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My Family is a Dysfunctional Mess

My Family is a Dysfunctional Mess

normalPlease Don’t Think I Have it All Together!

Christian blogs are great places to get encouragement, but sometimes (because we usually write about what works) bloggers may seem like our families are picture-perfect, sweet, balanced, and stress free. God forbid anyone reads my blog and gets this impression!

My family began about as dysfunctional as one can get, BUT we have been working to improve it. I used to walk in a lot of guilt, stunting my spiritual growth, but I’m learning to repent and accept God’s grace.

When a parent teaches a child and they fall down, we don’t yell and punish him for falling. We praise him for each successful step, dust off his bottom, help him get back up, hug him, wipe away the tears, and encourage him to try again! We all stumble and fall from time to time, but our Father is right there beside us, guiding and encouraging us to get back up and keep trying.

I have stumbled or fallen so many times as direct result of relying on myself—my sight, my feelings, and my reasoning. Reliance on self causes us to walk unsteadily. When my sin nature is in charge, my eyes, emotions, and intuition deceive me. Whenever I allow distractions, doubt, fear, and/or pride to guide my walk, I will stumble or fall; but when I allow God to guide me, He shifts the center of my existence from selfish ambition to standing firmly on the rock, Jesus Christ. He restores what sin has damaged or threatened to take away-–my disgrace and shame is lifted by His grace and the situation brings glory and honor to Him. Hallelujah!

Resting in Him

02379ef5c4d8bc577dc7234eb6ccf0d9Not only does God give us the support we need, He assures us that He will restore us and make up for the time we have spent in brokenness. “I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). PRAISE GOD!

As wonderful as it is to recognize this blessing of unmerited favor, let us not make the mistake of allowing the stumble just because we know He will pick us up. We need to follow Christ’s example to strive to avoid the stumble. Satan tested Jesus three times, attempting to make him stumble. Jesus overcame each temptation.

God’s grace is not a substitute for righteous behavior, but His forgiveness allows the righteous behavior.

The enemy will try to cause you to focus on your failures. Don’t do it! Go to God, repent, tell Him you can’t do it without Him, and have faith He will help you. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your power to resist, but with the temptation will also provide a way out so that you will be able to withstand it. (<ref=2114>I Cor.10:13)

Jesus taught the best way to avoid sin is to avoid being in a position where we will be put into temptation when He taught us to pray “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” The heart of this prayer is the surrender to God’s will, seeking God’s reign in our lives. This is why I encourage you to start each day in God’s Word.


Thank you God

Thank you God, for your mercy and grace, for picking us up when we fall and allowing us to be used– in spite of our failures– in Your kingdom. Train us to walk in the way of Your Word. Lead us not into sin or temptation or disgrace. Do not let our sin nature lead us but help us to follow your ways.

His promise is ours, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6.

“What used to make us stumble, God can use to make us stand. What once made us bow our heads in shame, He can use for His glory.” ~ Joanna Weaver




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About Robin Sampson


  1. Thank you Robin. Wonderful reminder of what to do when feeling like “Just another imperfect homeschool family” – go to the Lord.
    I think you summed this up rather well: “Christian blogs are great places to get encouragement but sometimes (because we usually write about what works)”
    That *is* why we write about all the wonderful things. That and because we choose to see how wonderful our children and the LORD in our children/family really are.
    Thank you for your encouragement, you are a blessing to me.
    love, J

  2. I was really horrified and upset to read what you wrote in your comment on Susan’s post. The nerve of some people. I understand young parents who are over-zealous and bossy, but to OVERSTEP parental bounds and overstep CHRISTIAN bounds- to sneak around behind your back (thou shalt not lie?) – that is unbelievable.
    In truth, that is why we cannot attend any of or local churches. We tried. And tried. And tried. We had to make a choice between our children and attending a local church. We felt our first and foremost responsibility is to our family. We felt like we were laying our children on who-knows-what altar every time we visited. We could either turn them over to be taught by someone with different ideals in a sunday school setting or have them listen to a watered-down, lukewarm sermon (sometimes while teens were making out in the back row)… this and more at the conservative christian – bible-believing area churches.
    God help us all.
    So, I just want to say that my heart was broken with and for you to read such hypocrisy within the Body. I am sorry they would do such things.
    love, J

  3. Hi Robin,
    That’s why I read your blog, you are transparent. I know as a mom to 7 kids, we have our times, but you have to just trust the Lord. He says when you fall 7 times he will pick you up. We all fail, and we have to be man or woman enough to admit our failures and we have to treat our children as so..we have to help them. I am from a very dysfunctional family, and my view of God was the way I viewed my earthly dad. If we come to our children in judgement all the time they will never know what grace is. Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your family Robin.

  4. Dear Robin,

    I want to say AMEN to your prayer.

    Thank you God, for your mercy and grace, for picking us up when we fall and allowing us to be used– in spite of our failures– in Your Kingdom. Train us to walk in the way of Your Word. Lead us not into sin or temptation or disgrace. Do not let our sin nature lead us but help us to follow your ways.

    I too, have been mightily blessed by your blog and site over the years…condemnation and legalism is not something I sense from you, hence the reason I’m here 😉

    Bless ya,

  5. Aren’t we ALL prodigals? I mean.. don’t we all have to come running back to our Abba because we have strayed. Of course, some of us stray much further than others, and some even further than I did.. but the point is, God’s all about restoring relationships. None of us Started Life walking with God. Some were blessed to have parents to teach them early not to stray too far off the path, and those some who were smart enough to heed the warning.. have walked closely.. most of their lives.. and God uses them.

    But I think that there is a far greater number of God’s children who walked far off the path, and had to come back.. some even walked away a few times. But Abba is always waiting with anticipation for us to return to Him.

    Be blessed as you prepare for the Sabbath Robin. God already was very present for me today.. and I have everything to be thankful for!!

  6. Terri Layne

    Thank you, Robin, for your transparency. It is refreshing and I pray that you are blessed because of it. I am the same as you in so many ways, except for the gift of writing 🙂
    Terri Layne

  7. Robin, You encourage me so much. I love reading your posts. I see you as a Titus 2 mentor. I have been so hard on the kids the last few weeks. I’ve been distracted with the zillions of things to get done on my to do list. Thank you for linking this old post. It’s just what I needed to read. I’m praying for you. Are you sick in addition to your heart/other problems or is your heart acting up again?

    Pure and Sensible’s last blog post..Alan Keyes Live Stream

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