Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Family Troubles?



Picture this scenario:

1. A total stranger comes up to you & says I don't like the way you did that. Your response? Maybe you'd get upset briefly but you would most likely forget about it within a few hours. 

2. Your father comes up to you & says I don't like the way you did that. Your response? You're most likely going to respond in a defensive way and get upset with him. Maybe he ALWAYS has something to say about everything you do. Maybe you feel like you cannot totally please him. Nonetheless, there's history behind your relationship so when he (or any other family member) says something to you. When they talk, it presses a button of irritation that ONLY someone really close to you can push. 

Do you see the difference? And do you really think that satan is going to use some random stranger off the street that you have ZERO history with to say a few empty words to ruffle your feathers? No, he knows that it won't distract you! Instead, he will use your FAMILY members or those closest TO you to develop and test you. 

If you've given your heart to Christ and your family either doesn't know Christ or they "say" that they're saved but don't live anything like it, they will most likely have issues with your new love for Christ. They'll say a few of the following:

1. I remember how you used to be, you ain't that saved.
2. So, I guess you think you're better than everyone because you're all holy now?
3. I've been saved for as long as you've been alive, I don't need you to tell me nothing.
4. I just don't believe that God requires that much of you
5. The bible says you gotta honor me and listen to me. (twisted scripture 101) 

Have you experienced the above? If so, I want to remind you of this scripture: 

Matthew 10:35
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Do you see that?? Living for Christ WILL naturally separate you from those that don't believe! And God is saying here that we need to make sure that we are allowing HIS voice to trump any other person's voice, including your family members. Your family may say, I've been saved longer than you've been alive and you better obey me or honor me. But if God is tugging on your heart and saying something different, you must obey Him first. If not, then verse 37 above applies to you.

If you're reading this, you may have felt really hurt by a family member. I'm writing to tell you that you're not alone and that your worth doesn't come from even those family members that reject you but from Christ alone. Allow your family members to EXERCISE those love muscles. If you are sitting before God daily, asking Him to develop you, change you & make you into His image, you will get some attacks. The enemy seeks to use whoever he can to distract you & God ALLOWS the tests to come.

Or, you could have a family member that has totally ran away from God or refuses to start a relationship with Him. Remember this: You cannot want salvation for them more than they want it for themselves. 

So, what do you do?

1. Forgive. You have got to let it go. When a person isn't saved, you cannot expect for them to ACT saved. Even if they "say" they are a Christian-- the proof is in the pudding. If that tree has no fruit on it, then it's not a fruit tree. Recognize that they are only living according to their selfish nature. Pray for them instead of complaining about them.

2. Live by example. God placed you in your family to be the "Abraham" or the example. Are you being a living, breathing example or are you cussing everyone out one day & inviting them to bible study the next? Instead of cursing them, pray for them. Ask God to grace you with their personalities.

3. Recognize that God will find them the same way He found you. If they don't listen to God, what makes you think they will listen to you? So, rest. Stop trying to throw the bible at them every five minutes and win people over by your quiet & gentle spirit. (1 Peter 3:4)

4. Separate yourselves from them as needed. You may need to distance yourself from some family members that are negatively influencing you for a season until you're strong enough to be around them. So they're cussing everyday, drinking, smoking and whatever else. Go to a quiet place and pull away. God told Abraham to LEAVE his family & those that were FRAMING his thinking & go to a place where God would show Him. God wanted to frame his thinking.

5. Build an oasis in your home. Maybe you cannot leave your family members house for some reason. But you have to make the best of the situation. When I lived in a 1 bedroom studio in NYC with my roommate, the bathroom was the place where I had my quiet time twice a day. Yes, it was small-- but I didn't care, I needed God's presence working in the industry I worked in and I needed His help. So, create an alter somewhere & put your earphones in, turn worship music on & get on your face before God.

Remember this:
There is a reason that you were placed in your particular family. Whether your upbringing and current situation is good or bad, it's for a reason. So, find the beauty in the reason. Stop wishing that you were in another family and start thanking God for your portion. And remember, a new test will come in regards to your family. Pass it and more than anything, ask the Holy Spirit to lead, guide & direct you. He knows best.

Just a few things:

1.  If you live in Atlanta, I want to invite you to our church. Join us on Sundays at 11:00am at Landmark Art Cinemas. Our churches name is: "The Gathering Oasis"  931 Monroe Drive NE Atlanta, GA.

2. My book is selling like crazy! I'm so thankful for all of you that have supported! Check it out here: My New Book! Pink Lips & Empty Hearts:  www.PinkLipsAndEmptyHearts.com AND my new book, "A Perfect Recipe" here!

3. Register for the 2014 Pinky Promise in Atlanta, GA! It sold out last year, so you don't want to miss out!www.pinkypromiseconference.com

4. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There's about 15,000 ladies that have joined! Find a group near you by joining & checking out the intro page! Join here:www.PinkyPromiseMovement.com

5. To purchase bracelets, cross rings, my book, tote bags, fabulous shirts, purity rings & all that other good stuff-- go here: www.heatherlove.bigcartel.com . JUST for visiting this blog, I'll give you 10% off! Use the code: JESUS

6. I will be in Orange, NJ next weekend! If you're in the area-- I would love to meet you! My calendar is here: www.heatherllindsey.com 


God loves you like crazy,

Heather Lindsey



15 comments:

  1. WoW!!!!! I would LOVE to talk to You as you have over come some of these issues. I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO TALK MINE THROUGH. I would LOVE to talk it through. Thing's in my life are out of control. Thank You for posting. I pray these issues will come out of me so I can move on & don't have button pusher's.

