Unity In Christ (Part One)

What creates unity within the body of Christ? Is it everyone agreeing on everything? Or thinking exactly the same as one another? Is it a family that never argues or disagrees? NO, it is the Love and order of God.

There is something that the Lord has revealed to me about the type of unity He wants in the Church; that is, a family unit. How can we learn to be a family in Christ? Much of that education is going to begin with being a part of a God centered family in your personal life. God created every relationship to reflect and Glorify him. Think of a God centered household. The husband/father is the leader/head of household; he is to lead, guide, provide, and protect his family by reflecting Christ and fully submitting to him. The Wife/mother is also a leader but in unity with her husband. She isn’t meant to overpower or control him. She is to respect him, and submit in the way she would to Christ’s leading. The children are there to respect their parents while the parents shepherd, nurture, and raise them into maturity so that they can leave the home and apply the very things they’ve learned in their youth to build their own homes. The main piece to this dynamic is Christ and His love, His word, and His truth that permeates through your home. It is important to be in surrenderance and submission to God’s order. Surrenderance is a word which here means: a humble and sincere searching for what God wants from you, not what you think He wants. A well oiled machine cannot function properly if all of its pieces and parts are malfunctioning and not working together. Every piece, every nut and bolt is vital and plays an important role in the machine running properly. The same applies in our homes, and in the body of Christ.

How our homes run is a reflection of how ministry will run, and how the body of Christ will run. Take the time to pour into your family and allow the Lord’s divine order to fill your home then pour that into the Body of Christ. I’m positive that will end a lot of the dysfunction that exists within the church.
Take a look at your personal life; Envision your family, then ask yourself: are there any things that harbor dysfunction within in my family? Your answer is most likely YES. And the reason for that is Sin and Satan. The enemy knows that if He can get into the home and destroy it then division will prevent that family from working as a unit. If he can manage that at home, he will have that same foothold within a church. Broken and abused households far outnumber healthy God centered ones. The truth is, there is a real battle against God centered families who are in unity. We must allow Jesus to take us on a spiritual journey to break through any generational curses our families may be under so that our lives are rebuilt on his firm foundation. Otherwise things will remain in disorder and dysfunction.

Now I’m going to get a little personal here. I grew up in a very unhealthy family where plenty of wicked things occurred generation after generation (abandonment, neglect, favoritism, addictions, mental abuse, emotional, physical abuse, and sexual abuse of all kinds) and NO one dared to confront it. Everyone just kept their own dark painful secrets to themselves and didn’t talk about it. Growing up was difficult because I attempted on many occasions to talk about the giant elephant in the room. I tried to voice my pain and suffering and every time I did, I would not be received or comforted. I’d get silenced, or a palm to the face. I found myself striving to be loved and accepted by people that were supposed to be adults I could look up to, and truth is they failed. They failed because they themselves wounded people who would then became products of their childhoods. My family has had a very rough life, full of of pain and trauma of which we pretend not to be aware of. Everyone of them chose to cover their truth in an attempt to maintain this image of being a perfect little family that nothing bad ever happened to rather than confronting it together and healing together. No one truly cared about one another enough to stop the secret things that were going on. You have the blind leading the blind, and no one stepping up to confront sin; secret sins that affect generation after generation, child after child. I too became a product of my families sin. The abuse I endured in my life definitely impacted the way I saw myself, and what I would accept in my relationships, almost every relationship I entered was abusive. I found my worth and my value in the lips and opinions of others and no matter how hard I would strive at pleasing others I always seemed to fail at living up to their standards. I allowed people I love to manipulate, intimidate, dominate, and control me. Before coming to know Christ I wasn’t aware of the toxicity or tactics being used against me, there were years and years of conditioning being done to me.

