ORDINARYmoments: Family of Origin

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T here were two brothers in a family. The older brother grew up seeing his parents and grandparents getting drunk all the time.

He said to himself, “I have seen how alcohol has destroyed my family. If I also touch alcohol, my children and my grandchildren might also follow my footsteps. How can I do such a thing to bring harm to them?”

The younger brother grew up in the same family. He said, “Since my parents and my grandparents are alcoholics, how can I not be one too?”

These two brothers represent two different kinds of perspectives concerning the family of origin. Family of origin is the family a person grows up with. It is never a choice to choose one’s family of origin for we are all born into one. Therefore, some blame the unfortunate circumstances and the unhappy upbringing and give up working hard and allow circumstances to orchestrate their life.

However, the Bible clearly says that “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14, 15) As in the case of these two brothers, choosing to drink alcohol is never something only because of the others but it is also because of one’s own evil desire and choice.

In life many grow up in a broken and unhappy family of origin. Perhaps the adults in the family have fallen into traps such as alcohol, gambling, quarrels, fights, extra-marital affairs, etc. Their children can easily become victims of all these brokenness. However, there is always hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has the power to save and to deliver.
Make a choice to choose Christ and allow Him to heal all the wounds. He can give you the power to overcome the negative effects of the family of origin. At the end of the day, we can echo what the Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)

No matter what our family of origin might be, we can choose to make a better family of origin for our children. The choice is yours. The power is from God.

Winnie Chan
Lay preacher of Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu
Translated by Joy
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