Family Quarrels

Family Focus: Family Blog Post #6

Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back on.” Mignon McLaughlin.

Oh my, do family members fight. More anger is vented and vitriol is spewed to family members than to the public. ‘Tis a mystery… a paradox… that those we love the most get the worst of us, and often those we care the least about get treated with our kindest politeness. There could be several reasons put forth, but it could be as simple as the claim that most accidents occur 25 miles from home… well, duh, most driving is done that distance. More time is spent as us being us at home than anywhere. Most people have on a public face at work… they have a check on their words and behavior because acting out could cost them their job. Telling your boss that he is dumb and selfish and his clothes smell does not portend well for a long and happy employment. But what does is cost to tell those same things to a family member? Is he or she going to fire you and send you home? No wait, you are home… to where can you be banished?

At home, we have fewer checks on our words and behavior because the cost is less. It is far less costly to be jerk at home than at work. We operate on an often unspoken agreement that we, as family members will always be there for each other. Our parents may have pounded it into us. Our older siblings may have given reassurances, but sometimes it is a silent, unsigned contract.

When someone gets sucked into addiction, their support system dwindles over time. Friends and co-workers give up on them. But family members typically won’t shove you aside until you hurt them personally…or maybe never. When we have only one finger above water as we sink into the depths, if anyone is going to be there to grab that finger and pull us out… it is family.

And we take advantage of that by treating them far less respectfully that the public. It really is quite understandable to do so… but also quite a paradox.

If you have taken advantage of a family bond by allowing yourself to treat someone poorly, I suggest to go to them, acknowledge your actions, and ask forgiveness. They may very well pull you close again… and then don’t burn them again!!!


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For His glory,


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