No More Dysfunction: Functional Families Don’t Have to Be Rare
By Drenda Keesee
Why write a book about family life?
Years ago, shortly after I became a committed believer in Christ, I heard a message preached that rocked my world—the kind that catches you completely off guard and leaves you undone by the presence of God, knowing you will never be the same.
I was so struck by the words in Malachi 2:15, “Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.”
My years of feminist training—to reject marriage and family as a less than noble pursuit, compared to the ventures of making money or becoming famous—all melted away in a powerful encounter with God.
That encounter resulted in…
a complete change of pursuits for me. I was suddenly aware that this idea of family, being in God’s family and creating a godly family, was near and dear to God’s heart. Through a transformation, it became near to my heart, too. I didn’t know how to accomplish it. I just knew it was worth pursuing.
Throughout the last fifty years or more, our country lost the importance and foundation for family. Almost every problem we see today is a result of family problems and issues. Yet the more problems we have, the less focus or interest there is in family. People have become more self-absorbed, and as a result, we’ve been spiraling downward as a nation, as individuals, and as families.
It’s time to change that!
Love is the greatest thing one can experience, and love begins in a family. We were not made to have a relationship with technology or to be self-absorbed.
God made us for family—His family and the one we would create with Him.
I remember a time when we were in Taco Bell eating lunch as a family. We prayed over our food, ate, and talked. Afterward, a couple approached Gary and me. The lady had tears welling in her eyes.
“I’ve never seen a family like yours,” she said. “The whole meal my husband and I couldn’t do anything but watch your family. I’ve never seen kids get along with their parents like yours, or talk and get along with one another so well. What’s your secret?”
We had an opportunity to share God’s love with that woman. We didn’t have to go to her table and preach to her. Our family opened a door for us to witness simply by being ourselves. People want good families!
How sad that a functional family is an anomaly, a rarity!
That’s why your family needs to shine in this time. The light shines brightest in the greatest darkness. We aren’t a perfect family, but we tried every day to cultivate an atmosphere of love and peace. Don’t expect your family to be perfect either, but cultivate an atmosphere of love and peace.
Whether people realize it or not, they yearn for the vintage family model. Shows such asDuck Dynasty and others with lots of kids and family life are so popular because they give a glimpse into families that relate, that are real, and working through problems, not running from them.
Amidst so much dysfunction, people are craving healthy relationships.
It’s time to reinstate the principles of the vintage family, to protect the future of all children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, to invade the culture that is trying to twist and dilute families, and to bring in the strongest, clearest form of the family system—the one that works.
Won’t you join me
Excerpted and adapted from Drenda’s brand new book, The New Vintage Family.
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Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.