I’ve worked so hard over the years to insulate my family from my issues. I don’t want them hurting when I hurt. I don’t want them worried when I’m worried. I think in most situations that’s how it should be with kids. We let them in on some challenges as they are ready to understand, but we don’t heap the world on their shoulders. Let them be kids.

But what about my wife and parents? Maybe family is designed to hurt when I hurt. I want to know instantly when something goes wrong with my family so I can help, but I never want the same in return.

“I’ve got it. I’m fine.” That’s what you’ll hear from most men facing challenges, including myself. Every man’s answer is the buckle down, work harder and white knuckle it until the problem is fixed. Maybe instead we call our family and say “this is not going well.” Sure they hurt, but they get to join in what family was created for. Family is designed to love. In times of struggle, that means surrounding the hurting, doing everything we can to help and hurting with them.

It’s not easy but I’m learning it’s the way family should work. It helps me to suffer well. When I can open up to others and admit I can’t handle it, it makes it easier for me to do the same with God. Admitting we can’t do something in our own power allows family to step in and help. It does the same with God. We can’t do it. We need him.

Everything is a picture of our relationship with Christ. Family is no different.

And I’m thankful for that.


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