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Family Hate
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They were all there…father, mother, two sons, a daughter with her newborn son. It was a family reunion. But, the gathering was in court.

The mother sat with the children in one row and the father sat alone in another row. There was tension so thick it felt like a heavy fog settling over the group. There were definite sides drawn up that no one could cross without feeling like they were betraying the side they came from.

It was a hard scene to watch. Dad had been out of the family for several years. The teenage boys didn’t have a relationship with dad because mom and dad were fighting. You could see in their eyes they wanted to go up to dad and give him a hug, but it might hurt mom, so they refrained. The daughter wanted her dad to hold his newborn grandchild, but she didn’t approach him because she was afraid to hurt her mother.

Dad didn’t approach any of his children because of the deep wounds he felt with mom. He didn’t know how to let go of his pain to reach out to his family. He was missing so much, too much, but he just didn’t see it.

A Turn For the Worse

I saw it. I saw it all and it broke my heart. At one time this was a Christian family. Dad and mom were Christian believers. The children had grown up attending a Christian church. Now…Christ was outside. The kids were no longer attending a church or praying at home. The boys had gotten mixed up in drugs and gangs. Their school attendance and production dropped off the charts. They didn’t have any clue where they were going or how to get there. Dad wasn’t there for them.

Families are being torn apart by divorce. The pain is real. It is pervasive. “Hate” ruins relationships. Resentment settles in and stubbornness refuses to accept healing.

Jesus came to heal people. Perhaps the most important healing is the healing of the heart. Jesus wants to heal hurting hearts. He tells us to “love our enemies” (Matthew 5:44). That “enemy” can be about husbands and wives.

Satan knows how powerful a loving family can be. He is making every effort to pit family members against each other. But, God has a counter plan to bring families back together. He promises: "…He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..."  (Malachi 4:5,6).

All we have to do is let go of our resentments, bitterness and hate and let God bring the love back. We need to pray that God will fulfill His promises in our families one relationship at a time.
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By Chad McComas. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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