Breaking the Cycle
Lamentations 3:24 ESV
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
From birth we were created with the longing to be loved and chosen. As adults we long for that and often look for it in a partner. We want someone who will choose us above anyone and everything else. I have a head knowledge that only the Lord can fulfill that feeling that we crave. We set ourselves up for failure time after time because we are looking for a spouse, parent, or even a job for fulfillment. Reality of this fallen world is relationships fail, marriages end, and you are left broken. That brokenness brings on the feeling of rejection, inadequacy, and failure. The Bible is clear about marriage, but more often in today’s society the chance of infidelity, abuse, and abandonment are at a all time high. It is so sad that people today hear of such things happening and don’t blink an eye; it is almost as if it is accepted and normal.
I’ve personally witnessed so many people choose to run after the next relationship high after being broken hearted. We like to jump to something quick, often for our comfort and as a distraction. We don’t care or even think about those choices affecting our children, our self-esteem, and even our relationship with God.
Today there are: mothers choosing a man over their children, fathers abandoning their families to chase meaningless flings, and mothers and fathers tearing each other down in front of their children because they can’t get along. The feelings of abandonment, rejection, and inadequacy lead us to do unthinkable things. I am not trying to excuse any of these behaviors; I am simply saying the true ugly sinful nature rears its head out. When faced with these feelings we are left with options.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
This vicious cycle we see so often in our culture must stop. The longing to be chosen and wanted is breaking families apart even more important; it is breaking our children. They are only children, what they see in their home is what they grow up to believe is “normal”. When God blesses us with a child, we are also entrusted to train them up. It is our responsibility to train them up in the way they should go so they won’t stray away. I do know that we are often faced with situations that are out of our control, but even in those moments there is a point where you have a decision to make. This generation is almost comfortable with divorce, abuse, and abandonment are just entirely too accepted. This in turn is altering our children’s perception of relationships and their view of themselves.
How do you begin to tell your seven-year old girl that her daddy isn’t coming back? This same girl had a very present father who was loved her. They have memories, places that are “their” place because they’ve been doing that certain thing routinely, they have songs that they share in common because they have danced in the kitchen on a late night to them. Now he is absent and she if left to wonder, and even make up her own thoughts and reasoning of why he isn’t there. Even if you have explained the best way you can, that smart seven-year old thinks that maybe something is wrong with her. She experiences rejection, inadequacy, and abandonment. She may think to herself, “Did I do something wrong? Was I a bad girl? Why doesn’t he come home? Does he love me?”. No child should have to have these thoughts or feelings, but it happens more than you may realize. Here’s another situation that happens all the time; a mother who is always absent. The kids may still live at home or maybe they’re even living at their grandparents. The mother is out pursuing toxic relationships, going out, or possibly has a boyfriend living in the home that just doesn’t like kids. The mother chooses to have the small temporary fulfillment that having a body around over having her child(ren). Maybe all the kids know is that they stay and grandma and grandpas house all the time, and mom just comes to visit. Maybe at one point you were a very present and involved mother who just can’t get over the rejection of your last relationship. Either way you have children who are wondering why their mother isn’t there. Especially once they get to the age where they are in school; they will soon find out that most children live with their mother.
This has to stop- we have to do better- we must break the cycle. How do we begin to break the habit of choosing relationships over our children? How do we break the stigma of fixing a broken heart with a new romance? How can we stop these selfish, temporary patterns that are not only affecting children- but we are affecting ourselves? When we choose something toxic to fulfill us, we are leaving Jesus out of the whole equation.
2 Corinthians 1:3 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
Love is Jesus. What each of us are born yearning for is the love of our Heavenly Father. It doesn’t matter if our significant other is a great or horrible person, only Christ can fill this void. There will never be a man, woman, or relationship that can heal you. Jesus is the only one who can break the cycle and give you the love and acceptance that you are earnestly seeking. Jesus is the only one who can give you true unconditional love, agape love as some may know this term.
1 John 4:16 (NLT)
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
We are called to be so much more than just a wife, husband, or parent. We are called to be children of the King. Christ has adopted us, we are joint heirs with Him, and we are His ambassadors. If only parents could step back for one moment and reflect, and talk to God about their situation. Consider the long-term effects of their choices that they are making, and how it will affect their children. How am I teaching my daughter to view herself if I am absent; out finding my value in random men? What is my son learning from watching his mom devalue herself by jumping from one person to the other? Will he think this is how you are supposed to treat a woman?
If we could just recognize how detrimental it can be to choose a boyfriend/girlfriend over your children can be. This cycle of finding our value and identity in anything of that Christ has to end. We are raising up children in more and more broken homes. These children that grow up in these settings often grow up needing healing. They start at a young age searching for that acceptance that they never received from home. It could lead to them acting out, drug use, emotional issues, and a distorted view on the family. More often than not these children often have the hardest time cultivating a relationship with God. They have had a distorted view of how a father/mother is. They have had no example of how God loves us as His children. It is hard to believe that someone loves you unconditionally if you have never been loved by your own parents. How do we break the cycle?
We cling to Jesus, and begin to let him heal the brokenness inside of us caused from failed relationships, adultery, and abandonment. His healing is the only cure to a broken heart. The Holy Spirit can change us so that we can break the ugly cycle. The Holy Spirit can comfort us and transform those negative feelings and turn them into positive ones. We don’t have to just go through failed relationships; we can grow through them. We will learn that even though heartbreak comes, we are sill chosen and worthy. Heartbreaks and failures are not a final destination, they are the beginning of a beautiful transformation.
We can allow the Holy Spirit to breathe his life into us and show us who we are in Him so we can teach our children that they are children of the King. Teach them that they have never been rejected or abandoned, but instead they are chosen, bought with a price, valued, and loved oh so deeply.
Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV)
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.