Sin is a reality of our lives. Without God’s love and forgiveness, the spiritually healthy family would be impossible.
Without God’s help, dysfunction is our only option.
Some dysfunction is the reality of living in an imperfect world with imperfect people, but it will be especially present when we omit God from our lives. Painful dysfunction comes when we choose to sit in the Director’s chair in an attempt to live the abundant life in the way we see fit.
While there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of types of dysfunction in today’s families, let’s unpack six dysfunctional parenting styles that without God’s redemption will leave a negative impact on our families.
1. The double-minded parent. You see adulthood as a time to fulfill all your dreams in this life, and your children are just one small part of those dreams. You think about how wonderful it is to have all that God offers, as well as what the world offers too! These are the mantras that you live by:
- “I have worked hard my whole life—now it’s time for me!”
- “God wants me to be happy, so I know that He is okay with my making choices that fulfill my needs even over my children’s, because their day will come when they are older.”
- “Who says you can’t have it all?”
- “Of course I love God, but this world is pretty cool, too, don’t you think?”
You must have the latest and the greatest, and no one is going to stop you. Children are sometimes an asset because they make adorable models in Christmas cards and allow you to brag in the social scene, but they can also equally cramp your style when you desire to stay out late or get away somewhere exotic for the weekend.
You have to have the biggest house, the most expensive toy, or the latest technology. Sure, you travel a lot, but you have earned it. You deserve some peace and quiet, and want time away to enjoy the best golf courses and the finest dining.
Children raised by the double-minded parent will often grow up having co-dependency tendencies, seeking acceptance from others, being unrealistic in their view of “self,” and feeling insecure. They are confused about what it means to follow Christ, and might avoid their parents in adulthood.
2. The “I can’t say no” parent. These parents love to say yes because when they do, everyone seems happy. They think that becoming a mom or dad is a perfect way to expand their social life as well. They truly enjoy the company of their children and don’t see a need for hierarchy in the family sector.
These parents might try to justify their actions by saying:
- “I want to give my child all that I didn’t have when I was growing up.”
- “Discipline is exhausting for me and my child—so I don’t do it! I create no boundaries, and therefore there is no need. Besides, I really, really, really want my kids to like me.”
- “Unpopular no more, I now have a junior companion in life!”
- “Sure, I rely on my child for emotional and social support—that’s what friends do!”
- “In order to create intimacy and trust, I don’t have any boundaries on the topics that I discuss with my child.”
- “I had a kid because I want to spoil someone. I like to spend money and be generous—what’s so bad about that?”
- “My child is very mature for her age.”
Critics say you don’t have a backbone and your children are taking advantage of you.
When your kids get older and choose their peers over you, you find yourself desperate to keep their affection. You resort to buying their time and attention or guilting them into it. Either way you must ensure that you will not be without their companionship because you are afraid of being alone or unloved.
Children raised by the I-Can’t-Say-No parent often grow up too quickly, suffer from chronic boredom, think that rules don’t apply to them, become poor money managers, are unable to cultivate healthy emotional boundaries with others, and have an unhealthy attachment to you in adulthood.
Source: Family Life | Michelle Anthony