Another factor that affects the family dynamic are all the relationships between all of these moving parts. It is like a working engine and when one part is not working right it can damage other parts, or even destroy the whole thing. When a man and woman get married there is only one relationship between the two of them and then the two relationships that each of them have with God. Of course in a godless home they only have each other and oddly enough that one relationship is harder to maintain than the 3 relationships in the God-fearing home. When one child is added to the mix those 3 relationships quickly turn into 6 and a family of five has 15 relationships. By the time a family gets to the size that ours will soon be this year with 5 children there are 28 relationships just in the immediate family. Add grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins into the mix as well as considering that sometimes a small group can form a personality of its own and interact with another group (For example: Parents and children, boys and girls, etc.) the family truly becomes a very complex entity.
As the father of the family we also have the job of chief mechanic. We need to be paying constant attention to the each individual part in the family as well as how it is working with the other parts and that can seem like an overwhelming task, but we can do it if we remember that the Lord is working with us. Remember earlier when we said that the godly couple had less trouble than the godless couple. The reason that is true is that as we each work on our relationship with God that relationship not only acts as what holds our family together ( nuts, bolts, welds, rivets, and screws) but also the lubricants (oil, grease, etc.), and liquids (anti-freeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc.) that make it possible for those parts to move without too much friction or wear and tear on the parts. In addition to those things, our relationship with God is the fuel and the spark that gives us the power to go and keep going. If you are having problems with one of the relationships in your family the reason is that at least one of the people in the relationship is having problems in his or her relationship with God.
I am not talking about a disagreement over where to go for dinner or what game to play, those are tastes and preferences that are not and should not always be the same because those differences give us the opportunity to grow and learn to compromise and get along with different personalities. When there is a constant anger and bickering, however, there is a problem that must be worked on. Unfortunately, in some families those problems are allowed to become so severe that the problem part has to be removed for the sake of the other parts, but the pain caused by these things remains.
Think of it this way, a friend of mine had an air conditioner compressor that locked up and broke a belt. We had to remove the compressor, and since he could not afford to replace it right then, buy a shorter belt that would fit the new configuration. This caused a fair amount of suffering, because it gets hot in Alabama without A/C and when he did get the money to fix it there was an increased expense because of the need to replace Freon and the dryer and other parts of the system that had been damaged. It was not ideal, but at least they had transportation. Now imagine that compressor was a spouse that committed adultery, or a 20 year-old child that got hooked on drugs and wouldn’t even try to stop. Of course, each family has to decide how to deal with these kinds of things and when to cut their losses. My friend could have continued driving the car without a belt, but he would have soon destroyed the entire engine because the belt also turned the water pump on his vehicle. He could have put another belt on, but the compressor would have simply destroyed that belt as well. On the other hand, I had a belt break on a vehicle that only affected the power steering. For a while I drove without power steering and dealt with that small hardship. I could have driven that way indefinitely. Another time the belt controlled the alternator, I was able to drive far enough to get some help, but could not have continued to drive that way without replacing $100-dollar batteries every few days. I guess what I am saying is that none of us are perfect and none of our relationships and families will be either, but we have to depend on the one who is to make the whole thing work and we can deal with some of the imperfections while other things are too destructive to the family to be allowed. The key to all of those problems lies in our relationships with God.