by Eunice Minford
I have known Serge Benhayon and his family for ten years now (since 2007) and that is a fair amount of time to make an assessment of the man, his character and his family. I know all four of his now adult children well and can categorically state they are all remarkable human beings, with a huge capacity to love, connect with people, work hard, and give back to society. They alone are a great testimony to their parents, regarding the quality of their upbringing, the values instilled and the depth of love and care provided.
So is Serge just lucky to have four children who are so loving, caring and talented with no mal-adaptive coping strategies or is there more to it? Well first-off, luck has nothing to do with it. It is thanks to the quality of love reflected to them during their upbringing by both their parents and which they have continued to deepen for themselves in adulthood that has resulted in the adults they are today and which they now reflect to everyone else – and so the ripple effect of the love shown to them, is now shown by them to many others, including myself.
Serge also welcomes people to his home to stay or have dinner, to join with the family, and be part of the family. To be treated equally as part of the family – so there is no pretence or false niceness or put-ons, no airs and graces – everyone helps themselves to the food on offer in abundance and helps out to tidy up at the end – just as a family member would. The welcome is warm, open, loving and equal for all who cross the threshold – no-one is special or given special treatment….and yet everyone is special and feels special in the loving space provided.
But what is even more astonishing having observed this family for ten years is the absence of family dynamics and emotionality that is ever-present in most, if not nearly all other families. Indeed, one might think ‘it’s too good to be true’ – there must be a flaw, there must be something hidden, behind closed doors life must be different – but this is the most transparent family I have ever encountered and there is no doubt they challenge the world and the typical family because of the depth of love they live with each other and everyone else – for it exposes just how far the rest of us and our families are from living that depth of love. Big Ouch! At the same time it is to be celebrated and embraced for it shows just what is possible when we make life about love, purpose and God first and foremost, rather than our individualised agendas, issues and dramaramas.
It exposes, in fact, how most families are not actually loving with each other – but are living a reality where family love = permission to abuse. Yes, you read correctly – we have got so far away from what love is, we think it actually means we have the freedom to abuse each other when it comes to family life. We behave in ways and say things to our family members that we would never say to friends or work colleagues. We feel we can ‘be ourselves’ and just let rip with whatever wants to come out of our mouths, without any censorship, responsibility or consideration as to its effect.
We can react and get angry, shout, yell, scream, call names, be rude, demeaning, belittling, jealous, controlling, manipulative and a host of other not so great and definitely not loving ways – and we think it’s ok to do this because its family! The people we say we love the most, we are in reality often most abusive to… and we mistakenly think it’s ok and that this is family love?! We think that love is allowing these behaviours and attitudes, where we are free to show our dark sides, just because it is family?! How lost and how far removed have we become from what love is, to think in any way, shape or form that such behaviours constitute any form of love?
We in fact often show more decency and respect to our friends and work colleagues in our interactions than we do to our family members. And just to be clear, if there’s not at least a basic level of decency and respect in our communications with our family members then there is definitely not love.
There is no abuse in love, there is no dark side in love, there is no emotionality in love. Love does not equal abuse nor does it give permission to abuse, be angry, rude, controlling, manipulative or any other form of emotionality.
It says much about the state of the world that we as a humanity prefer to continue with our abusive ways….not just in our own homes but by abusing this family, defaming them, name-calling, deriding them (as the media and some others have done), being jealous of them and the love they share, rather than admitting we don’t have it so great and being willing to expose the lies, the abuse, the rot and the lovelessness we live with, and humbly being open and willing to learn from those who have walked a little further on the return path of love … that we too may enjoy truly loving relationships with our family members and all who cross our thresholds. Now that would be a win-win for all concerned.