Are you flexible? When our bodies are flexible, they stretch, bend, and are loose. Our hearts, like our bodies, can be flexible. In the scripture above, Jesus tells us that God wants us to have a flexible heart rather than follow inflexible rituals. He wants us and our families to be able to adapt, morph, and grow – not to be bound by rigid rules and habits.
“There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’—you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.”
Matthew 12:6-8 (MSG)
Flexibility is what enables families to thrive in the midst of strain, disruption, and challenge. Flexible families have the faith to make necessary adjustments when life changes so they can reach their destiny.
Here are 3 tips for leading your family when life changes:
1. Embrace Your Weakness
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)
For years, I had a picture in my head of what our family should look like. My view was of a very controlled and outwardly put together family. Whenever this image of the ‘perfect family’ was not met in reality, I grew bitter, jealous, and angry. Additionally, the pressure my family felt to be strong made us internally weak.
God has taught me that it is much more freeing to embrace our weakness. When we try to be the ‘perfect family’, we miss the power coming from God that makes us internally strong. In fact, it is our weakness that will guide us to our family’s purpose. People are not inspired by perfection, but by those who are honest about their fragility and find the strength together to overcome.
2. Enjoy the Mess
2-4 Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.
James 1:2-4 (Voice)
Change is messy. Often, our first reaction is to run from the difficulty. When we are under pressure, we will either turn to sin or turn to God. But the tough times are the very things that can bring us the most joy especially when we can go through them together. The pressure and stress teach us to pray. Not knowing what to do makes us look to the Bible for answers. This is what teaches us to find new, innovative answers that help both us and those around us.
3. End The Isolation
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.
Proverbs 3:5 (MSG)
One of the biggest mistakes we can make as a family is to isolate and try to figure out everything on our own. Pride limits us. Openness leads us to new perspective and answers. When you go through change, do you pull away from others? Or, do you invite people into your life and ask for help and advice? Listening for God’s voice in everything we do gives us hope. We never know how he is going to answer our prayers and give us the direction we need. God teaches us to have flexibility.
Study books like Ephesians and 1 Timothy to learn how to build families that adapt and thrive under any circumstance. As he teaches us to be flexible, God will help each of our families reach their destiny.