For most of us, the coronavirus meant more time at home. What was your family’s response to the crisis?
According to a New York Times article entitled “Of Covidivorces” and “Coronababies”: Life During a Lockdown,” we may see an uptick in the divorce rate following the pandemic.
A crisis has a way of putting families in the frying pan. So the question is would you describe your family’s response more like an omelet (we pulled it all together) or more like scrambled eggs (it all came apart)?
Psychologists use a method called Family Stress Theory to help families evaluate their outcomes during crisis. Researchers began using Family Stress Therapy in the 1930’s to help them understand why some families pull together while others fall apart during tough times.
Family Stress Theory measures three variables with each family.
Stressors – Demands (both positive and negative) placed on a family that forces a change in their situation.
Resources – What does the family rely on (both internal and external) to help them navigate these changes?
Meaning – How does the family interpret the situation and communicate to one another which role each person will play?
Stressors + resources + meaning = outcome.
So in crisis, does your family scramble eggs or make omelets out of the situation?
Every family deals with stress. What’s interesting is that over the past 90 years, researchers have found that every family will face a similar number of stressors.
Biblically speaking, none of us are exempt from suffering. There is no amount of faith we can have to avoid it. In fact, the Bible says that our faith may provoke it (Heb. 11:35-40).
Romans 5:3 and James 1:2 mention an unusual response to suffering for the Christian. Or, for this post, the Christ-centered family. They say, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings” and “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
Whether scrambled or omelets, it’s the same broken egg. The difference is in the approach.
A Christ-centered family sees their suffering as part of the process. In Christ, suffering is not an anomaly but an opportunity.
Because suffering is squarely within God’s sovereignty, a Christ-centered family uses God’s Word as a guide for how to handle the situation.
We see our suffering as part of a fallen world, but because of Christ we don’t have to fall apart. Scripture gives us the wisdom we need to take a broken situation and pull together.
So everyone was stuck at home. Were you angry? Was life unfair? Were you looking for ways to get away from one another? If so, you probably scrambled the egg. Your family falls apart in every crisis.
Or, though saddened by the circumstances, were you thankful for the opportunity? If so, you probably made omelets. Your family pulls together in a crisis.