Few things rival the joy of having a good family. Having a good wife. Having a loving husband. Rearing faithful children. What a pleasure it is!
I was just thinking awhile back about what might be some things necessary for having a good family. Here are ten suggestions.
1. Involve God in your marriage. God ordained the husband and wife relationship. It was intend to be a joyous one, one with mutual love and devotion. Far too many marriages don’t involve God. It seems to me that husbands and wives are too busy with mundane things today. They don’t have any time to be together, much less be together with God. Husbands and wives don’t pray together, they don’t laugh together, they don’t have private talks about good stuff. If you haven’t involved God in your marriage, you’re missing one of the supreme joys of life. (Read Genesis 1:26-28)
2. Involve God in rearing your children. Children need to be taught early on that God is supreme in the home, that He will be considered first in all matters. When that is the case, there will be instructions about honesty, about being kind, about helping others, as well as a host of other things having to do with holiness and piety. Children get close to God when they see that their parents are close to God. When they see no godliness, they are not likely to have much themselves. (Read Ephesians 6:4)
3. Keep good communication. Most of the problems in marriages are in some way connected to poor communication. Husbands don’t keep wives informed or wives don’t let the husbands know what they’re doing and why, and that causes problems. Misunderstandings are nearly always caused by a failure to communicate. Marriages need closeness, communications brings it about. Stay in touch with your spouse. Keep an open line with your children. (Read Proverbs 1:7-9)
4. Do things together. It bothers me that I see homes so fragmented in today’s society. The wife works, and keeps the house, the husband works, but plays golf when he is off. There’s no time for family-togetherness. The children are often so involved in some kind of outside activity that they have little time for family affairs. Nobody has time to sit and just enjoy pleasant family conversation. Being together makes happy homes. After all, you can’t really get to know one another when you spend no time together. (Read Eccl. 9:9)
5. Eat together. I made this a section by itself because it deserves special consideration. Families need to plan a time for at least one meal together each day. Meals shared promote good humor, good conversation, an opportunity to speak of moral and spiritual needs. Eating together is one of the purest forms of fellowship, and one of the best promoters of family happiness. (Read Ecclesiastes 3:12-13)
6. Encourage one another. There is great benefit in encouraging one another, no matter the project or endeavor. For instance, a youngster who is naturally rather timid, can be brought out of that timidity–at least somewhat–by a little encouragement. A child who is a bit too extroverted can be helped to control that tendency by some well-placed encouragement. And teaching children to encourage one another, to encourage their parents, cements a marriage and makes it strong. (Read Gal. 6:1-4)
7. Make family worship part of your schedule. We schedule everything else. Why can’t we just put down a time and say, “this if for family worship”? Children get a good start with such activities, teenagers keep spiritual focus from such, and the parents get closer to God when there is a time set aside for spiritual matters. Hold hands when you pray. Hold hands when you sing together. (Read Matthew 5:1-12)
8. Learn the joy of saying, “I love you.” It makes marriages happier. It makes kids feel important. It makes for a better home on every front. It brings the family together. It makes hard times easier to bear. It’s just God’s way of having a good home. A home with lots of love in it is a happy home. (Read I Cor. 13)
9. Find good family friends. As a general rule, people tend to find those who share their convictions and aspirations. Good family friends adorn homes. They bring special admirations, feelings of mutual trust, and extra-family kindness to the home and family. Being together with family friends broadens love and makes the family feel blessed. (Read I Corinthians 12:12-20)
10. Take out the trash. Every family has stuff that doesn’t belong. These things have to be handled. And if they are not handled properly the trash builds up and eventually causes a big stink. Even little pieces of rubbish has to be taken out early or there is problem later when it becomes part of a whole lot of junk that builds up. Fathers should take control to see that evil talk, gossip of various sorts, and other wish-wash don’t get a foothold or become common in the family. Mothers should discourage any kind of dirty language, no matter if it’s acceptable in other places. Trash does not fit a good family. (Read James 3:6-12)
I hope this helps a little. <Dee Bowman>