People suck. I'm such a Calvinist that I believe total depravity is for optimists and I define an optimist as someone who truly doesn't understand the situation.
Because we are all jacked up sinners, all of our families suffer from dysfunction. Yet, despite believing this, many of fellow Calvinists still look to everyone from Dr. Dobson to Dr. Phil to the friggin' Super Nanny for the technique to "fix" their spouse or help raise their child. Why look to spazed out sinners for help dealing with other spazed out sinners?
I believe that each family system is so different that no one technique will work in every family and that we really need to look for outlooks and processes rather than some quick fix and that the only appropriate place to find anything of true value is to the only one not infected with sin--God.
How does God deal with us? With love, grace, commitment, empowerment and intimacy--that's how we should deal with our family: Love and commitment are fairly self-explanatory (although I'll expand on both tomorrow), grace is defined as unmerited favor, empowerment means helping each family member grow in their spiritual strengths and fight their weaknesses and, finally, intimacy means an atmosphere where we can talk about anything frankly and without irrational fears of reprisal, not unlike how we can speak to God in prayer.
Now, don't start looking at me like I'm some kind of liberal sissy. I didn't leave out discipline, which is a part of love as I'll define it tomorrow. I'll preaching on more of this tonight at 5pm and tomorrow at 10:30 at Christ's Community Church.
Until then, God bless.