“ I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:1-6.
We have had some fun with the perception verses the reality of the ideal family. Without knowing each family in the church, I would feel comfortable saying that each family has a whole lot of strengths. Some family members are strategic thinkers, some are good at managing money, others are charismatic, still others are funny. But there is one thing that no member in any family is good at: being God.
We are awful at it. We make pathetic gods whether we are husband or wife, kids or any other relative. The kids may be adorable, or straight A students. The wife may be a great cook, and the husband may be poet and a scholar. Doesn’t matter. They all make terrible gods.
You are probably wondering where we are going with this. I do have a point and it is this: If you’re in the habit or mindset that other people need to give you what you want, when you want it, then we are asking them to play God. Think about the pressure and weight we put on family members when we expect them to give us what we want. Because at the end of the day, what I want from them is to be what only God can be for me. That creates collateral damage. If there is an unrealistic expectation put on the shoulders of my wife, my children, my friends, they will not be able to do what only God can do for me. The result is stress, fallout, brokenness, anger, betrayal, bitterness, resentment, frustration, and anger.
God has not wired us to want what we want and expect others to give it to us. Nor has He wired us to find happiness in others. When we seek happiness from others and it results in conflict, we need to pause a few moments in introspective thought. Ask a few questions such as: “What do I need to own here? What have I done? Where have I added fuel to this fire?
When we do this, we will find that we have contributed to the conflict and God is the best source for resolution.
- Do we expect our family to play God? If so, how?
- What is the best way to resolve conflict?
- Is there an area where you are not getting what you want and it results in conflict?
- What can you do this week to better depend on God in the area of conflict?