Family Life Course Handouts/Guidelines

Session 1: Biblical Foundations Of The Family

Session 2: Gender Rolds in the Home and in the Church

Session 3: Understanding Gender Differences and Needs

Session 4: Identity and Blessing in Genesis and The Jewish Culture of Blessing

Session 5: The Culture, Effects and Healing of Cursed Identities:Shame and Redemption Part 1

Session 6: The Culture, Effects and Healing of Cursed Identities:Shame and Redemption Part 2

Session 7: Understanding and Dealing With Teenage Independence and Rebellion

Session 8: Balancing Work and Family

Session 9: Strengthening Marital Integrity

Session 10: Biblical Principles and Models of Parenting and Effective Discipline Without Anger

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Family Life Course Self Study Material

“Building A Culture of Blessing In The Home” and “Effective Discipline Without Anger”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

Biblical concept of “blessing”

 “Blessing”
(1) AFFIRMATION: to affirm the worth or identity of another; to honor;
(2) IMPARTATION: to empower to succeed, prosper or multiply; to empower another to successfully fulfill his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

The first definition relates to one’s IDENTITY; the second, to one’s DESTINY.

The power of blessing
•    Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.
•    Blessing or honor empowers us in three ways:
– It affirms our sense of self-worth and belongingness and thereby enabling us to accept, appreciate, and respect ourselves.
– It builds confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).
– It helps release our potentials as it gives us confidence to overcome barriers and challenges in relationships and performance.

Parenting Pointers
•    FAILING PARENTS ARE PARENTS WHO FOCUS ON THE PROBLEMS THEY SEE IN THEIR CHILDREN, SUCCESSFUL PARENTS ARE PARENTS WHO FOCUS ON THE POTENTIALS THEY SEE IN THEIR CHILDREN.

•    DWELLING ON THE NEGATIVE BRINGS OUT THE WORST IN PEOPLE; DWELLING ON THE POSITIVE DRAWS OUT THE BEST IN THEM.

•    “If I treat you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that person.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

•    POSITIVE CHARACTER IS MORE SUCCESSFULLY BUILT IN A PERSON WITH A HEALED SOUL. BLESSING AND AFFIRMATION BRINGS HEALING TO THE WOUNDED SOUL.

•    PEOPLE DO NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT TO BE RESPECTED OR ACCEPTED. IF NOT, THEN NO ONE ON EARTH IS WORTHY OF RESPECT, BECAUSE NO ONE IS PERFECT.

BUILDING A CULTURE OF BLESSING AT HOME

1.    Develop the habit of finding ways to affirming your spouse and children everyday.

2.    You can start practicing the “Blessing Circle” activity once a month. The “Blessing Circle” includes acts of affirmation, forgiveness, apology, and blessing prayer for one another. The father should take leadership here.

3.    The father is encouraged to practice the habit of blessing his wife and children at least once a week, or better, everytime they go to school or their workplace.

4.    Forgive, forgive, forgive – up to 77 times (Matthew 18:21-22). People around you are NEVER going to be perfect, just better. Be patient with them as you would want them to be patient with you. For children needing discipline, you may give a 1st warning before implementing discipline.

5.    Give allowances for mistakes or failure. People are not perfect, but they can become better if encouraged, inspired and properly guided. Most often what regularly misbehaving or mis-performing people really need is not punishment but guidance and assistance as to how they can successfully change their behavior.

6.    Affirm before applying correction. Do the “sandwich” approach to correction.

7.    Instead of getting angry, facilitate a learning process from mistakes or failures committed. Use questions to motivate and direct the learning process (esp. for children). You may use the Six Diagnostic-Corrective Questions:

(1)    “What exactly happened or what did you do?”
(2)    “Why and how did it happen / Why did you do it?”
(3)    “What do you think about what happened or what you did – was is right or wrong?”
(4)    “Who do you think is responsible for what happened or who should take responsibility for what happened?”
(5)    “What do you need to do or what do you think you should do about it now?”
(6)    “What are you learning from this experience, so you become better and do better next time?”