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  2. Great post heather!

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  3. WOW, wow, wow is all I can say. This has been my life ever since I got saved over 14 months ago. My fiancé of 5 years, partner of 8 years and father of my three children refused to accept my new found life in Christ. I was convicted of fornication and wanted to get married ASAP, but the man I thought loved Christ completely denounced him and said he no longer believed in God. I was and am still devastated. We have since separated and he has moved on living the wild single life. My heart is broken, but I know my God will heal my heart. I pray daily for the salvation of my children's father, but I understand I have to let go and let God do what He has to do in the situation, and even if we are not meant to be together, I trust that God is working everything out for the good of me and my children. In the meantime I am focusing on Christ and raising my children to know and love The Lord for themselves. The Christian walk is hard, but I thank God for Jesus who makes all things possible. Thanks Heather for ministering such an on time word. God is so good!!

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  4. This would surely pay up for the long wait. Way to go Heather! Making the decision between family and Christ is quite uneasy. Yet we have no choice. Gods standard is too pick up our cross and not look back.Grace!!!

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  5. Thnks i am so here. It has been 'sorta' Christians and my lack of faith in him and instead of trusting God i was looking to them. Got really messed up as a result, so now i guess i gotta get away from crazy folks and stand where God wants me, thnks. Dont put your faith in man but God

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  6. Love this! You should def. do a post on twisted scriptures. I hear "the bible says you gotta honor me and listen to me" a lot!

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  7. Heather,

    This blog post was ON TIME! I have always struggled with my family members. Last week the woman who raised me (my grandmother) and I had a heated discussion. Monday morning I told a friend of mine, "God has me here to bring them into getting to know Him on a deeper and more intimate level." I like the way you stated it- I'm the "Abraham" of my family. You were just confirmation on what God showed me this past week.

    Thank you so much for your walk with Christ and letting Him use you. You inspire me. Glory to God.

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  8. CONFIRMATION! Heather, Thing Is You Know when It's God's Vessel. . . and You My Friend Have Got Vessel Written All Over You.! God Bless You!!!!!

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  9. Wow, I've been having problems with some of my family members lately and I'm glad I came back to this website to see if there were new blogs because I could not figure out why I was having so much problems with my family but at school I have peace. I decided to dedicate my life to christ last year because I was having more problems than family problems. I was depressed, emotional, empty, and angry. I was like this for years and god was telling to come to him but I didn't listen. After one big argument I had with my family member that left me in tears and a bad headache, I decided to dedicate my life to christ. And now at the age of 19, I'm happy and satisfied. I have not been depressed not even once. I'm still having problems with them but less because I have been separating myself. I still have a lot to work on but hey! it was worth the change!!!!!

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  10. Speak Sis!! LOVE UR POST!!!

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  11. Wow! This was right on time, I recently had some of family tell me that I spend to much at church, with my "church friends" and at church events and I was really down about it and not understanding why they didn't get that church and serving is not something I do to pass the time, its what I LOVE, I'm passionate about serving Christ, working with youth and going out into my community to share His love, its like breathing for me really. I just thank you for this post because it really changed my perspective and encouraged me!

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  12. Thank you so much for posting this! I stumbled across your blog and this was the first article I read! This really speaks to my situation right now. I recently moved back in with my parents after college and been having the most difficult time dealing with my father. He really knows how to push my buttons and can be very demanding at times. I understand that this is a test that I must not have passed because I have been here before. But instead of getting upset with him. I should pray for him and encourage him to strengthen his relationship with God. And although it gets hard, I know that my relationship with my Dad and with Christ will grow stronger. All of this has been a mirror to show me, myself and how mean I can be at times and how I have unforgiveness in my heart towards my father.

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  13. John 10:10 "10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."

    I think a lot of people get confused about Mathew 10:35 (35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law), I know I did. I gave it reason to explain why my mom and I didn't mesh, because I was saved and she wasn't. In my household, it was different. I remember bringing up this situation to a sister in Christ, and she asked me what I thought God thought about my situation. I said to her that God wants me to forgive her and continue witnessing for her salvation. And she said to me, don't you think that God cares about your family? God convicted me on that day that it is not His will for the family to be separated and that He indeed cares that my family stays together, He is the God that restores. Yes, He does not want the family to be placed above Him, but He created the family. He also convicted me that there was a stronghold over my mom that was confusing her to say those things. The enemy was causing division and brokenness over my family through this stronghold. I fasted and prayed, and God has set her free from the enemy's control. My point is sisters, please do not think that God doesn't understand the love between a family, He is the one who created it, and He cares about each of our families whether they are saved or not.

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  14. Also, I wanted to add that I remember when God convicted me about how He cares about the family, I remember falling to my knees, crying, and praising Him for His goodness and His Great Love! God is truly better than He has to be.

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