In order for an individual to grow spiritually and lead a happy life, having a supportive and loving family unit cannot be overstated. The growth and development of His children’s faith is the focal point of God’s overall plan for creation, because He has always loved humanity and sacrificed a lot for that love. But what should we do if we find ourselves in a situation where we have to interact with a toxic member of our family? How are we supposed to handle that when things get difficult?
It is especially important for us to forgive our family members if they have ever wronged us. The Bible says that we are to make allowances for the faults of our brothers and that we are to forgive them, even if they have offended us in some way.
It’s possible that at some point in our lives, we’ll struggle with the decision to cut ties with a toxic family member. No matter how much we care for another person, there are times when we may feel as though we must release our grip on them and allow them to live their own lives. It’s possible that we will come to the conclusion that we should simply move on with our lives without them. The situation may no longer be healthy and it will not help us mature as individuals. When we have to make a decision like this, we must base our choice on what the Lord desires for our lives. True, God gives each of us the ability to control our own lives and make our own decisions, but do not forget that He also gives us the discernment to know right from wrong, which serves as a compass for our choices.
The member of our family who is causing us trouble, the person with whom we have determined that we have a toxic relationship, or the family member who is dragging us down into the pit of sin, is not someone we hate; rather, we must show love, mercy, and affection toward them. We are not to turn away from our brother simply because it is difficult, because we are his keeper. We must draw them back to the Lord and demonstrate that the Lord loves them through our love. Even though we may disagree with what they did, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we despise every member of our family who sins. First and foremost, God instilled in us the value of loving one another, even those individuals who seem difficult to love. If we say that we love God, but then, instead of loving our brother and forgiving him for his sins, we condemn them, then we do not really love God. If loving is something challenging for us to do with a brother who we can see, talk to, and share experiences with, then it will be even more challenging for us to love God, who we do not see. Because of this, if we say that we love God, then we should also love our family members, even when it’s hard, because this is what the Lord taught us to do and it is what he expects of us.
It is incredibly important that, even in difficult times, when our faith in a member of our family is shaken, we show mercy, grace, and love. Love is capable of covering up a multitude of sins. Whenever you love, love completely, love profoundly, and love without conditions. This is the kind of love that the Lord demonstrated for us and taught us when He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins. Even in His divine and glorious state, He chose to take on the challenge of dying on the cross for us to be forgiven; thus, there is no reason for us to avoid forgiving others. We must not turn our backs on them and abandon them; rather, we must put forth every effort to bring them closer to God, love them, and forgive them for their transgressions. Even though it appears that none of our efforts will bear fruit, there is still one thing we can do that will be of assistance to them in their situation. Pray for them to be forgiven by the Lord, but do not pass judgment on them for what they did. We are able to love, we are able to forgive, and we are able to become a constant source of strength and support because, even though our family members may be harmful, the Lord still loves them.
Let us remember what Christ would do in this situation and follow Him. Here are some verses to help us understand it better.
1 John 4:20
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
1 Peter 4:8-11
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
The love God has for us is priceless, and we could never hope to earn it, yet we have the opportunity to experience the same love that He has for us. In the same vein, we must never abandon our brothers and sisters just because circumstances are challenging. Given that the Lord has forgiven us, we must also forgive those who have harmed us. By following this advice, we will be following God’s command to help our brothers deal with their terrible circumstances and draw them closer to Him—the ultimate source of peace and love. Share your brother’s difficult circumstances with them and encourage them to seek God’s help. We encourage them, we lift them up in prayer, we bring them closer to God, and we support them in everything they do. The Lord’s love for us should inspire us to extend that same love to others.