Have you ever heard someone say: Every cloud has a silver lining? It means with every storm, with every cloud, there is a something good about it. That’s a nice little saying, but sometimes silver linings are hard to find in real life, aren’t they? It’s hard to see the good qualities when it comes to people at school who aren’t so nice to you or teachers who make your day miserable. Maybe the hardest place to see a silver lining is your family. In the best situations, family members can be annoying, but for many of us it goes beyond that to real brokenness and painful memories. Very few families in history have experienced more brokenness than Joseph’s did in the Bible. After his father played favorites and his brothers sold him into slavery, it must have been hard to believe any good would come out of his situation. But through his story, we see that God can use us to change our relationship with even the most difficult family members. And if we’re willing to look for it, we may just find the silver lining in our family.
Session One: Every Family Has One
Bottom Line: your family may not act great, but you can still respond in a great way.
Do you ever look at your family and wonder, “How on Earth did I end up with these people?” You’ve seen normal families on TV. Maybe you even know some families who seem normal, but that just doesn’t look like the people who live at your house. This is especially frustrating since you’re kind of stuck when it comes to family. You didn’t choose them. And while you can “unfriend” someone you can’t “unfamily” them. So what are your options when it comes to a family that often feels “less than ideal”? In the Bible, Joseph was faced with the same question. And though he had every reason to walk away from his family forever, what he did instead gives us a clue how we can find the silver lining in our family story, even when circumstances aren’t perfect.
Session Two: Now & Later
Bottom Line: Learning to deal with your family is as much about your future as it is about your now.
Family isn’t easy. And sometimes it’s really tempting to give up or check out because you know that in a few short years you’ll be out of the house, on your own, and surrounding yourself with people who don’t embarrass you in public. But what if your exit strategy is flawed? What if just surviving your family now doesn’t solve your problems but just brings them into the future with you? What if the things you do and say this week will actually matter years down the road and long after you stop having a curfew? Even after leaving his family’s home, Joseph found himself in a number of situations where he had to live with and listen to people who didn’t deserve his respect. In each relationship, as he practiced honoring God by honoring others, Joseph’s attitude toward authority made all the difference for him and eventually for his entire family.
Session Three: Climate Change
Bottom Line: You can change the mood in every room you walk into.
Have you ever walked into a room and been able to feel the tension? Or have you ever left a tense or awkward situation and felt yourself instantly relax? The truth is, every room and every situation has a climate—not just a temperature but also a feeling, a mood. But did you know that climate often depends on you? You know exactly how to crank up the awkwardness, the tension, the stress. But you also have the power to turn up the joy, the laughter, and make your house a better place to be. As we conclude the story of Joseph, we uncover two simple steps that forever changed the story of his family. And if we’re brave enough to follow his example, they may change the climate at our home too.