8.    “Everyone should be be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry; for man’s anger cannot bring about the righteous life that God desires.” – James 1:19-20

9.    Allow your children or spouse to express or explain themselves during times of care-frontation or correction and be open to possible mistakes of judgment on your part also, so long as they do it with respect.

10.    Develop the regular family habit of praying together and for each other’s needs, at least once a week. The father should take leadership here.

11.    Never forget to verbalize sincere appreciation for one another whenever something good or helpful was done by someone.

12.    Strive to regularly notice or observe improvements in behavior in your family and give proper commendation and encouragement.

13.    Show affection regularly to your family members through words (love, affirmation), touch (hug, assuring or encouraging pats, kiss, holding hands), tokens or gifts, service or giving a helping hand, loving look, attentive listening, and smiles.

14.    When you know you’re wrong, take responsibility and admit it publicly and sincerely apologize to the people concerned, without blaming anyone else.

15.    Never yell or raise your voice against another unless absolutely necessary. People around you normally have healthy and normal ears that don’t need to be damaged.  If you need to emphasize something corrective, just say it firmly and give warning of an impending consequence if it remains unheeded.

16.    Hold family conferences, whenever needed, to discuss and collectively solve common or persistent problems in the home and family relationships. Facilitate learning among your children by asking them the Diagnostic-Corrective questions. Blaming or accusing is avoided in the family conference since the focus is on finding solutions together. Solve problems together as a family by eliciting and listening to suggestions and ideas from all family members. Show appreciation for suggestions even if they sound undoable or superficial or even “cute.” Aim for consensus, if possible, and seal a collective agreement regarding solutions to be implemented. Delegate and implement solutions together.

17.    Plan regular family bonding times together, at least once a month, where you can enjoy one another or enjoy things or experiences together. (family outing or picnic, watching a movie together, malling together, eat out together, etc.)

EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE WITHOUT ANGER

1.    Parents need to recognize that parenting must be     INTENTIONAL for it to succeed. Child-training is a full-time job.

2.    As parents, discuss and agree on the core convictions and habits you want to build in your children. Establish clear standards of behavior.

3.    Agree how you will teach and reinforce these on your children consistently. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

4.    Agree on what behavioral consequences (punishment and rewards) should be applied to specific behaviors / misbehaviors. Explain the positive reason why you are implementing them. Implement the consequences consistently and firmly. Be generous with praise but firm in your discipline. Affirm the child even in the act of discipline and after the discipline.

5.    Focus on ways to inspire and encourage your children towards the right values and behavior. Never compare them with others in a negative way. Give them a vision of what they can become.

6.    Focus on discovering and building the potentials of your children. Always verbally affirm your faith in your children’s capacity to become better and the best. But never measure their worth against their performance. Their intrinsic worth as human beings must always be respected despite wrong behavior or failure to meet expectations.

7.    Schedule regular time for family bonding activities and mutual sharing, prayer and affirmation. Practice the “Blessing Circle” every week. Go out as a family at least once a month.

Family Life Course Lecture 1 Guide

“Biblical Foundations of the Family”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
The Family and The Kingdom

1. The Family Represents The Basic Model Of God’s Kingdom or Reign On Earth

·         Genesis 1:26-28

·         “Image of God” = “male and female” exercising “God’s rule” on earth

o    Represents God’s Rule as His “Tselem” or “Image” – Functional meaning: Humanity as God’s Agent of His Benevolent Rule Over the Lower Orders of Creation (Genesis 1:26,28; 1 Corinthians 11:7)

o    Represents God’s Functional Likeness: Man as WORKER to meet the needs of creation (Genesis 2:5-7,15); Woman as a RELATER to meet the need of the Man (Genesis 2:18-23)

·         Man and Woman in Marriage To Propagate By Bringing Up “Godly Offspring/Seed” Who Will Model God’s Rule Through Their Future Generations (Genesis 1:28; 18:17-19; Malachi 2:15; Ephesians 6:4)

