was broken in Eden, humanity has become more and more separated. Causing relationships to be hard.
We are called to do hard things.
Anyone who has had any interaction with another person knows that we sometimes run into prickly situations. A lot of those situations happen within our families. The relationships between kids and parents is rife with contention. The older our kids get the more contentious that can become. As the independent spirit of our children grows with age. Unless we as parents are letting go of our tendencies to control our little ones, the bond become ourselves and our kids can become strained. There's several different reasons for us to want to control our kids. Part of it's expectations of society. Part of it's wanting to make sure our kids are safer than we were as a child. I think a big part for me is just not trusting others to make the best decision. Whatever reason we have for trying to micromanage our kids, it needs to be analyzed and let go of so that our kids can grow up to make decisions and make their own choices. Good or bad.
As if family dynamics weren't hard enough with just your immediate family, there is also our in-laws. The people responsible for bringing up and raising our partners. Our partners bring a whole different take on this thing called life. They have experiences, wounds and expectations of how they think it should go. How the kids should be raised. Sometimes that jives with our own opinions. Sometimes it doesn't. But either way, it is paramount that their are open and honest discussions between you so that ten years down the road you are still on the same page.
Our in-laws have opinions about life. They want to be involved and there for things their grandkids are a part of. There are schedules to balance with work, activities and education. If you have multiple sets of grands that can be tricky to. Because then everything needs to be balanced and fair. There will be eventual disappointments that maybe one set isn't taking the time or investing in your kids. Or maybe all the grands are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don't even think about their grandkids. That causes a whole new level of hurt. It can cause wounds from childhood to come up in our lives and then be passed on to our own children. Broken people cause brokenness. It can be a nasty, unending cycle.
Until we say I forgive you and recognize your limitations.
Relationships are hard. Families are hard. Creating harmony out of dysfunction can be awkward and weird. But it's necessary. Oh so necessary. Families need to love, forgive and move forward.