Everyone struggles with Family Group Dynamics
In a very real way, there’s deep problem happening in America. It’s happening long before folks hit the work force, though. If family group dynamics is the symptom, fellowship is the cure. The root problem boils down to fellowship, actually lack of fellowship, in families. So, what is fellowship?
Fellowship: The Gentle Art of Companionship
Fellowship is a word that has been misdefined until we don’t have a clue what it really means. Heck, fellowship can just mean a party with no alcohol. In some cases, fellowship can be a small group social at church.
However, fellowship is actually the gentle art of companionship. In families, we want to love unconditionally for exactly who we are. We all want to share tender respect for each other. In a superficial way, good family group dynamics is what we are after. Yet, real fellowship is a deeper, whole-hearted, non-manufactured way of being in true relationships. It springs out of commitment. By the way, in businesses where people practice fellowship, the group dynamics are also excellent.
Group dynamics are cool. I get it. In companies and organizations, folks accomplish goals due to effective group dynamics. Good group dynamics succeed in the work place where boundaries maintain a professional tenor. Professionalism requires proper group dynamics and team functioning.
There’s a whole industry of advisors coaching companies on better group dynamics. However, our whole culture craves more than better group dynamics. People who are showing up for work discouraged and distressed. They lack the work ethic or drive to do their job. Employees are worn out from problems at home. As bosses strive to encourage and energize their employees, it feels like a losing battle. No one functions well in the workplace when the home place malfunctions.
Fellowship: the Cure for Poor Family Group Dynamics
Families are the same. When fellowship is missing, discouragement and distress trail after family members. People lose hope. All humans crave fellowship, that deep sense of belonging and rootedness. Families crave gentle companionship. We hear the word community tossed around a lot now, but again, it has a whole new meaning. Or maybe community expresses a longing for the idealized 1960s neighborhood where kids played kick the can and folks sat on their porches calling out to neighbors who strolled by until dusk. I remember the 1960s. Believe me, we have an opportunity to do better.
A Commitment to Rich Fellowship
Fellowship is entirely, deeply different from group dynamics in the commitment involved. It’s one thing to use professional manners at work. It’s an entirely different thing to engage in a relationship that requires intense vulnerability and emotional integrity. Marriage and family give us the perfect setting for trying new strategies to enhance fellowship in our lives. Where but our family could we have the best chance to learn to be gentle and tender in the way we interact with each other? I know some families are difficult. Our hearts break for the gentle companionship missing in so many families today.
That’s why I avoid the term group dynamics altogether when it comes to families. Group dynamics has its place, but in our marriages what we want is fellowship. Rich fellowship is the byproduct of gentle companionship. Fellowship is what we want in our families. Truth be known, fellowship is what we want in life.
Cathy Krafve, Texas Author, Columnist, Speaker, and Radio Personality, specializing in Christian Marriage and Family invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.