 2.  The Fall Brought Divisions Within The Human Family And Subjected Man To The Rule of The Serpent

·         Relationship With God

o    Violation of the Covenant through Disobedience
(Hosea 6:7)

o    Fear and Shame (Genesis 3:8-10)

o    “Serpent” is now “inside” man to dominate him: Genesis 4:7 (Heb. words robets, teshuqah, mashal) – compare John 8:44

o    Since then, the serpent now rules humanity – Luke 4:5-7; John 12:31

·         Relationship With One Another

o     Shame (Loss of Transparency) (Genesis 3:7)

o     Blame-Shifting (Loss of Moral Responsibility) (Genesis 3:11-13)

o     Envy & Murder (Loss of Human Love and Care) (Genesis 4:4-9)

3. The Coming of the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ Brings Division Into The Human Family As Loyalties Are Polarized

·         Matthew 10:32-38; Luke 12:51-53

·         Luke 14:26-27

·         Luke 18:28-30

·         The context of these Scriptures is SALVATION: the necessity of faith and obedience in following the Messiah against those who reject His rule / kingdom because they refuse to recognize Him as the promised Messiah (“anointed king”)

 4.  The Acceptance of God’s Kingdom Restores God’s Original Plan For The Family

·         As a Married Couple – Unconditional Love and Submission; Mutual Respect (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7)

·         As Parents – Instruction and Discipline Without Abuse (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21)

·         As Children – Honor and Obedience (Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20; Malachi 4:5-6)

 5.   In The Ministry of the Kingdom, The Family Is Given Its Original Priority as Representing The Basic Model of God’s Kingdom on Earth

·         1 Timothy 3:2-5

·         Titus 1:6-7

·         1 Peter 3:1-7 (Enhancing the effectivity of the ministry of the Word and Prayer)

·         PAUL: “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?

Reflection and Application

·         What is my greater priority now – my family or ministry/work?

·         What course of action should I take now to correct any wrong priorities?

 

Family Life Course Lecture 2 Guide

“Gender Roles in the Home and in the Church”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

Gender Roles: The Headship of the man

·         Feminist Controversy – Egalitarian vs. Complementarian Views

·         Egalitarian View emphasizes EQUALITY of DIGNITY and EQUALITY of ROLE; male headship resulted AFTER the Fall, but was not God’s original order (Genesis 3:16); Equality of DIGNITY and ROLE (shared authority) re-established through redemption in Christ (Galatians 3:28; 1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:21ff.)

·         Complementarian View emphasizes EQUALITY of DIGNITY but DISTINCTION of ROLE; male headship established BEFORE the Fall as the expression of the Divinely appointed order in Marriage (1 Timothy 2:12-13; Genesis 2:16-18; 3:9-11,17; Ephesians 5:22-24,33; 1 Peter 3:1-6)

Equality of Dignity & Worth

·         Genesis 2:18 – ‘ezer kenegdo

·         `Ezer means “help, succour, support”. It is a probably a derivative of the verbazar , a primary root which means “to surround“, and thus the meaning “to defend, protect, aid, help, support.” But new studies have suggested that the word more possibly comes from a combined root which carries the main idea of “strength, power” that “rescues, saves” another. God is often described in the Old Testament as Israel’s ‘ezer or “Helper” (Exodus 18:4; Deuteronomy 33:7; Psalms 33:20; 115:9-11; 124:8; Hosea 13:9), or the Psalmist “Help” (Psalms 70:5; 121:1-2). The woman’s strength as ‘ezer is also symbolized by the substance God used to create her – the “rib” bone in the man that “protects, surrounds” the heart.

·         Kenegdo comes from neged (“to be in front of, opposite, parallel”) and means “corresponding to, comparable to, equal to, counterpart to, suitable or fitting for.”`Ezer kenegdo thus means “a support, a source of strength who is an equal counterpart to, one who is just like” the man. Here there is no inferiority or superiority, but equality. The woman is thus a true counterpart and equal of the man, who, unlike the animals, corresponds to him in every way, and who is thus able to meet his need for community, for intimate relationship – something the animals cannot give to the man (Genesis 2:20)

Man Was Created To Take Leadership

  • God establishes His covenant with the Man before the woman was created (Genesis 2:16-17; Hosea 6:7). God expects the man to be faithful to that covenant as his bond of integrity.
  • God expected the man to take leadership in that covenant by communicating His word to his wife (Genesis 3:1-3) and to ensure that his wife obeys His will (Genesis 3:6, 17)
  • God holds the man responsible for his sin and the sin of his wife (Genesis 3:9-11, 17)
  • The Fall is the results of the man’s failure to take leadership

