When was the last time you said something or did something and realized you were imitating your mother or father? We learn so many good things from our parents like our work ethic, how to manage money, and so on. However, we also learn some not so good things from our parents.
Family patterns are real, and many of them are incredibly dysfunctional. We absorb so much from our family origin without even realizing it. The patterns perpetuate dysfunction in the family and future families. The way a family communicates or doesn’t communicate, how they deal with conflict, how they interact and show respect or the lack of it informs how we will be in future relationships.
Jacob’s favoritism toward his wife, Rachel, and her two sons hurt his family and created dysfunction. Despite that flaw, Jacob made great strides in his character growth, but he never entirely grew out of this weakness. However, his sons learned to accept this flaw in their father. They gradually grew to see it as how he was. Their acceptance of their father’s dysfunction brought them together. The son’s acceptance of their father brought them closer to their father. We don’t have to be perfect to have families that love each other; we just have to learn to accept each other and make the changes we can.
It helps us all to admit that we are all dysfunctional in some way or another. What counts is whether or not we are trying to work on our weaknesses. When family members recognize that another member is trying, they accept them with their dysfunction. Acceptance brings transformation to the relationship.
We all want to be acknowledged and need acceptance. When we receive acceptance from those who know us best, something positive happens within us. Acceptance has the power to help us move forward and overcome our dysfunction. Of course, not all together, but we can make progress.
I have long considered that my greatest accomplishment in life is not my academic achievements or my ministerial accomplishments but my family. Nothing adds more meaning to my life than knowing that my marriage to the woman who loves me still endures. Nothing stimulates me more than knowing that my children and grandchildren respect me and follow me.