By Terry Hoskins –
Many people that visit my office are haunted by painful memories from their childhood. In the minds of far too many, the family is a place of hurt and suffering, not a place of peace. There are numerous homes where fear, anger, and chaos rule the home. There are few families out there who rise above the usual problems and drama. Those are the people who when asked about their families have many positive stories to share about their growing up. They remember when dad taught them how to pray, they think about the way mom and dad got along, they reminisce on the good times they had with their siblings, and they conclude to themselves that family is truly a gift from God. Every family whether good or bad has one thing in common; they will both carry on a legacy to the third and fourth generations. So what makes a good family? Good families are cultivated, not stumbled upon. There are basic building blocks that need to be laid to build the foundation of a healthy family. It is never too late to start building in a positive direction and stop tearing your family apart. Each building block we discuss is found in God’s Word.
First Building Block
We need to please and glorify God. God’s Word says, “we make it our goal to please Him (God)…” (2 Corinthians. 5:9a, NIV). A healthy family starts with a desire to please God. A strong foundation begins with a family that desires to please God. This starts with an authentic and vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Also, it is important to glorify God in our family too. God’s Word says, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV) We are here on earth to worship and please God with every area of our life. Our home reveals who or what we love and worship, and it is important for us to please and glorify God.
Does your family live to please God? Would your spouse tell me that you are seeking to glorify God with your life? What would your children say about your relationship with God?
Second Building Block
We need to put others above ourselves. God’s Word says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3, NIV) It is the practice of self-denial instead of self-fulfillment. That is the epitome of Biblical love. John 3:16 says, “for God so loved the world that He GAVE His Son…” God gave everything He had including His beloved Son, and He asks us to do the same. Love your spouse and your children above yourself, put their desires and wants above your own. This may not sound very appealing to you, but it is exactly what God calls you to do. God Word says, “husband love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25, NIV)
How important is it for you to obey God? Are you trying to love your spouse above yourself? How often are you training the children to be selfless instead of selfish?
Third Building Block
We need to be dispenser’s of grace. Grace means unmerited favor. We love, bless, and forgive one another freely in our families because God gives us what we don’t deserve. God’s Word says, “when you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” (Colossians 2:13, NIV) The Bible tells us that God in His infinite mercy and grace made us alive in Christ while we were still living a life of rebellion. Christians should be the most graceful towards others because God’s grace is poured on them daily. Our families should be recipients of the grace that is overflowing in us. Forgiveness and love should consume anger and resentment. Joy and peace extinguishes depression and discord.
Is your house a place of grace or judgement? How often are you bringing up past sins of others? Are the children honoring each other? Do you consider God’s grace as you show patience and love to other family members?