Headship Is Not Superiority; Submission Is Not Inferiority

·         Both husband and wife are commanded to demonstrate mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21-24) and respect (Ephesians 5:33; 1 Peter 3:7)

·         Headship is just an assigned role or function, it does not imply a superior nature – 1 Corinthians 11:3; Philippians 2:5-6; Colossians 2:9; Ephesians 5:25,28-29

·         Subordination is just an assigned role or function, it does not imply an inferior nature – 1 Corinthians 11:3,7-12; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 5:25,28-29; Proverbs 31:10-31; 1 Peter 3:3-5

·         1 Peter 3:7 “Fellow-heirs of the gracious gift of life”

·         Malachi 2:13-14 (God rebuffs men who are unfaithful to their wives)

·         Male abuse of their headship and their abuse of women is the product of sinful NATURE and CULTURE, but not of SCRIPTURE.

·         The Answer to ABUSE is NOT ABOLITION of Divinely Assigned ROLES, but the restoration of mutual RESPECT and HONOR between the genders as people equally created in the image of God.

Equality of dignity & worth

  • 1 Peter 3:7 “Fellow-heirs of the gracious gift of life”
  • Malachi 2:13-14 (God rebuffs men who are unfaithful to their wives)
  • Male abuse of their headship and their abuse of women is the product of sinful NATURE and CULTURE, but not of SCRIPTURE.
  • The Answer to ABUSE is NOT ABOLITION of Divinely Assigned ROLES, but the restoration of mutual RESPECT and HONOR between the genders as people equally created in the image of God.

 Controversial Passages

·         1 Timothy 2:11-14

  • Cmp. Romans 16:3-5; Philippians 4:2-3; Titus 2:3-5; Acts 18:26
  • 1 Corinthians 14:32-28

o   Cmp. OT & NT Prophetesses Miriam (Exodus 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Anna (Luke 2:36) and the Four Daughters of Philip (Acts 21:8-9)

o   Mirriam questions Moses’ headship and was subsequently judged by God (Numbers 12:1-12)

·         1 Timothy 3:2-5 (context: in the Christian assembly)

Conclusions

·         Man is to exercise his authority as head in the humility of a loving leader who serves, cares for, sacrifices for, cherishes, understands, respects, and protects the woman, just as Christ treats the church.

·         Husband and wife should listen to each other and arrive at decisions by consensus as much as possible, but when they differ in non-moral matters, the wife must defer the final decision to her husband in loving submission.

·         Both husband and wife must show mutual respect and honour for one another by their words and treatment of each other.

·         Women can exercise their ministry according to their callings and giftings in the church, but must remain in submission to male leadership. The woman in ministry must remain in submission to her husband.

Reflection and Application

·         Am I faithfully fulfilling God’s appointed role for me as a husband/wife and obeying His commands towards my spouse?

·         In what ways can I show respect and honour for my spouse?  What course of action will I take to do this?

·         Do I need to ask forgiveness from my spouse for my wrong ways of treating him/her that clearly violate God’s commands?

·         Decide on what course of action you will take to follow God’s commands and take note of the results.

Family Life Course Lecture 3 Guide

“Understanding Gender Differences”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

God’s Design for the Man

o   Man as a Performance Being

— Man’s Design and The Results of the Fall

·         To take responsibility for his needs and the needs of his family: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10; 1 Timothy 5:8)

·         As a performance being, he finds fulfilment in achieving success in what he does.

·         As a performance being, failure is man’s greatest fear, leading to man’s inability to handle failure

—  Failure leads men to denial and deflecting blame to others or their circumstances (Genesis 3:11-12)

—  God’s purpose is to lead man to take responsibility for his failures. Rather than condemning him outright, God leads him gently through a process of admission first by asking leading questions (Genesis 3:11, 13; 4:6-7, 9-10)

·         The judgment of the man after the Fall resulted in God cursing the ground and inflicting “painful toil” on the ground, in order to humble him. (Genesis 3:17-19)

God’s Design for the Woman

o   Woman as a Relational Being

—  Woman’s Design and the Results of the Fall

·         To meet the man’s need for companionship and emotional support (‘ezer) (Genesis 2:20)

·         To be loved and cherished by the man (Genesis 2:20-23; Deuteronomy 24:5; Ephesians 5:25)

·         Her need for the affirmation of her worth can lead her to seek to control her husband in order to meet her emotional needs (Genesis 3:16b).

