Ah, the holidays are here at last! Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, one right after the other in a 30ish-day blur of food, family, and festivities. I love all of the traditions that go along with the holidays – Thanksgiving dinner, shopping, decking the halls, the church play, the Christmas fight…
Wait, what? The Christmas FIGHT? How did that one slip in there???
Hmm… I think if you’re family is anything like mine, you might not be so surprised by that particular “tradition”. The holidays can be a time of great joy AND a time of all-out-no-holds-barred-you-better-watch-out-or-I’ll-make-you-cry DRAMA. I don’t know exactly what it is (maybe the combination of busyness, stress, financial strain, cold-and-flu season, turkey overdosing, etc.) but the holidays seem to bring out the best and, often, the worst in us.
Whether it’s your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your crazy Aunt Marge, or YOU, someone in your family may drop the drama bomb this year and put you smack dab in the middle of a warzone. What do you do when the d-bomb drops and you’re caught in the middle? Does the Bible say ANYTHING about family drama and how to deal with it?
Definitely! Here are just a few of the things the Bible says that you need to remember when facing the drama during the holidays:
#1. Do your part.
Ephesians 6:1-3 says “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise-- ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” I know this isn’t the most popular part of Scripture among teenagers – I mean seriously, honor AND obey??? Nonetheless, that’s what God’s Word says you have to do as a son or a daughter. Honoring and obeying your parents means you do what they ask you to do as long as it doesn’t go against God’s Word. It’s important to do this with a good attitude and a right heart! If the idea of submitting to your parents makes you want to drop the drama bomb right here and now, pause for a second and think about this: honoring and obeying your parents is more about honoring and obeying God than anything else. Disobedience and dishonor to mom and dad = disobedience and dishonor to God. DO YOUR PART during the holidays by exemplifying this attitude of honor and obedience at home and you just might be surprised at the results!
#2. Remember to pray.
Seriously. Pray for your family and the drama that’s going down. And I don’t mean like this: “Dear Santa – I mean God! – I want an Xbox for Christmas, and so much candy in my stocking that it could kill me if I ate it all at once. Oh, and also, could you get my mom of my back – she’s driving me NUTS! Amen.” Lame! No, I’m talking about the kind of prayer James is talking about when he says “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).” Do you believe God can change your family and diffuse the drama? HOLD ON. Think about it for a second. God – who made the universe – who spoke entire galaxies in to being with just His WORD; can that God change your family and your circumstances? You better believe He can! Prayer can DEFINITELY be a catalyst for change – at the very least it will change YOUR heart, mind, and attitude. And just like honor and obedience, you may be surprised at what else it can accomplish.
#3. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
As much as it pains me to say, sometimes when it comes to family drama, the best advice I can give you is “get through it.” As a young person, a lot of times your circumstances are out of your control. You may not have dropped the D-bomb, but you’re still going to be caught in the crossfire. When you find yourself in the middle of a fight you didn’t start or an argument that you’re not a part of, remember to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” It IS possible in the midst of all the chaos around you to find strength, peace, and even rest, and that place is in the arms of Jesus. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and know that even with all the drama, everything is going to be okay.
I wish I could say that this is a three-step plan for you to bypass holiday drama altogether, but that wouldn’t be the truth. The truth is that we live in a broken world and we’re all broken people, and sometimes the craziness of the holidays brings out that brokenness even more than usual. BUT the beautiful thing about this time of year is that light and healing came in to a dark and wounded world, and Jesus came to rescue us! Remember that truth, and if you’re facing drama, remember these simple Biblical principles, and you may see God do something amazing in you and your family this year.
Happy holidays, and merry Christmas!
- Tim B.