Family is the most fundamental building block of society. Family is a gift to us from God. But family can be very difficult. This Sunday we will be looking at the biblical story of Cain and Abel, and the challenge of dysfunctional family.
The first key to healing family dysfunction is to identify destructive patterns that persist generation after generation. Family problems tend to be repeated over the years until they are recognized and a decision is made to intentionally do things differently. Once you can see the cycle, you can end the cycle.
The second key to healing family dysfunction is self-control. There is a lot of emotional power in families. As the story of Cain and Abel teaches us, we have the capacity to resist the triggers that bring out the worst in family behaviors and send us into downward spirals. This is the power of the gospel to become new and different people.
The story of Cain and Abel is a sad story, a prototype of dysfunctional families across the ages. Cain in his anger made his brother Abel a scapegoat for his own feelings of rejection. Abel foreshadowed a more important scapegoat, our Lord Jesus Christ, who took upon himself the anger and sin of all his brothers and sisters, all of us. Through Jesus, we have the power that can heal our families.