·         The judgment of the woman after the Fall resulted in God cursing the womb and inflicting “painful toil” in the womb, in order to humble her. (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:15)

man vs woman

Reflection and Application

In what ways does my understanding of gender differences help me appreciate my spouse more?

Now that I understand better the gender needs of my spouse, what steps should I take to help meet them?

What attitudes, habits and ways of relating to my spouse should I change in order to help meet his/her needs in ways that honor God?

What course of action will you take to follow God’s commands?

Family Life Course Lecture 4 Guide

“Identity and Blessing in Genesis and The Jewish Culture of Blessing”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
IDENTITY AND BLESSING: GOD’S GIFTS AT CREATION
 

— IDENTITY

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 — BLESSING

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

RESTORATION OF IDENTITY AND BLESSING THROUGH ABRAHAM

·         Genesis 12:2-3 (ESV)
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF “BLESSING”

(1)    AFFIRMATION: to affirm the worth or identity of another; to honor;

(2)    IMPARTATION: to empower to succeed, prosper or multiply; to empower another to successfully fulfill his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

The first definition relates to one’s IDENTITY; the second, to one’s DESTINY.

·         “Identity” – Who am I? (my self-perception, often determined by how others see us)

·         “Destiny” – What was I meant to become? (what God meant you to become later on, because of your God-given gifts and potentials)

·         HOW WE SEE OURSELVES (OUR IDENTITY) AFFECTS OUR PERFORMANCE AND RELATIONSHIPS, AND ULTIMATELY, OUR DESTINY.

THE POWER OF BLESSING

Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

 Blessing or honor empowers us in three ways:

(1)    It affirms our sense of self-worth and belongingness and thereby enabling us to accept, appreciate, and respect ourselves.

(2)    It builds confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).

(3)    It helps release our potentials as it gives us confidence to overcome barriers and challenges in relationships and performance.

The Picasso Principle

•    When asked about the secret of his greatness, the great painter Pablo Picasso replied:

“When I was child, my mother said to me, ‘Son, if you become a soldier, you will surely become a general! If you become a monk, you will surely end up as the Pope!’ I became a painter, and I end up as a Picasso.”

BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF “CURSE”

(1) to degrade the worth or identity of another; to dishonor;

(2) to cripple or weaken from succeeding or prospering; to cripple or weaken another from successfully fulfilling his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

•    A CURSED IDENTITY OFTEN LEADS TO FAILURE IN DESTINY.

•    Because curses – and the resulting deep sense of shame they bring – cause us to degrade or look down on ourselves or others, they cripple our capacity for successful relationships and performance, both of which are essential to the success of our destiny. They also deprive us of God’s blessings inasmuch as our parents failed to bless us or pronounce God’s blessings on our lives.

 THE POWER OF THE CURSE

Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

Cursing or dishonor cripples us in three ways:

(1)    It damages our sense of self-worth and belongingness and leads us to reject, degrade and despise or ourselves.

(2)    It diminishes confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).

(3)    It suppresses our potentials as it builds barriers by instilling fear and insecurity in relationships and performance.

•      Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•       James 3:9-10
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

•      Matthew 12:36-37
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

JEWISH CULTURE OF BLESSING

•    INTRODUCTION: The story of Craig Hill and the Culture of Blessing in Jewish Families and Communities

•    Craig Hill is the founder of Family Foundations, International, and is the author of the best-selling book, The Ancient Paths, and a host of other family publications and media

 THE SEVEN CRITICAL TIMES OF BLESSING IN A PERSON’S LIFE

(1)       CONCEPTION

A blessed conception is one that is wanted, accepted and well received. It occurs between two people in a covenant marriage relationship. It occurs out of love, not physical lust.

