God’s Redemption in a Broken Family

Brokenness began when sin entered the world. At the beginning God created the perfect family unit with Adam and Eve, they got to commune with God and were unified as one. Once they gave into temptation they were separated from God, which brought brokenness and strife within their family. The first family unit to ever be created was now broken. Sin had permeated their hearts, resulting in jealousy, hatred, and then murder between Cain and Abel. Even after God warned Cain, he still chose to give in to his fleshly desires. “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Gen. 4:7). Sin is crouching at the door of the family unit and so often we see families being shaken up and torn apart. The home, which is meant to feel safe, a place to belong, no longer feels secure or loving. There are daily disputes and fighting between husband and wife; constant bickering and name-calling between siblings. When we give into the flesh and open the door to sin rather than what is right it affects the home and our relationships.

Sarai, who was promised a child became impatient with God and took things into her own hands by having her husband take her servant, Hagar, as his mistress. This, not being God’s way, brought contempt, hatred, and cruelty within the family. Sarah and Hagar didn’t get along but neither did Ishmael and Isaac as Sarah kicked them out when she saw Ishmael making fun of her son. Such strife poisoned Abraham’s family and yet God still brought beauty out of ashes as He not only promised an inheritance to Isaac but also made a great nation come from Hagar’s son as well. In the midst of heartache and brokenness, God can still breathe life and redemption into any situation. For it was out of one dysfunctional family after another that brought us the greatest gift: Jesus. God can still work through our brokenness to accomplish His purpose and plan to build His Kingdom. Sin has broken the family system but God is still good and faithful to bring something beautiful out of it. 

What is Redemption?

The dictionary defines redemption as “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error or evil; the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.” Jesus paid our debt by going to the cross so that we can be made right in the sight of God. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners…For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his son while we’re still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his son. So now we can rejoice…our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God” (Romans 5: 8, 10-11). Through Jesus we can be set free from the bondage of sin. When life gets difficult we tend to want to run from our problems or claim we need a “break from life.” However, what we really need is the redeeming grace that we can only be received through Jesus. It’s only through the redemption that we can fully gain power from the Holy Spirit and momentum that will carry us through our difficult patches of life. 

Allow God to redeem your story

There is not a single family or household that is perfect. All are flawed! All need God’s redeeming grace! Family can bring an overwhelming sense of joy, and family can bring an unbearable amount of pain. By God’s design, the family unit relationship can be intense, as it is created to be a powerful experience of a sense of belonging, connectedness, and nurture. The family holds a bond that is set apart from other human interactions as it is defined only by God; no one gets to choose what family they end up in. We are stuck with messy people whose personalities clash with ours, everyone is selfish, and yet we depend on one another, we need each other. To survive such a family we have to learn to share, help, trust and forgive one another because if each family member doesn’t contribute to these values the family suffers and reaps the consequence. However, when we choose to uphold these values and learn them well we will become well-equipped to shine Jesus; we will bring light not only to our family but into the world. Whether this is for better or for worse within your own situation, nothing or no one is so far off that God can’t bring redemption. The world is broken and families are made up of broken people but thankfully our God is an expert in mending and restoring broken pieces.

How to choose redemption within your family

Surrender! Throw your hands up in the air and recognize you can’t do it alone, you can’t do it without a Savior. Then hand the wheel over to Jesus and give Him control. Brokenness and hardship are inevitable, there is nothing we can do to prevent it, however, we can discover the good and beautiful things that come from and through the broken pieces of our lives when we completely surrender. It is when we relinquish control and offer our lives back to Him in worship that our eyes will be open to see the beauty of God’s redeeming grace. 

There are often sinful factors that are contributing to the brokenness of a family, which means along with surrender must come repentance. Repentance means genuinely turning away from your own sinful desires toward God. It involves a change of heart and mind. When we choose repentance we can stand firm on this promise, “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9). Turning towards God doesn’t mean all hardships cease, but it does make them easier to walk through. Persevere! Brokenness can become wearisome but don’t lose sight of Jesus. Fix your eyes only on Him and you will endure, which will lead to joy. God didn’t make a mistake when he gave you your family, so trust in Him that He will do the work to rebuild and strengthen your family unit. 

God has had his hand on the family since the beginning. No situation is too big for our God. He is capable of taking your mess and using it to bring Him glory.