By the time [Paul] wrote Ephesians…[he] regarded marriage as the most precious relationship in [the human situation], the only one which was even faintly parallel to the relationship of Christ and the church.
For us, it must always be true that home is place that does two things for us. It is the place where we find the noblest opportunity to live the Christian life; and the pity is that it is so often the place where we claim the right to be as complaining and critical and boorish as we can be, and to treat those who love us as we would never dare to treat someone we did not know. Also, it is the place where we find the comfort and rest from which we draw stregnth to go into the outside world and try to live as Christ would have us live. (William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, p. 83)
Wow. It’s true. All too often home/family is where we dump all of our crap: our anger, our hurts, our jealousies. And the rest of the world gets our smiles, our kindness and gentleness and all the rest of the fruits of the Spirit. We’re already seeing this in Madeline, who is an angel at school but can be full of anger and contempt at home.
It’s not just that we offer all the crap to our family to share the burden: we inflict it on them. And it’s not that I think we should be tossing out of the home and into the world, but that the home/family should be the starting place for love, not the ending place of our pain.
I don’t know. How do we solve this?