“There’s two types of families, dysfunctional and those that think they are not.”
“I just wish we could be like the _________ family.”
Words I heard a gentleman share with me years ago as he was lamenting about the estrangement of his daughter. She was making some life choices around her sexual orientation that he just didn’t agree with and so he’d gone a long time without speaking to her. This was weighing heavy on his heart so he requested to meet with me.
“What am I supposed to do about my disjointed family?” He asked.
“What do you mean “do about” it?” I replied. “There is nothing to “do” . . . . You are her father, she is your daughter . . . The only option here, in my opinion, is for you to offer love. Isn’t that what dads are supposed to do?”
“But I just wish we could be like the XXXXX family! They have everything they could want. They have the perfect family. A daughter that was homecoming queen. The other is a star athlete. He and his wife both have perfect jobs. They are the whole package.”
Little did he know that it was not uncommon for me as the youth pastor of that church to receive phone calls at odd times during a week from one of the “perfect” daughters as they struggled with school, relationships, and “being a part of a perfect family.”
I reminded him there was/is no such thing as a perfect family. We all have our stuff.
In fact, if you were to pick the roof off any home, regardless how perfect it appears from the outside, and peer in while no one knows you are looking, you’ll see that the only “perfect” ideal is from within.
I heard this quote from a friend some time ago and it has resonated with me ever since.
“There are two different types of families. Dysfunctional ones and then those that think they aren’t.”
We’ve all got stuff. The crux of that is what we DO with our stuff.
Do we recognize we have it, embrace it, and then try to offer pathways of love, acceptance, and forgiveness? Or do we look at our lives with critical eyes and think everyone else has it better than we do?
In the spirit of Christmas maybe we offer one another grace so that we can let go of our “expectations” of perfect and recognize that in ALL people there are attributes we are lucky to be recipients of.