Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:17–18
Your family is like a crucible. A crucible is a ceramic pot into which you put impure metal and then under high heat the impurities separate from the metal and can be removed. Under the intense heat of family relationships, our real character is revealed—the best and, far too often, the worst. Who we are at home is who we really are. Our true nature and character show up when we walk into our home and close the door. Why is it that I can easily go through a whole day at work without losing my patience with my co-workers, but then lose my cool with the kids within ten minutes of arriving home? Because home life is real life.
Consider how great God’s divine plan is! The intense heat of our family relationships draws out the things in our character that need to be sanctified. These ugly traits and behaviors come out at home with those whom God created to love us unconditionally and stick with us, no matter what. Isn’t that a great plan? Can you imagine if our temper, impatience, and selfishness came out at work, school, or church? We would not last long at any of those places.
By God’s design, the heat of our family relationships brings everyone’s character flaws to the surface. Put bluntly, family relationships reveal a lot of sin. This is part of God’s plan, so that we might grow in faith, character, and godliness. But none of this growth will happen without an essential ingredient—forgiveness. If we desire greater happiness, peace, and love in our homes, we must become experts in giving and receiving forgiveness.
An excerpt from “Healing Family Relationships” by Rob Rienow: