Three Families, Same Problem

In the Netflix series Ozark you follow the lives of three families, the Byrdes, the Langmores, and the Navarro cartel. There are several other features families in the story such as Darlene’s dynasty , Wendy’s childhood family , and the Shaws.

As people watching the drama play out of cartels and money and murder and lies and ambition, we tend to view some people as villains and others as victims. In this case there were many villains , but the lines were often blurred by the violence committed by both groups. We pick a side and root for them even though they’re both doing bad things. Just like in real life.

Both sides lied, killed, cheated, conspired, and tried to get what they thought they deserved . But one family had a heritage of poverty and petty crime, one was middle class and educated, and one was a drug cartel ,but still had family loyalty and dysfunctions caused by the same underlying issue.

The writers did a great job showing how families pass down the curse from one generation to the next . The story begins and ends with none of these families rising above their own human weaknesses. Instead, they leave a path of death and destruction while trying to escape their upbringing. It’s truly sad when you think about it.

These fictional families had the same problem we all have: they needed Jesus. Only Jesus can free us from our human weaknesses and give us a new life. His power breaks the power of our past and any family curse we may be carrying.

It’s interesting that the priest in Ozark tried to save Wendy even while he worked for the cartel. He also tried talking to Marty about God. And Wendy’s abusive, alcoholic father played the role of good church man. In the show religion is portrayed correctly as something that people do to feel better. But none of them really knew Jesus.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Ruth has found salvation just because she was on the path to cleaning up her life. We can sympathize with her , and I did, but in real life we cannot fix ourselves. She needed to surrender her life to Jesus like we all do.

You can be free from the dysfunctional behavior you learned from your family. God will transform you through a difficult process called sanctification in which you will be forced to choose if you are willing to let go of your old ways and follow Jesus. This will happen gradually, after you receive salvation.

The first step is admitting that you are a helpless sinner who needs Jesus. Ask him to forgive your sins and be the lord of your life. Then trust Him and submit your will to his every day . Don’t try to fix yourself without God’s power. You’ll just end up frustrated and broken like these three families. But with God , all things are possible.

Don’t waste another minute living in the past. Choose life today!


  1. My husband watched this series when I was out of town. He found it interesting but told me I wouldn’t enjoy it. I think he was right. But I’m glad you were able to use it as a springboard for a good post. No matter how violent a family is, it would be a mistake to think that they are beyond redemption, or that we need Jesus any less than they do,

    • The first season was pretty violent and I questioned if I should keep watching it. But I am truly a student of human nature, so I just found it so intriguing, I had to keep watching. I plan to cancel Netflix soon.

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