Can A Broken Home Be RESTORED?
We have a wrong mindset in the West, in America. When something is broken, we toss it out. Sadly, this is true of material things and relationships.
But, can a broken home be restored? Yes, thousand times over, a broken home can be restored. However, it cannot be done by sheer will power alone. Relational restoration is made possible through Jesus Christ. Family restoration is desired by God so much so that He promised to send Elijah the prophet for this great task: "He will restore the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Malachai 4:6). God's heart is clearly for the family and the home can be restored by a willing heart, the power of God, the direction of His word, and the discipleship of godly families.
With the family unit breaking down all around us it is crucial that we spend some time on this topic.
Changing Your Mentality
For some reason, we have bought the lie that what is broken cannot or isn't worth being fixed. Our big box stores and Amazon make it too easy just to toss something away and get something new and shiny. Who doesn't like shiny things?
Granted, there are some things that are just not worth our time to fix. But this isn't true of the home. Our family relationships are very much so worth devoting all of our time and effort to restore.
There is a method in Japan for restoring broken pottery. When the Japanese break pottery they have a special method to restore the pottery, it's called Kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery"). They take the broken pottery and mend the areas that are broken with a lacquer that is mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Restoring the pottery to working order and making the piece beautiful and unique.
To me this is beautiful. The method takes time and effort but it produces something stronger and more unique. Does the pottery look as it did originally? No, but it is unique and no one can say that their pottery piece is like yours. Does the pottery piece work as it is intended? Yes, the restored piece works perfectly as it is intended to work.
What about the home, the family unit? If we are honest with ourselves the original piece isn't that pretty or functional, to begin with. Meaning our family relationships don't start off like a perfectly beautiful piece of pottery that becomes broken. Sure, the romantic nature of something new makes it beautiful, but that doesn't mean it isn't without flaws.
In sticking with the pottery analogy, the beginning of the family unit is like being handed a complete yet broken pottery piece. Now it is the parent's job with (if possible) the father as the leader to join it together, making it a unique functioning piece of pottery.
It can be done! The home can be restored, made to function as God intended for the family unit to function. But you cannot put back together something that you don't realize is broken. Restoration of the home begins when the household recognizes that it is broken.
A Willing Heart
It is sad to me that people, especially fathers, aren't willing to admit that their home is broken. At least until the family unit has completely fallen apart. If you're reading this I imagine that you already have a willing heart, you desire to see your family unit restored. This is a good start!
Rather than looking at the negative of what a broken home looks like, let's look at what a biblical home looks like and you can compare yours to it.
Men leading their family in worship of God (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7; and Titus 2:5)
Women submit to male headship, learning in meekness, and helping the father in the instruction of the children (Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-15)
Children that are under control and believing in Christ (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6; Ephesians 6:1-2; Colossians 3:20)
Granted this is a small and brief overview but it should suffice as a biblical picture of a wholesome family unit. When looking at it in humility we all should say, "We have some work to do." Often times this work can feel overwhelming, and it would be if you attempted it in your own strength. Don't do that.
Submit yourself first and then your family to God and His Word. Give the task to Him. Be real with God, He knows all of the flaws and failures of your home already. You cannot hide anything from Him. Admit your sin, and plead with God to restore your home and make it beautiful. This is a willing heart, and then be eager to obey His directions!
The Power of God
When we first learn to ride a bike we are dependent on the power of our parents who help and support us. They are there to keep us upright, to keep us from falling, and to keep us moving forward. After we learn we become less and less dependent on them for the task of riding a bike.
Well, oftentimes I believe we view God this way. We need Him to learn to get started but then we think that we can handle the situation OUR way and in OUR strength. I am here to tell you that this is a lie. We don't have any power of our own and our own way only leads to death and destruction.
We never grow out of our dependence on God's power and we most certainly never get past His supreme Authority over our lives. He is God and our frame is but dust. So, in this great task of the restoration of your home don't fall into the error of trusting in the power of God at first and then relying on your own strength. Always, trust in Him, in His power, and in His authority to bring restoration to your home.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The authority and power for the restoration of the home lie completely in the hands of Christ Jesus. Thankfully, He and the Father are one and Jesus desires to see the family unit restored just as the Father does (Malachai 4:6). In truth, restoration is only possible because of Jesus: His life, death, resurrection, and intercession.
He promises His disciples that all authority is His and that as they obey His commission of making disciples, He will be with them always! The Bible portrays the home as a disciple-making factory! A training ground for the next generation of worshipers! We don't have to take the burden of restoration on our shoulders, we will fail every time.
Rather we entrust our home to the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His leading and instructions.
Do you believe that the Bible contains everything you need to know about how the family unit is to function, and how the family unit is to be restored? I have wonderful news for you, IT DOES!
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Is it not a good work for the family to function as God had intended it to function? Indeed it is! We don't need to go to self-help books or counselors to learn the worldly ways of the home. Rather we MUST go to the Word of God. If you want God to restore your home you have to ask God what it looks like and how to do it.
I have found that in asking these questions to God, the answer is always, "Read My Word."
In the Word of God, we find the instructions on how to put the pottery piece called the home together. That we discover where to put the pieces and how to make the lacquer that will hold the pieces in place. It is God who will lace the lacquer in gold and make the home restored, unique, and beautiful.
But we must have high regard for the Word of God, for in it lies our instructions! So read it. Read it individually, as husband and wife, as parents to the children, and as a family unit.
Discipleship from Others
One of the qualifications for leadership in the local church is a functioning home (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6). If your church leadership has a broken home then my first encouragement to you is to bring this to their attention and then to find leadership whose home is functioning as God has intended for it to function.
Not perfectly, but as a place of worship and discipleship. Find those biblical leaders who put an emphasis on the family unit, on discipleship in the home, and submit yourselves to them. Spend time with them, watch them, learn from them, and study the Word of God with them. Living examples of a restored home are priceless and important!
Yes, your broken home can be restored. It will take effort, time, study, prayer, humility, and much much grace. But it can be done and it is a work that God deeply desires to see done. So, plead with God and submit yourselves and your families to Him and watch Him work!