Overcoming Family Background

Straight Talk

The Question

It bothers me that some of us are born into loving Christian families while others are born into abusive, non-Christian homes. I have a difficult time believing that God loves some more than others. Why should some of us have so much more to overcome and maybe (because of our beginning) never do overcome?

PH from Seguin, Texas

The Answer
Part 1: It’s not fair
Part 2: Overcoming

It’s not fair (Part 1)

Without you really saying so, I can pretty well guess which of the two backgrounds described matches your own. I think you are feeling at a disadvantage right out of the box because you had a very difficult family situation and you are experiencing the results of it to this day. That’s understandable.

Let’s start off with honesty. As we look at others it’s easy to think they got a better deal than us because maybe some of them did. Maybe some of them were born into families in which there were generational blessings at work. Maybe a great-grandmother was on her knees praying for her descendants and they are reaping that line of blessings. They didn’t “deserve” them either but someone before them paid the price.

Or, maybe they have opened their own line of blessings by the way they are living their life now. Or, maybe too, they have a set of challenges and difficulties that we have no idea about. Some of them may look at your blessings and wish for a trade. Know this for sure: everyone has blessings in some area of life but challenges in some other area. In that we are all equal.

Does that mean God loves some more than others? No. Remember that our Heavenly Father willingly sacrificed his only Son for ALL. His death on the cross is our greatest proof of his love. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Yet sin and its affects continue to this day. A parent abuses a child or a husband abandons a wife or a woman decides to get an abortion. All sin. The only way to really stop any more of it is for God to withdraw his gift of free will. Would any of us want that? Of course we might favor God removing the other guy’s free will—not our own.

Short of that, the consequences of sin will continue to affect innocent people. Like maybe what happened to you. But before we feel like victims, let’s admit that our own sin has also had consequences, which has probably affected other people.

Overcoming (Part 2)

This may sound a little harsh but don’t sit around contemplating how unfair your life is. If you come from an especially challenging background, be the first in your family to reverse it and provide some “undeserved” blessings for your future generations.

YOU be the mother/grandmother on her knees to open up a line of grace and blessing for the future. You be the one who overcomes your difficulties to become a trophy of God’s grace for the remainder of your life. You be the one that others look at and say “WOW! She has overcome a lot and she is not bitter.” You can be a role modal for others who also need to overcome.

How? I’m not saying it is easy, only that it is worth it. Seek godly counseling if you need to and do the hard work of forgiveness. Cultivate gratitude for all the blessings you do have. Develop a daily prayer time with study of God’s Word that will help you renew your mind. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Your transformation may not occur overnight but over time. That’s okay. It will be good to look back year after year and see that you have made progress. You will have all the more to praise God for because of his wonderful faithfulness. The generations under you will also have lots to praise God for because they won’t have as many challenges to overcome. Give them that gift!