Family feud…

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Scripture: 2 Samuel 6:16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul (one of David’s wives) looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

Observation: Saul was the king who was removed by God and replaced by David. Michal was Saul’s daughter, as is noted each time the author speaks of Michal. It would be understandable she would have some resentment of David. We know that Michal was first married to someone else, but was taken from her first husband and given to David as wife. Perhaps she still loved her first husband. It could also be she thought his exuberant worship of God was too undignified for a king, which reflected poorly on her. Whatever the reason, it’s clear there was trouble in David’s household.

Application: Families are complicated things under the best of circumstances. I’ve recently had occasion to be present with several families dealing with illness or even death of a family member. As you can imagine, these families were under some stress and strain. And when a family is under stress, the conflicts and dysfunctions that are usually pushed into the background tend to come to the fore. Old arguments are aired. Betrayals and disappointments are rehashed. Decades of history can make simple decisions and conversations tremendously difficult, even traumatizing. And, believe me, my own family is not excluded from this phenomenon. I know it all too well.

Some of you may be experiencing this sort of thing right now. Your family could be in a time of stress and anxiety for any number of reasons – and your family is hard to deal with. In such times we tend to imagine that other families aren’t like this, that our families are uniquely dysfunctional. I’m afraid not. Every family has issues, some perhaps more than others. Even King David knew this sort of thing.

If this is your family right now, cut yourself and your family members a little slack. Stress and anxieties tend to bring out the worst in people, so you’re not likely seeing your loved ones at their best. And, by the way, they’re probably not seeing you at your best. Just sayin’…

Prayer: Lord, as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, families are complicated things. Yet we need them. They give us history. They give us an identity. And they, at times, drive us crazy. Help those of us who are dealing with difficult family situations. Remind us that you love families, even dysfunctional ones. Especially dysfunctional ones. Give us grace to be persons of peace in the midst of fear and anxiety. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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