When It's Hard to Share Your Table with Difficult Family Members

Sometimes, holidays are hard. Surrounded by our closest family and friends. When disagreements arise, words are flung like ammo in a mud ball fight with little consideration to whom we are speaking to. Leaving everyone covered in dirt and dealing with the mess. 

The tongue is a weapon we take for granted. With the closeness of family and even with friends, we let down our shield and respect. 

Our words and self-control are loosened, and on occasion, feelings are left crumbled on the floor. Hurt. If we are not careful, bitterness will start growing within our hearts.



How to respond to difficult people



This will be our first Thanksgiving in Mexico!  Of course, the locals do not celebrate Thanksgiving like we do in the states, but that will not stop me from observing the Holiday as best I can.

We are having our Thanksgiving Dinner with our Pastor's, both speak English and Spanish, are from the states, and homeschool their kids!! There will be turkey and pumpkin pie, however, I was unable to find hashbrowns for a hashbrown casserole. Yet, it will be a memorial Thanksgiving!!

Thinking back on past Thanksgiving's with my family and friends, my heart swells with gratitude. Not because I had a perfect life, family and friends, but because each person and moment is a gift from God. These gifts should be looked at with an open heart of gratitude.


I'm thankful for the ones that have sat at my table, yes, even the difficult ones.



How to deal with family during the holidays. Tips on dealing with hateful family members.




How can we be grateful for the ones that sit at our table during the holidays when their words or actions pierce our hearts?



With Grace, Mercy, and Love


With humble hearts, laying the hurt at the feet of Jesus and realizing that the Holy Father in Heaven loves us so much. Daily soak in His amazing, overwhelming love for us. Then praying for those that hurt you.

He offers us grace, mercy and love and asks us to over-fill our hearts with these precious items so we can give to others.  Reminding ourselves that the close loved ones that may have hurt us, God loves them too. So with grace, mercy and love be grateful.


With compassion


Even the closest of family and friends have their secrets and may not allow us into the darkest struggles of their life.

Often times, fear makes us respond with what looks like disrespect and anger. Please know that the words and actions of others do not reflect who you are, but it is a deeper insight into the author of these actions and hurtful words. So with compassion, be grateful.


With Remembering the Good Times


Count the good memories. When we find our hearts and thoughts dwelling on the pain that someone has caused us, let's stop ourselves and count the good moments and memories we've had with this person. If it's a hard struggle, write down all the good things about this person and read your list when you need help remembering. So with remembering the good, be grateful.


With Forgiveness


Fully understand that God calls us to forgive others even when they do not apologize. Doing this frees our hearts and guards us against bitterness. Forgiving someone, even if they haven't apologized, is about your freedom, your spiritual life, trusting God, and your responsibility to move forward. So with forgiveness in your heart, be grateful. 


With a heart running after God, soaking in His Word daily and wanting to bring glory to Him be grateful for everyone at your table. Not just on holidays, but every meal. 

These people at your table, God has given to you to love on, encourage, learn from, grow from, and ultimately shine His light and share His message to. 

Be grateful.

 "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" Colossians 3:16-17


Offer a table of grace this thanksgiving to your family, friends, neighbors and even to yourself with a heart full of gratitude.

I am grateful for you! Happy Thanksgiving, Friend!

Starla Jimenez 

photo source


Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide. (New International Version Bible Online)

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing about something hard but real. We have a bipolar daughter and can expect some drama. We were not disappointed. She tried her best and we handled it without screaming, crying or blame slaying. Again
    thanks. Your a blessing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well I just spent Thanksgiving with a relative like that

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know how hard it is to be grateful and thankful when relationships are strained! BUT trying to find the smallest things to be grateful for will help bring those relationships closer, the more postivity we can muster, the more hope we can find!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for these great tips, Starla. It's so good to have some ammo to fight back with -- and this is the kind of ammo that we should really use more often.

    Happy holidays, my friend. I can't wait to hear about how you'll be celebrating Christmas in Mexico. I'm sure it'll be lots of fun.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    ReplyDelete
  5. Starla, this really hit me at a great time. I am truly grateful for your excellent suggestions. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Each moment is a gift from God and an opportunity to shine for him even in circumstances where our human nature wants to strike out. We've got to share the grace, mercy Nd forgiveness, God so freely shared with us!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Remembering the good times and exercising forgiveness are really important in dealing with difficult family members. Great advice!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great word! Forgiveness is like a cancer. It doesn't eat the other person up, it eats you up trying to hang on all that anger, bitterness and hate.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them!!

I reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments as I see fit. Please be respectful and kind in commenting.

Thank you!