A cursed conception is one that is not wanted, accepted or well received. It is resented as an intrusion into the lives of the parents. It may occur outside marriage and as a result of lust.

 (2)       PREGNANCY

A blessed pregnancy is one that is wanted, accepted and well received. There is a lack of emotional stress and turmoil. The child experiences nurturing and love from the mother. The child’s arrival is greatly anticipated.

(3)       BIRTH

A blessed birth is one where the sex or gender of the child is received as a gift from God and it is not a disappointment that the child is male or female. The child is received, loved and nurtured by both parents. The birth process is free from trauma.

The birth process was extra special in the Jewish culture, Not only was the family excited, so was the community. The parents prayed over the child and asked God for the name of the child. They understood that a child’s destiny was in that name. Since they would be saying that name hundreds of times, they wanted to be speaking destiny over the child each time they called the child by name. The name was given in a ceremony on the eighth day, along with circumcision, if the child was a boy.

 (4)       INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD

A blessed infancy is one where the child is accepted, loved and nurtured. The child is breast-fed and close bonding with the mother occurs. The father shows physical affection and bonding relationship with the child. The child is blessed regularly by the father (Jewish blessing of children by the father on the eve of the Sabbath every week). When applying correction and discipline, parents separate identity and behavior and do not curse the child in their correction of the child’s behavior.

When the child feels rejected or cursed in the early stages (conception, pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood) the potential result is that the child continues to live with deep feelings of rejection, depression, fear, lust, irrational anger, guilt, shame, and self-contempt.

(5)       PUBERTY

A blessed puberty is one where both parents can separate identity from behavior in dealing with the child’s misbehaviors as he/she engages in the psychological and emotional struggles of his developing teenage life. The relationship between the child and parents facilitates a free sharing of feelings and emotions, without condemnation or rejection as guidance is provided by the parents.

The father provides blessing and acceptance which enables the child to move from needing the mother’s bonding into a more responsible adult role. The child is initiated by the parents and community into his/her adult destiny (Jewish Bar-Mitzvah). The manhood or womanhood is blessed and released by the parents over the child. Security in becoming an adult is established.

The experience of rejection or lack of a father’s love in puberty can result in rebellion, deep sense of insecurity with oneself that can affect relationships and performance, gender confusion, retention of identity with the mother, or life-long unrest in the soul and quest to find or prove one’s worth and identity, because the father failed to affirm the identity of the child at this stage.

 (6)       MARRIAGE

A blessed marriage is one where the son or daughter is blessed by parents in marriage. The parents and the son/daughter are in agreement about the marriage partner and the timing of the wedding. The wedding is attended and blessed by both sets of parents.

The lack of blessing from a parent or parents creates a bondage in the soul with that parent or those parents (a “soul tie”) and a root of bitterness or guilt. That unbroken soul tie will keep the married person from functioning successfully in his/her marriage, as the bitterness or guilt with the parents will damage relationships with the spouse and children due to unrest in the soul caused by a cursed identity and desire to prove one’s worth in the family relationships.

 (7)       OLD AGE

A blessed older age is one where the children regularly bless their parents later in life. This completes the cycle of blessing.

A lack of blessing from children or grandchildren in one’s advanced years leads to deep feeling of loneliness, abandonment, rejection, failure and resentment.

It is obvious that a person raised with these blessings would have solid roots of identity and a sense of being wanted, accepted and worthwhile, and not have a sense of being abandoned or rejected.

A child who is loved, accepted and wanted would have a healthy image of himself. He would not need to perform to gain acceptance or to prove personal value (that is, he won’t develop an unhealthy “performance drive” to prove his worth or gain acceptance from others). Life could be spent being the unique person he was created to be and developing into what he was meant to become. A child raised in that environment would not fear, resent, or avoid correction. Correction would be seen as a way to keep him on track with the blessing and to train him for his destiny.

ISRAEL’S PRACTICE OF BLESSING IN THE FAMILY

•    Genesis 31:55
Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them.

•    1 Chronicles 16:43
Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

•    Genesis 27:33
(Isaac said regarding Jacob, his son) “I blessed him– and indeed he will be blessed!”

•    Genesis 49:28
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

•    Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me …” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

•    Deuteronomy 33:1-3, 27-29

This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. He said, “The LORD came from Sinai 

and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand.

