Featured in the July, 2014 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
It seems in every family circle there is a problem person. This one may be a child, a teen, father, mother, husband, wife, an in-law.
The problem may be a physical disability or medical problem. It may be a mental or emotional problem. It may be an addiction. Sometimes we get so focused on this individual in our relationship that we fail to see that almost every family has an out-of-pattern person. The situation can become bewildering and sometimes overwhelming. What are we to do? How is a difficult or awkward situation to be handled? Here are some suggestions:
1. Don’t blame God! The world He created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Human sinfulness has made this a fallen, broken world and everyone is impacted in some way.
2. See the opportunity in the adverse or awkward situation. This can be an occasion of personal growth for you. Here also is an opportunity to develop patience. Your understanding and compassion for others can be deepened and broadened for everyone has some trouble in his life. Let God work in your life in the midst of this difficult situation.
3. Don’t build your life around the problem person. Yes, extra time will be required. There may be trips to counselors, doctors or therapy groups. But, you must have a life of your own! Enlist other family members to help with the care that is needed. Have a family session and lay out a plan for broad involvement. Your life will become lopsided and out-of-balance, unless Jesus is at the center. Do not allow the needy person in your life to be the center of your life.
4. Live one day at a time. Leave yesterday behind, and tomorrow is not yet here. “As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25). Don’t get the feeling that life is too much and you just can’t handle it. If you can make it through today, then all is well.
5. Remember, you are not alone! The days may be long and the nights still longer. Others you counted upon will fail you. At times, you may feel trapped in a situation with a problem person. There will be moments when you are sure there is no hope and no future. This is when you cling steadfastly to the sure promise of your Savior who said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
When you are frustrated, exhausted, overwhelmed and feel at your wits end, then it is time to recall and to reaffirm that “the Lord is my helper” (Hebrews 13:6).