If you wish your family looked like the Huxtables, the Bradys, or any other "perfect" home on television, Bishop T.D. Jakes says you're missing the point. He joined Oprah onstage for a two-part episode of "Oprah’s Lifeclass" and discussed what he says is the true definition of family.
Family is "God's way of introducing us to a socialized environment," he says in the above video. "It is where we, on ground level zero, begin to find out how we act and interact with other people. Ultimately, it becomes a support group for a life-long journey."
Bishop Jakes says it is important to remember is that no family is perfect. “It is not about getting your family to look like some image you saw on TV,” he says.
We have a tendency to look at our own problem-filled home and think the family across the street has it better. "When in reality they're probably crazy too, they just mask it a little bit better than you do," he says.
Bishop Jakes says there is no such thing as a perfect family. "It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be flawless. It doesn't have to be what you had in mind. You can''t control it. But it is a gymnasium for love to work out in."
"Whoa, Tweetable moment," Oprah says. "A gymnasium for love to work out in."
"That's how love works out," Bishop Jakes further explains. "That's how you learn to love crazy people," he says with a laugh. "That's how you learn how to forgive. That's how you learn your people skills."
Just like the body needs weight and resistance training, Bishop Jakes says love needs metaphorical exercise to become stronger.
"You need to learn how to love imperfect people," he says. "Because if you succeed at loving imperfect people, then it becomes plausible that somebody could love imperfect you."