For this portion, I will be sharing the impact a father/male figure has on children. (Before doing so I want to say that The Lord blessed my sister and I with a loving step father who did accept us and helped my mother raise us. That being said, the dynamic in which we were raised wasn’t a way that reflected Christ in the household. Therefore, things weren’t in proper order). These deeply rooted wounds began with my birth father, a “daughters first love”, the leader of the home, abusing his authority, and showing me my first example of what domestic violence looks like. Those images will never be something that can be unseen. My sister and I moved in with our grandmother and her husband when my mom gained the courage to leave. My grandmother’s husband spoke so many cruel things to me, in addition to hitting and sexually abused me for the majority of my elementary school years. As he had done with several other family members before me. While we lived with my grandma we saw my father occasionally, until I turned 13. At that time, he cut off all ties with my sister and I and told us not to come around anymore. That hurt because we wanted so badly to have our daddy around. As I grew I blamed my dad for a lot of the trauma I endured because I felt that if he hadn’t done the evil things he did, then I wouldn’t have gone through the things I did. I struggled with a lot of anger for years. At the age of 16 my birth father attempts to reconnect with my sister and I because he had cancer. I was so angry with my dad; I wanted nothing to do with him. My mother spoke to me about forgiving him and giving our relationship a chance, so my sister and I did. We allowed our dad back into our lives for a few short months until he passed away. That was probably the worst pain of my life. I felt like I was robbed of so many special memories I yearned to have with my dad and I never got to have them. His death was very traumatic and caused us a lot of emotional distress.

All of these events that occurred throughout the years impacted me so deeply that, as an adult, I’d become desperate in my pursuit of wanting to provide my children with good and involved fathers; I wanted to keep them from being abused in the same ways that I was. Instead I found nothing but more possessiveness, abuse and brokenness. I had unknowingly made an idol of needing to have a good father for my kids and having my idea of a healthy family that I allowed my body to be misused and abused by someone who never loved me. I ended up finding myself in a very similar situation that resembled my mother’s when I was a child. Stuck in a dangerously unhealthy relationship with two daughters who were now witnessing this toxic cycle. I wanted a way out. I knew that I needed to leave but I couldn’t because the desire to give my kids a dad was greater than what was true. What gave me the courage to leave was Jesus. In the revelation I had received, the Lord revealed to me that there was a long line of curses in my family and the time to break through that was NOW. Ever since then my eyes were enlightened and mine and my daughters lives have been drastically changed forever! I know now that the father I was searching for all along was Abba. Had it not been for Jesus I don’t know what things would’ve turned out to be, but it wouldn’t have been good that’s for sure. The fight was intense and it took three years to break completely free from the grips of Satan. However, it was the best choice that could be made, for both my children and myself. The Lord broke through these cycles for them so that they would be able to thrive and grow in a home that is rebuilt on a firm foundation. Having the Lord’s guidance in my life has brought me exactly where I’ve always dreamed of being my entire life. Having him positioned where he belongs in my heart has now given me the ability to love others in my life appropriately.

I am now married to an amazingly loving man of God who accepts my daughters as his own and is actively involved in their upbringing. There is still a ton of work to do while raising our girls but we both have the Lord on our side leading, guiding, and directing our families path. I am grateful and blessed to be on this journey with Jesus. He has showed me where true Love is found and that is in him.

Something so precious that I’ve learned from these experiences is that love is none of those things I endured. Love doesn’t manipulate, it doesn’t intimidate, it doesn’t dominate, and doesn’t control. Love doesn’t silence truth. True undefiled love doesn’t allow darkness to thrive. Truth be told, had I not gone through the things that I’ve gone through, the Lord wouldn’t have revealed to me what was going on in the unseen realm: toxic cycles no one seemed to care to break, and painful truths no one dared to confront. There is a massive blessing that was birthed out of this and it is all the Lords doing. I encourage you brother or sister, to be the one who these cycles stop with today! Yield yourself completely to the Lord, surrender your all to Him and allow this journey of freedom in Christ to begin.
Seek the Lord’s kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be provided for you (Matt. 6:33).

In the next part I will talk about spiritual witchcraft and how it works to keep families stuck in generational cycles and how these same cycles follow into the church.

-Natasha Gutierrez

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