7 principles of a strong family

Ben —  May 31, 2012

In a society obsessed with fame, the often unseen task of motherhood tends to get overlooked and undervalued. Yet it is in the home and amongst our families where destinies are forged. Your parenting will live on through future generations. The rewards: the small, everyday things like a child’s first smiles or their first steps. Many people who have achieved great success, including many who have attained considerable fame, point to their mothers as one of their most important influences.

It’s very interesting that in the Bible, God uses family terms to express spiritual truths.  For instance, God is called ‘our Father’, we are called ‘His children’ and Jesus is called ‘our brother’.  The church is called ‘the family of God’. Even terms that are used to describe our salvation are family terms.  We are ‘born’ into God’s family – ‘born again’. We are ‘adopted’ into God’s family.  The family is God’s idea.  It is a model of relationships that he wants us to have forever – relationships of love, trust and mutuality.

The first family – created to be the fundamental unit of society – was God’s pinnacle of creation.

Gen 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

In Exodus we see Moses mother, desperate to save her baby boy’s life from the Egyptians decree of death, place him in a waterproofed basket and set it a float on the river.

Ex 2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River.

What a beautiful picture of a mothers love! The challenge this young mum faced was extraordinary.

We face different challengers but it is still a mother’s role to wrap her children up in love, nurture them, protect them, and push them along the river of their destiny.

Here are seven key principles – some great ways to strengthen your family:

1. Commitment to your family: make having a healthy marriage your no. 1 priority – above accumulating assets, building your career and putting your kids through expensive education. The greatest threat to family life comes from within the marriage itself. Be at work to constantly build your marriage. Allow for the fact that each of you had a very different upbringing – and remember that the greatest gift and most important investment in your children’s lives is having a healthy home life.

Pr 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

2. Spend time with your spouse and children: As a parent you will have a far greater influence on your child’s development than their school or the church. As parents you are the primary moulders and shapers of their lives.

3. Have good family communication: Learn to discuss and resolve issues as they arise rather than avoiding them or shutting down. Teach your children to talk about and work through areas of conflict or difficulty.

4. Express appreciation: Encourage a culture of appreciation. ‘It’s easier to build boys than to repair men’ Give plenty of praise and approval – but don’t let your children rule the household – they don’t know what’s best for them (although they think they do!)

5. Be able to solve problems in a crisis: All families face difficulties at times. We need to be able to rise above them and stay together through the ups and downs.

6. A Godly father plays an important role: Dads, you are the spiritual ‘thermostat’ of the family. You set the spiritual tone of the household. And it’s more about who you are and what you do and don’t do than what you say. You are their greatest role model of what it is to have a genuine, authentic love for God. And no matter what age your children are, you are in the process of instilling values into their hearts.

7. Strong spiritual commitment: Among all the fun and laughter, beneath all the madness and chaos that family life can bring, maintain a deep honour for God.

Mothers, your role is highly valued and greatly appreciated!