“Yes, he loved his people,
all his holy ones were in his hand;
so they followed in your steps,
receiving direction from you …

[Blessing of each tribe follows]

“The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, Destroy.

“So Israel lived in safety,
Jacob lived alone,
in a land of grain and wine,
whose heavens drop down dew.

“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs.”

Family Life Course Lecture 5 Guide

“The Culture, Effects and Healing of Cursed Identities:
Shame and Redemption” (Part 1)
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
A CULTURE OF CURSED IDENTITIES

•    Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, gago, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•     James 3:9-10
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (cf. Genesis 9:6)

•    Proverbs 18:21
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

•    Filipino Culture – culture of cursed identities

•    Damaged identities resulting from many years of colonialism, negative influence of Spanish profanity and Spanish machismo, as well as natural catastrophes, history of political and economic degradation, and broken and dysfunctional (shame-based) homes.

•    Damaged Identity -> Damaged Character -> Damaged Culture

SOCIAL EFFECTS OF DAMAGED IDENTITIES

•    Damaged identity, reinforced by the cultural influence of Western individualism at the top and grinding poverty at the bottom, produces a deep hunger for personal worth that can become a drive that is pursued without regard to or sometimes at the expense of others. It has helped reinforce:

– Pagkamasarili (individualistic self-interest)

Kawalan ng malasakit sa kapwa (apathy)

–  Talangka mentality (“crab” mentality)

–  Paghamak sa sarili at sariling bayan (self-reproach)

–  Paghamak sa kapwa (hostile mistrust and reproach of one’s fellowman)

•    “The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor’s shortcomings as he is of his own … The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.” – Eric Hoffer

•    “Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves … It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world.”  – Eric Hoffer

•    “Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.” – Nathaniel Branden

“DAMAGED CULTURE”

–  James Fallows, associate editor of The Atlantic Monthly (Nov. 1987), wrote an essay on the Philippines entitled, “Damaged Culture.”

–  He described the Philippines as “a society that had degenerated into a war of every man against every man.”

–  He noted that the distinctive attribute of our “damaged culture” was stubborn incapacity to identify with the public interest so that everyone looks out only for himself or his own kin. The result is a dichotomy between the individual and his society, a glaring absence of the sense of community.

JESUS REINTERPRETATION OF THE LAW ON MURDER

•    Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, gago, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•    1 John 3:14-15
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.”

•    Jesus here talks about vindictive anger (as the subject is about murder), not just common anger as a normal human response to offenses or disappointments.

•    Vindictiveness is not the same as correction; vindictiveness is not discipline. Discipline focuses on behavior. Vindictive anger (curse) attacks and damages the person for his wrong behavior. Vindictiveness does not seek to correct, it seeks to damage and destroy. It can only bring dishonor.

identity vs behaviour

EFFECTS OF CURSED IDENTITIES
Vindictive Anger Sows Four Dysfunctional Attitudes in others (spouse, children or other people):

1. REBELLION: because nobody wants to be degraded forever.
2. REJECTION: “correction = rejection.” Cursing a person because of wrong behavior communicates rejection of the person.
3. WORTH IS BASED ON PERFORMANCE: Honor comes from correct conduct. (Functional view of human worth: performance determines worth / value)

Consequences of the concept and attitude of performance-based worth:

– Success leads to self-exaltation or pride; failure leads to self-rejection.
– Leads to performance “drive” to please or gain acceptance or belongingness
– Leads to unfair comparison and destructive competition; jealousy / envy
– Causes us to look down, belittle, despise, degrade or reject others who fail to conform to expected behavior or performance standards
– Parents will pressure children to “perform” (get high grades, excel in any and every performance, never bring dishonor to the family), as a means of gaining or proving their worth or as a means of protecting the parents’ worth or reputation. Failure to perform according to parents’ expectations leads to the degradation or rejection of the child.

4. SHAME: the feeling of being rejected as a person and isolated from others because of something wrong I did; the feeling of wrongness of being, not just of action; leads to feeling of abandonment, loss of sense of belongningness, and ultimately, self-rejection.

