My Dysfunctional Family and the Grace of God
By Dean Honeycutt
I grew up in a dysfunctional family which is why I write articles under the heading “No Regrets”. My father was an alcoholic and he made some decisions that ruined his life and the relationship he had with me. I often wondered why my family was so messed up. I wanted to fix things and I prayed for years my dad would stop drinking. When a child does not enjoy holidays because their dad is drunk something is bad wrong. My mom would try so hard to keep things normal for our family but the older I got dad’s drinking problem became very difficult for us. When a young boy must kick his father out of the house or pull him out of the Christmas tree he has fallen into and hide his keys to keep him from driving he often wonders why his family is falling apart and why God does not do something about it. For years I would pray that my dad would stop drinking and I often wondered if there was any hope for him.
There was a time in my life when I did not care about my dad, and I did not want to be around him especially when he had been drinking. My dad had a lot of regrets. Alcohol had destroyed his family, his marriage, his career, his relationships, and his health. It took everything from him. It stripped him of everything. I tried to forget my problems and get as far away as I could, but it seemed no matter what I did or how far I went I could not escape the reality of my family and the problems my dad was always causing.
God began to do a work in me and my dad. I wrote my dad a letter and forgave him for everything he had done, I also verbally told my dad I forgave him. How could I hold a grudge against my father for their sin when I am a sinner as well and have sinned against God? And God has forgiven me for my sin. How could God forgive me if I could not forgive my dad? I remember the day dad lying in a hospital bed and looked at me and said, “I am sorry.”
About three years before my dad went to heaven God changed his life. God saved my dad, and he stopped drinking. He did not pass from this life as an alcoholic. He is redeemed. And I finally had the relationship with my father I had longed for. We went camping and had some great times together. My dad could not go back and make the “wrongs” right. But praise the Lord what is forgiven is forgotten by God. Isaiah 43:25” I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
We all live with regrets. The reason families fall apart is because of sin. We live in a fallen world that is devastated by the curse of sin. Sin in us and decisions we make result in regrets. The wages or consequence of our sin is death. Sin is not God’s fault. Sin is our fault. Our sin and selfish decisions also cause our families to suffer.
There is hope for us and our families. I cannot change another person’s actions or decisions, but I can choose to follow God and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I can choose to love God and to love and forgive others. I can choose to limit my regrets by the decisions I make today for me and my family. Thank you, Lord, for loving me and forgiving me. God does care about us He cares about your family and God does want to help you. God will listen to a believer’s pray and God in His faithfulness will answer. We must trust God even when we do not understand what He may be doing in us or for us. Because God is always for us. Romans 8:39, “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.snowhillbaptist.com.
You can read more good Christian news from Dean HERE.