How many times have you thought… “That family is weird!?” Guess what… people think that about you and your family!

Last July 10, my dad passed away.  Since then I’ve attended a number of other funerals with yesterday being one for my uncle on my mother’s side.  Since the funeral… along with thinking about my dad’s family… I’ve reflected on what families are like.  See if you can identify with a few thoughts (These include my mom, dad, and wife’s families).

Every family is dysfunctional… it’s just a matter of degree (Most of the time we either ignore the dysfunction or keep it a family secret.  Virtually every family has been wounded by divorce, substance abuse, moral issues, and emotional problems… just for starters.). If your family doesn’t have a black sheep… that means YOU’RE IT (Surprise)! God puts us in a family to learn how to love difficult people (Uhhh… I’m not always the easiest person to love so I’m glad I have family!).

Now for a few thoughts gleaned from listening, observing, and thinking about my family ON THREE SIDES (Mom, Dad, Wife).  Oh… I’m pretty sure these are universal AND (sadly) I’m guilty of a few of these.

Everyone thinks they know how others in their family OUGHT to behave… (Ouch).

There is usually one person and/or sub-family that is the glue that holds the rest of the family together.  They also tend to be very people and relational oriented.  Thank God for these people!

Everyone thinks they know what would fix problems other family members have… (Ouch #2).

There are family members who are peace keepers and peace makers. God bless them!

Many think they are doing better than others in the family in select areas… (Ouch #3).

There are usually several family members who do as much as they can to help other family members who are struggling and having a tough time.  They will be rewarded by God!

There is usually at least one outcast (By their own choice, not by family decree).

Everyone has secrets they think are hidden, that the family talks about out of concern (NOTE: If someone will talk to you about someone else, they will talk to someone else about you!)

There always seems to be one that is by default the patriarch or matriarch… everyone defers to them on family decisions (I’m thankful for that person!).

There always seems to be someone that is just plain pushing the envelope on one or more issues…

There are usually one or two that are at odds with each other but are civil at family gatherings.  Everyone else in the family wishes they make amends…

The main thing every person in the family wants is to be loved and accepted by the rest of the family!

No family is perfect… they all have dysfunction because you and I are in them.  We didn’t choose our family and they didn’t choose us, but we love them and hope they love us.  Family is family.  They are the ones who will stick by your side no matter your faults, oddities, or mistakes… and we do the same for them.

So as for me, I’m thankful to God for my family members… ALL of them!  I wouldn’t choose any other one to have.  Each Uncle, Aunt, cousin, and In-law is special to me for many different reasons.  This I know, if there was a perfect family… I couldn’t be in it!

Thank you God for the Turley, Ethridge, Britton, and Brown families that I have been blessed to be a part of!