SHAME-BASED HOMES PRODUCE DAMAGED IDENTITIES
Dysfunctional families are usually shame-based familes. They have the following seven unspoken “rules” that inflict shame to children:  (John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame That Binds You)

1. Always remain in control of all your behavior, feelings and circumstances, because you must always conform to expected behavior, or else!

2. Always be right and do it right. Never make a mistake or never lose at anything. All behavior must always conform to expected standards. Perfectionism rule in the family and there is no room or allowance for the learning and growing process. “Be good” means “Be perfect.” Do everything perfectly the first time.

3. When rules #1 and #2 fail and things get out of control, get angry and BLAME someone and get back at him (others, God, or yourself). Children are made responsible for the parents’ anger.

4. Deny everyone in the family five basic human experiences:

          -Feel (Control all emotions, it’s wrong to feel sad, lonely, hurt, fearful, or whatever. You’re not allowed to cry or show you’re hurt or afraid)

-Perceive differently (What parents say is always “right,” period. It is wrong to express a contrary opinion. You are not allowed to speak your own mind.)

-Need (Always be self-sufficient. Never bother anyone with a need. It is selfish and wrong and a shame to have a need or ask a favor.)

-Believe differently (Parents tell you the “Truth” all the time. Everyone else are to be held in suspicion. Everyone else is wrong and not giving you the truth.)

-Imagine (You have no right to imagine anything beyond what parents show you or tell you explicitly. Deny your “adventurous” thoughts, your intuition or hunches, and suppress all your “wild” ideas.)

5. Always hide and maintain secrecy regarding anything wrong (including parents’ wrong actions) or anything that can bring shame or dishonor to your parents or the family name.

6. Never acknowledge a mistake or make yourself vulnerable to anyone. Never bring shame to yourself even when you’re wrong or when you’ve done something wrong.

7. Don’t trust anyone. People and relationships are erratic and untrustworthy.

Shame thus causes us to focus on preserving or protecting our “image” before people (“image-management”) and please people, rather than focus on doing what is right to please God. Leads to compromise (people-pleasing) and dishonesty (avoidance of exposure: resorts to denial, concealment, or self- justification). Shame keeps people from upholding integrity in their lives.

EFFECTS AND MANIFESTATIONS OF DEEP SHAME OR DISHONOR

• “I don’t feel I’m of worth or I belong because of what I have done.”

• “I’m never ‘good’ enough to be accepted or loved, because I never measure up to expectations. I’m so bad.” (Here being “good” means being “perfect.”) (leads to self-degradation)

• “Something’s really wrong with me because I could never please people, inspite of all my efforts, and I hate myself for it. I wish was not who I am. I wish I was never born.” (leads to self-contempt or self-cursing)

• “I don’t deserved to be loved. I only deserve to be rejected, hated, condemned and punished – because I’m a bad person. I’m not worth loving.” (leads to self-condemnation and self-punishment)

• “I live to keep pleasing people, never myself, so I can gain acceptance and approval. I’ll do anything, even compromise what I believe, lie, or even sacrifice everything I value, just to feel I belong and that I’m ‘good’ in their eyes.” (leads to abuse by others and to self-abuse)

• “I’m never good enough in their eyes anyway; I’ll just do everything that they hate, to show them that I’m really everything they think of me, that I’ve finally accepted that I’m really a bad person, and so I’ll show them and get back at them!” (shame leads to rebellion)

• “I can never let people know who I really am. Because they may not like me. I’ll just keep putting up a face before people. I can’t be honest. I can’t be myself. I’ll just have to live a lie so I can be accepted and feel that I belong.” (leads to loneliness, withdrawal and isolation)

GENERATIONAL BLESSING AND CURSE
In the late 1880’s, Benjamin B. Warfield, a professor at Princeton University, traced the known descendents of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was the first president of Princeton and one of the key preachers in religious revival known as the “Great Awakening” during the eighteenth century.

Richard Dugdale, a sociologist and a contemporary of Warfield’s, traced the known descendents of Max Jukes. Jukes was a Dutch immigrant that arrived in New York in the early 1700’s. He was an atheist and an alcoholic who couldn’t hold a job. He married a prostitute.

blessing vs curse