by Dr. Ray Self
It is a commonly known fact that our past has shaped much of our personality today. Biblically we are free from our past, but we may still have some negative influences at the conscious or unconscious level. Legally from the standpoint of the finished work of Christ, we are all free from dysfunction. The question is; how does one obtain what is legally theirs through Christ to manifest in their present day life?
This teaching will examine and define the dysfunctional family. After gaining understanding of the dysfunctional family, we will look honestly at the lingering effects of that dysfunction. After the journey of discovery we will look at God’s ways to get free, live in victory and move confidently ahead into our God-given purpose.
A scriptural principle to consider is the story of Nehemiah and his examination of the broken wall of Jerusalem. - Nehemiah 2:17 – 18 - Then I said to them, "You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach." I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king's words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, "Let us arise and build." So they put their hands to the good work.
The scriptural principle from the book of Nehemiah is the first we must look at what is broken in order to know how to repair it.
On rebuilding and repairing past damage we will always depend on the Holy Spirit – Isaiah 61:1- The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Bind up means the same as to heal. The Greek translation is from the word iaomai which means to cure. If you are cured then the problem never will reoccur, praise God!
We have been affected and are still influenced by our past.
God only works in the realm of honesty, not excuses.
We are designed to be honest and real with God. To take an honest look at past wounds and hurts takes courage.
One definition of integrity is the word transparency. When a person is transparent they are being open and honest about themselves. They may even allow others to see inside. To be open and honest requires courage faith and trust in God.
There is an old expression - you have to feel it to heal it. The principle is that feelings tend to remain buried until they are expressed. These unexpressed feelings resulting from past wounds will express themselves in present day behavior and therefore hinder a person’s future quality of life.
There are many healthy ways to express feelings. Without understanding of where and how these feelings originate people tend to act out these feelings in undesirable or harmful ways.
Obviously the worst way to handle feelings is not to talk about them or experience them at all. Many people become expert at burying and hiding emotions. What they don't hide so well is the effect of these buried feelings upon the present-day life.
When a person is raised in a dysfunctional family there are many messages, labels and self judgments that can result.
These labels messages and judgments can remain buried deep within the soul. It may seem that they do not exist but actually they are expressing themselves in current behavioral and emotional problems.
These unresolved issues from the past can have a great influence on the present and the future to come.
A person may be unaware of the impact of their past but these influences are affecting their personality, their personal beliefs, their relationships, and their overall success in life.
A truly successful person is one who works unhindered in their God-given purpose. Only in working and living in what God created a person to do will true happiness and peace be found.
In looking at the dysfunctional family and its effects we are not trying to go back and possibly get stuck in the past. It is actually an examination of our present state with the realization that our present emotional state has been influenced greatly by our past.
In coming to a realization of what damage has been done from the past and looking at how to repair it we can then move successfully into our God-given future.
If you enjoyed this lesson, we encourage you to consider studying the full 6-lesson course via digital download or by enrolling in a degree program at the International College of Ministry.