A few years back I studied "abuse' in a different sense. Anything you misuse or use against or contrary to its purpose is considered abuse. Dr. Myles Munroe who is a Phd is in Religious studies I believe, defines abuse by disconnecting the words to reveal the root "AB"normal "USE". Most abuse occurs when you are ignorant of or ignoring the purpose for which something was created. If you don't know what a child is for...you will abuse him/her, if you don't know the reason your spouse is in your life, you will abuse him/her. If you are ignorant as to why your family was created, blended or otherwise thrown together ...not knowing its purpose will cause misuse and soon abuse.
You will abnormally use your family to give your life the semblance of normalcy. You will abnormally use your family to strike business deals or get favor. You will abnormally use your family as an excuse not to do something you are otherwise obligated to do. You will abnormally use your family as a battleground for your shortcomings and a punching bag due to your failings. That is not its purpose. I tell my girls in seminars and sessions and even in my book, one of Dr. Monroe's most meaningful quotes. "If you want to know the purpose of a thing, you must ask the person who created it". Only they have the authority to determine why it was made and what it should be used for.
You wouldn't call Sprint to ask them to fix your water heater. Sprint did not create the item with the issue. They aren't responsible for what happens to to your heater. They did not put together the service plan or give you instructions for a water heater. You need to get in touch with the water heater manufactuer in order to figure out what to do with the broken pipes. Sound silly and simplistic when we are talking about water heaters and cell phone companies. But it seems to get complex when we start talking about our lives or the lives of our spouse, children, stepfamilies. Its no different. Thankfully, a cell phone company didn't put our marriage toegther, or our family together. We got a "God said" from the beginning-If we hadn't we'd be in REAL trouble now. We kept God involved in EVERY decision regarding this marriage and covenanted before Him in His sanctuary before His man of God our vows to one another.
So, now that it looks "stank" in some areas...I don't bend off of that premise. God created this. If your family is suffering abuse..."abnormal use" in ANY area...go back to the one that put that family together-prayerfully it was GOD. If you did it, through manipulation, deceit, sin, error, inpatience or stupidity, repent, ask for forgiveness and then ask for direction. Get a clear direction as to its purpose and its vision. What should your family be doing or not doing? Where should your family be going or not going? Are you away from home too much? Are you home too much and not doing anything of substance with your free time? Is there balance, clear direction...purpose?
Again, remember if you don't know the purpose of a thing...just like the battered children at the festival..you will abuse it and the scars will last a lifetime. Don't call Sprint (or anything or anybody else), FIRST ask God for wisdom...he gives it freely and prepare to start your new year with a clearer path for your life than ever before.