“Discipline your son while there is hope, but do not [indulge your angry resentments by undue chastisements and] set yourself to his ruin.“ Proverbs 19:18 AMP
Thoughts for Today
This week we are looking at five types of dysfunctional families (described in The Thin Disguise by Pam Vredevelt) that can lead to the development of eating disorders. Perhaps you or someone you know has a loved one struggling with an eating disorder. Or perhaps you will identify some potentially harmful characteristic that needs to be addressed in your family.
In the “Rageaholic Family” only the parents (one or both) are allowed to express feelings. The predominant feeling is rage or anger. Unfortunately, the children are taught to believe they are responsible for that anger. Mothers in rageaholic families may have anger and rage from the family of origin, and in some cases the daughter becomes an “emotional receptacle” for that rage. Although the mother is in actuality angry with herself and her parents, she pushes that anger onto her daughter.
Children in rageaholic families learn to repress their anger completely. This repressed anger can cause stress, bitterness and depression, leading to many types of inappropriate behavior.
(Note: We are grateful to Pam Vredevelt for her keen insights.)
Although there are appropriate times to discipline our children—always in love—we are not to be controlled by anger. And sometimes anger vented on children does not even relate to their behavior—it comes from a parent struggling with rage or bitterness caused by something else altogether. Today’s scripture makes it clear that angry resentments and undue chastisements can lead to our child’s ruin.
Father, forgive me for sometimes taking out my anger on my children. Help me to admit when I’ve been wrong and allow my children to see that they are not at fault for my unfair words and actions. Help me to be sensitive to my children’s honest feelings and to allow them to feel safe in expressing them. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Seeing Yourself in God’s Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA,LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together.
A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders.
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