Sermons In Series
The Dysfunctional Family
Introduction: God is the originator of the family. He intended
the family to be a positive relationship, Genesis
2.18-25. Some families do not function the way God intended. All
families have "issues" and problems but some create their own
problems. One man said he thought he came from a dysfunctional family but he
found out they were only Irish. Remember watching the Carol Burnett show with a
skit of a family playing a board game? They were angry and abusive to the point
of it being funny. Unfortunately some families do function improperly and no one
is laughing. Alec Baldwin is not the only father to
speak hatefully to his child. In this lesson I want to talk about
four ways a family might be "dysfunctional."
I. WHEN THERE IS A LACK OF LOVE
a. Some families are good
at showing love while others are not.
Children need to know their parents love them even when they mess up.
(Prodigal Son – Luke 15.18ff)
Husbands and wives need to express their love toward each other. Ephesians
5.28; Titus 2.4
Love is an obligation we have towards each other, Romans
13.8; 1 Corinthians 13.4-8, 13.
Families that do not love
Hold grudges when there is a "perceived" problem
Parents without love will either a) not discipline their children (Hebrews
12.8), or b) discipline in anger (Ephesians
When a family member does wrong there is to be a reaction but that reaction
should be motivated by a concern and love for that member.
God loves us even when we sin and redeemed us with his son, Romans
II. UNDUE EMPHASIS ON BLAME AND SHAME
Some members remember all the wrongs committed
The book "Mommy Dearest" is an example of a child recounting all
the wrongs by her parent.
Children, your parents are not perfect, husbands and wives you did not marry
the perfect mate.
Does your family seek to find a scapegoat?
Watch out for "You’re no good" "You are always causing
Fact is some people create more problems, one child may be rebellious, and
one parents may say the wrong things.
Healthy families seek to solve the problem and give
The Bible’s emphasis is not on blaming but on redemption, 2
Part of getting over a problem is repentance and forgiveness, Luke
III. LIVING IN DENIAL
Some families refuse to see a very real problem
A member being an alcoholic, a workaholic, having a drug addict, physical or
Children living in rebellion, immoral behavior
Be careful of excusing everything by saying they are just going through a
phase or its really my fault
Must hold family members accountable for what they are doing
Healthy families firmly and compassionately face their problems
Biblical principle in James 2.13.
God does not deny the sin problem, but provides a solution for it, Romans
A family will be dysfunctional when one of its members expects everything
to be perfect.
While we should strive to be perfect we should admit our faults.
Trying to be the "perfect" family can be a terrible burden.
Jesus came to set us free from the burden of sin
V. APPLICATION TO OUR SPIRITUAL FAMILY (THE LOCAL CONGREGATION)
- A congregation is dysfunctional when there is a lack of love among its
- Such love is expressed differently but must be there
- ii. Members need to know they are loved them even when they mess up. (Pray
for one another, confess)
- iii. We are to love even when we may not like what the person is doing,
- iv. Signs of lack of love: grudges, lack of discipline or discipline out
- A congregation is dysfunctional when there is an undue emphasis on
- i. Common scapegoats – the preacher, elders, deacons, or one particular
- ii. None of us are perfect and we all have room to grow
- A local congregation is dysfunctional when it lives in denial
- i. When a problem exists it must be faced. 1 Corinthians 5.4,5
- ii. False teachers stopped, Titus 1.10-11.
- d. A local congregation is dysfunctional when it thinks it is perfect
- i. The Westside church of Christ is not perfect due to its imperfect
- ii. Our focus is on growing, admitting our faults, repenting, and growing
Conclusion: If you are not a Christian you have a dysfunctional
relationship with your spiritual father. It doesn’t have to be that way. God
has acted and through His grace and pleads with you to come home.
D.T. @ Westside Church of Christ 05.13.07