Balancing Grace and Difficult Family Members

Thanksgiving is a special time of year for a lot of reasons. But one main reason is that it’s the launch of the holiday season. Just about everyone knows that when the turkey dinner is over the shopping season begins.

Thanksgiving is embedded with tradition for a lot of people. It can be very tough for some and very joyous for others. Many are dealing with grief and loss and the holiday is a reminder of who is not there to celebrate the family traditions that have long been a part of a family.

For others, it’s a joyous time of new and old traditions, possibly new family members, and love mixed with sharing. Either way, there are some things you can do to make the holiday your own, remember the love of God and the warmth of sharing in the season.

People need the love of Christ more than ever during the holidays. If you are one of those that are struggling to get through the holiday let me share some ideas that may help your heart and family, as well as another person or family this season.

I especially want to talk to the heart of the person who feels anxious about interacting with difficult family members this season.

Let’s face it, some people we love are hard to love.  They push every button.  Say the one thing you are hoping they won’t bring up and just seem to thrive on tension and arguments.

How do you love someone like that?

To begin healing rifts and start fresh in your relationships, it helps to understand where your family drama stems from.

Thankfully, Jesus and the Word the God give us some concert examples of how to manage difficult family members with grace.

And truth be told it is not just family members with who we sometimes have tense relationships. It can also be friends, co-workers, or that person you must see every day at your local coffee shop who can’t seem to stand the sight of you.

Here are a few ideas of how you can share your faith even with those who are difficult to love or if you are having a hard time this Thanksgiving.


1. Prepare for triggers. Consider what triggers drama in your family and seek to avoid or at least leave before these triggers show up.

2. Evaluate your past. Think about what you want to do differently with your kids or your spouse. Ask yourself what patterns you want to change in the next generation.

3. Stop playing the part. If you’re tired of always being the responsible one or the go-between, then don’t do it anymore. Discovering (and changing) your role in your family’s drama can be freeing.

4. Surround yourself with healthy role models. Who do you know that’s raising an amazing family? Spend time with them and learn from their example.

5. Seek counseling. Healing from difficult family relationships is hard but you don’t have to do it alone. Look for a godly therapist who can walk with you during this time.

6. Ask for prayer. Choose a friend or two you trust not to gossip about your family and tell them what’s going on. Request that they pray with and for you regularly.

To help prepare your heart for the coming season and marinate in God’s word on how to deal with drama from others with grace, grab this 7-day Devotional and guide.

In it, you’ll learn scripture verses that deal directly with this topic and get ideas on how to:

  • Set up healthy boundaries
  • Change your family legacy
  • Sow Grace where you can



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