Think about the last time you remember facing a situation that threatened your life– what were you last thoughts? Were you fearful for your job– bank accounts– status– or dirty dishes in the sink?
Probably not! Aside from our relationship with Jesus the next important thing in our life is family. Our family is our most important responsibility, achievement, and legacy. What we teach our children daily– through our words and actions– is crucial. The quality of family is important to our happiness, emotional well-being, and mental health.
Happy strong families have these 6 characteristics in common.
The warm fuzzy feeling and loving environment in a home comes from commitment. It offers a shelter for family members against the destructive feelings of fear, anxiety, and loneliness.
The heart of the commitment to a family unit is the dedication to the marriage relationship. God sees the commitment so important that He strongly condemns any violation of that marital relationship. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
Commitment means to be there and never abandon each other– doing whatever it takes to love one another as we should.
Expressing appreciation and affection strengthen relationships and build strong families. God has made it known that He wants to be appreciated. One example in the Bible tells of Jesus hearing the pleas of ten lepers who cried out for healing– and He healed all ten. However, only one of them came to say thank you. Jesus was pleased with the one that came back to give Him thanks and glory– He was displeased by the nine who did not. (Luke 17:11-19)
Members in strong families express appreciation for even the small things. Showing gratitude– pointing out the good qualities in one another– encouraging each other– and sharing humor and affection.
Every person needs to know they are part of a whole. No one wants to feel alone. Elijah was becoming in low spirits when he was the only one standing up for God. Feeling alone carries its own mixture of feelings of fear and hopelessness. God assured Elijah that he was not alone.
Healthy communication is key in the process of having the sense of belonging– it helps us to feel connected to one another by exchanging information. Healthy communication also helps us with problem solving and conflict resolution in constructive ways.
Typically our best memories are from simple quality time spent with our family and friends– time that did not require a bunch of money or some form of elaborate plans.
Solomon warns us in Ecclesiastes that the energy, time, and talents that we extend to things that are not of God’s will is a waste of time. Members of strong families spend a lot of time together playing, talking, laughing, having fun, and just hanging out. We need large quantities of good and healthy quality time together for families to flourish.
Our time is in high demand, which is what makes the quality time together such a precious gift.
Coping with Stress and Crises
People who are part of strong families are not exempt from stress or crises– they face the same daily challenges and frustrations as everyone else. The difference is that those in strong families call upon their commitment to one another and their communication abilities to resolve the issue. They manage to find good in the situation regardless if the only good they see is having each other. They rely heavily on their faith in God through times of difficulty.
The importance of having a spiritual center in God cannot be stressed enough. Strong families rely upon the power above and beyond themselves– it is the glue that keeps them strong and holds them together. Jesus talks about how important it is to have a foundation in Christ.
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Spiritual foundations give meaning and purpose to our lives– giving us freedom from fear, guilt, anxiety, and low self-esteem– as well as giving us hope, encouragement, and a confident outlook on life.
Spiritual foundations are the basis of all the guidelines we follow for daily living. Honesty, forgiveness, patience, kindness, and helping others. Families that have strong spiritual well-being know that God is there watching, guiding, and helping them every step of the way. They know they can turn to God at any time for help. (James 1:5)
When people believe in these basic truths and abide in God’s Word– they know their life has direction and with God’s help, they can know what is right and wrong. They have found value in putting God’s Word into practice.
James 1:22 tells us that we are called to ‘be doers of the Word, and not only hearers’
Thank you Lord for this message. Open our hearts and minds to hear your Word and your direction. Thank you for giving us the tools to build strong foundations that no storm can destroy. Forgive me for not seeking Your word and direction in my life and for my family from the beginning. Restore the relationships that have been affected by my lack of faith and willingness to stand upon your truth. Help me to grow in the six characteristics for strong families. God, we need your guidance and direction to know how to guide our children in the right direction– passing along Your foundational truths to building strong families. It is in Jesus name I pray.