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Healing Nations begins with Families
Praying for our culture, which has the same sickness and disease of broken hearts that produce fear and pride in virtually every arena, including politics.
Many invest enormous amounts of time, treasure, and talent to change the direction of their nation through politics. Electing the right people into office should do the trick, right? No. Political representation in government is very important, and many of the leading characters in the Bible (Joseph, David, Esther, and Daniel) represent God’s character and ways in government. However, attempting to change government to heal a nation is bound to fail if we fail to bring healing to families and individuals first. Healing nations must begin in families.
There is no perfect family, but the prevalence of divorce removes the opportunity for the healing of families. The American Psychological Association, on Jan 9, 2023, reported that nearly 50% of first marriages and up to 67% of second marriages end in divorce. In some of those cases, there is physical abuse of women and children. However, the vast majority of the reason for divorce is either a Lack of Commitment (75%), Infidelity (60%), or Arguing (58%).
When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, he said, “at the beginning, the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matt. 19:4-6 NIV)
Then they asked, “Why did Moses permit divorce?”
Jesus replied, “…because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matt. 19:7-9 NIV)
Adultery is a valid reason for divorce. Healing is necessary in families with the sin of adultery. When Jesus said that looking at a woman with lust is the same as adultery, he declared that every marriage and every human being is guilty of adultery. The fallout of sin is the trauma of guilt and shame, which turns to denial, distraction, and division. We have anger, shame, fear, deceit, and loss triggers. When triggered, we rage, hide, run, lie, and cry, but we don’t fully understand why. In other words, we are stuck until we find healing.
Healing traumatic memories is possible through prayer, repentance, and forgiveness. For my part, I’ve sought forgiveness for my bad behavior and forgiven those who have caused harm to me. That is not to say I’m without any emotional wounds, but it is always cleansing and healing to meet with Jesus when emotional pain is revealed.
Healing damaged emotions is difficult. It requires a ruthless willingness to sit in the pain to reconnect the fragmented parts of your memories. The ideal way to heal memories is to invite the God of Truth to show you the truth about what happened, to know His heart and compassion for you and the other parties in the memory.
Like the scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams’s character repeatedly says, “It’s not your fault.” But it’s 1000 times more healing because God says, “I saw that. I feel that, too. I care.” Meeting with Jesus in a traumatic memory heals the fragmented brain memory, with all its triggers and out-of-proportion emotional responses.
That’s how Jesus takes you out of the darkness of your torment and rage, sadness and shame, deceit and disinterest, and into the light of his presence and unspeakable joy. When God heals memories, he changes minds. The definition of the word ‘repent’ from the original Greek, metanoia, is ‘to change your mind.’
Repentance is simple. But we make it more complicated than it needs to be. We avoid repentance. We throw up smokescreens. We argue about political turmoil. We take up offenses. We get angry. Why? To protect our broken hearts from being exposed to the truth. We’ve been hurt, and we need Jesus to heal us.
Let’s pray for our culture, which has the same sickness and disease of broken hearts that produce fear and pride in virtually every arena, including politics.
Jim Wilder, from his book, Joy Starts Here, explains that there are three types of people in any society, including any family. There are Protectors, Possums, and Predators. We all have a bit of each of these characteristics at various times. These involve spiritual forces which keep us stuck in cycles of hurt and disfunction. Wilder says that joy results when Protectors are strong and multiplying. Joylessness results when Predators are unrestrained so that Possums stay fearful, oppressed.
To bring healing to the nations, let’s pray for Protectors who understand the fear of the Lord to hold Predators in check so that Possums will no longer live in fear, so that they can come out to play and become strong Protectors for their families and future generations. This is how we can pray for the healing of nations for the glory of God.