Every family wants to be a strong family. Some homes may feel like a war zone, while others feel like Disney World. Wherever you find yourself as a family, let the following six Biblical principles guide you as you try to build a well-established and strong family. Keep in mind that no family is perfect, but it can get better. To help us remember these principles I will use the word FAMILY to guide us.
Fun: Every healthy family has fun together
God meant for the family to be a place where you can relax, kick back and enjoy life (Eccl. 9:9; Prov. 5:18; Psalm 127:3-5). Learn to enjoy your spouse and your children. Play what your children like to play. Find something new your spouse enjoys that you might enjoy and do it together.
Questions to consider: What do your children think is fun? Can you join them in it? Can you schedule some play time with your family? What could you do that is unexpected but you know your family would love?
Attention: Pay attention to your family
Philippians 2:4 says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (NLT). Take an interest in your spouse’s day. Listen to what he/she has to say. Ask him/her questions to show you are interested in them. Do the same for your children.
Questions to consider: Do you listen more or talk more when you are with your family? How can you show more interest in your family’s life than you have in the past?
Memories: Healthy families learn to capture memories
In addition to family memories like vacations, holiday traditions, and special events the Bible mentions spiritual memories. God’s Word says, “Be very careful never to forget what you have seen God doing for you. May His miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives! Tell your children and your grandchildren about the glorious miracles He did” (Deuteronomy 4:9, LB). Discover ways to illustrate, demonstrate and pass down what God has done for you and your family.
Questions to consider: What has God done for you and your family that you need to remember? How can you illustrate or demonstrate that in your home in order for it not to be forgotten?
Inspiration: Healthy families learn how to inspire one another
We are told over and over again to encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11; Eph. 6:4). Everybody in your family, including you, needs encouragement. Your spouse and children get discouraged and disheartened about many things throughout their life. You are a primary tool in the hands of God to motivate, stimulate, and build them up.
Questions to consider: How can you encourage your spouse today? What about next week? In what ways can you offer encourage and inspiration to your children?
Love: Healthy families learn how to love each other unconditionally.
Many times people communicate their love to their family in a conditional sense, even when they love them unconditionally. For example, children often feel their parents only love them when they get good grades or if they do something good. Some children feel like they are in a love contract with their parents; you fulfill your end of the deal and I will reward you with love. Instead, find ways to clearly communicate unconditional love that says, “I love you because you were given to me by God. Period.”
Questions to consider: How do you communicate love to your family? Do you need to change the way you communicate love to them? When was the last time you clearly stated that you loved them?
Yielding: Healthy families learn to yield to God
Every strong family has God as the foundation of their home and God’s Word as the final authority over their family (Deut. 6:6-7; Joshua 24:15). As a spouse learn what God says to you in regards to how you treat your husband or wife. As a parent dedicate yourself to discover Biblical principles in training up your child.
Questions to consider: Have you ever done a serious study on God’s Word on parenting? God’s Word and marriage? God’s Word and being a husband? God’s Word and being a wife? If not, ask your pastor for help in finding material that will help you and your family become the family God designed you to be.