Some Reasons for Family Conflicts
Every family has disagreements, which keeps the communication channel open. However, the handling of those conflicts will result in either win/win outcomes or destructive situations. Here is a list of some of those situations which create family conflicts.
Poor Communication Skills
According to James 1:19 “ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” It seems easier to speak out of turn in order to be heard or to defend ourselves. Yet, if each one would take time to listen, interpret, ask for explanation, and reflect many more families would be intact, rather than members being estranged from each other. Marriages would not fall into the slough of decadence resulting in so many divorces. It takes time to listen as was alluded to by James in his statement. One has to be humble and submissive to give way, and also to understand the other person. This is indeed the hardest decision to make, but with the grace of God we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us [Philippians 4:13].
Lack of Family Values
From the time the couple makes the decision to marry, there is talk of family and how that family will be raised. By family I mean the addition of children. Every family has a set of rules or values which are principles which govern their way of life. They display those principles in their morals and the ethics used to direct the language they use, their religious beliefs, the places they go, the people they interact with, and much more. If those morals are ignored this will result in severe costs. According to Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” An ungodly family can expect nothing else but destruction in a variety of ways. In some situation the result becomes a generational curse. If you fail to uphold godliness in your life as a parent, spouse, or adult you are setting yourself up for destruction.
Lack of Respect
1. Parent/parent: parents have the responsibility to set the right examples before their children. This includes having respect for each other so that the children can emulate their behaviours.
2. Parent/child: when there is a breakdown of respect between parents, this will result in disrespect from the children to the parent/s. If the parent used foul language to communicate effectively with each other, the children will certainly echo back what they have heard. Children need respect from their parents in order to return that respect.
3. Sibling/sibling: when there is conflict in the home, there will be conflict among the siblings. This may be in the form of outright disrespect for each other because mom and dad do not respect each other. The children may even have physical fights and use the same words to each other as they heard from their parents. When there is lack of respect in the home it affects the entire environment.
Poor Interpersonal Skills
Members of a family often take each other for granted. They do not say “please” “thank you” “excuse me”, and so on, which is normal to the people they interact with outside. If there is no respect, then there can be no proper interpersonal exchange in the home. When there is effective interpersonal interchange in the home, those behaviours will be carried into the society creating harmony especially in the school, and workplace. For the most part, it is difficult for some people to change their behaviours automatically. What they practice is what they display at any given moment. Effective interpersonal skills in the home will create a peaceful atmosphere making the environment a place of warmth and learning. This also means that words will be carefully chosen before they are spoken. The Bible teaches that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stirs up strife” [Proverbs 15:2]. Therefore, if careful thought is taken before speaking, there will be less animosities and hostilities among family members.
Lack of Effective Role Models – parent/parent
Children live in a fertile environment in the home. It is a place where learning takes place every day. These learning are cognitive, behavioural, and affective. These three human domains work together for normal individual development. Our thoughts, affect our emotions, which affect our behaviour. Therefore, when children witness behaviours of disrespect and abuse in the home which are inappropriate, there is a tendency to follow accordingly. Effective role modeling before children means that parents will be committed to nurturing, and displaying effect learning in the home. If they do not adhere to the values they teach their children in theory, there will be confusion and the children themselves will accuse them of being hypocritical. Role modeling in the home means, parents will display the behaviours they want their children to emulate. They include loyalty, self-control, faithfulness, godliness, punctuality, commitment, and reliability and more. If parents set poor examples before their children, they can expect a harvest of disappointments and failures.
Unrealistic Expectations –
1. Finance: there are times when couples do not count the costs before getting married so they enter the relationship with unrealistic expectations relating to finance. While they are able to spend and lavish gifts on each other during the time of courting, when children come on the scene or there is an economic crisis which they are unable to deal with, these are situations which will result in family conflicts. Another situation could be unnecessary spending and unreasonable desires.
2. Intellectual endowment: parents sometimes want to live out their dreams in their children. A father may have expected to have a son to carry on his name, but he was blessed with a daughter. It may also be that the father wants his son to assume responsibilities which he is not capable of taking on. The son may not want to take on the same profession as dad for many reasons, one of which might be lack of intellectual endowment in that particular field of work. Despite that, the father may insist and then call the son all kind of names and even compares him with another sibling or person. Such situations will bring about family conflicts which can result in estrangement. If the father is wise, he would not place undue influence on his son to choose a profession which he is not interested in or cannot cope with only to make him into his own image.
Other Situations include the following:
1. Mixed Messages – not saying what you mean
2. Sibling Rivalry – preferring one child over the other
3. Domestic Violence – witnessed by children
4. Poor Parenting Skills – over permissiveness
5. Discipline - too much or non-existent
6. Financial Problems – unemployment, over-spending, living beyond means – the Jones’s syndrome
7. Lack of Gratitude – only calls upon God when there is a need
8. Lack of Accountability - irresponsible
9. Lack of Trust – unreliable, inconsistencies
10. Lack of Godliness – if God is out of the home, then the enemy will take charge in the form of all kinds of material to destroy the peaceful environment in the home. Sin destroys and brings shame and reproach.
Copyright © Barbara Y. Stuart, 2009
Faith Restoration Ministries – www.faithres.web.officelive.com
The Marriage Corner – www.themarriagecorner.web.officelive.com
Dr Barbara Stuart is an ordained minister of the gospel, pastoral counselor, radio host, author, and inspirational speaker. She is a past nurse and high school teacher. She is a available for speaking anywhere in the nation or world. There are two books published at Amazon.com. Key in Barbara Y. Stuart to obtain your copy of each. The books are ideal for pre-marital and marriage counseling in group settings, retreats, singles or Sunday School discussions.. For a full biography you can request this by email.