marriage Posts

Rediscovering God’s Design for Marriage

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.14.33 AM

With all the talk about marriage today, we need to rediscover God’s original intent, in light of His greater purpose for all of us. God has created us in His image and His original intent has not changed. And it is in Christ alone that we are brought back, made into His image. If you have received the grace of God in Christ, you have already been sanctified. Only as you have been forgiven can you find your true identity, to be truly forgiven and forgive, and live like Jesus.

God’s purpose for the family is not to satisfy us, but to sanctify us. And marriage is the foundation, the driving relationship that establishes the context for this sanctification process in the home.

Establishing a Solid Foundation Ephesians 5:21-33

1. The Power for Marriage (5:18) In Ephesians 5:18, Paul says, “be filled with the Spirit”. This is the driving imperative and the rest of Paul’s teaching is linked to being filled with the Spirit. You can’t have a great marriage w/out being filled with the Spirit. This cannot be overstated. What does it mean to be filled with Spirit? It means that you live your life now in view of the Gospel, you are now a new creation- you have a servant’s heart, which relationally means, you have the ability to receive criticism, the ability to give criticism (w/out crushing others), and the ability to forgive and then love, not hold on to it. Spirit-filled means that you’re thinking logically, you know who you are and it drives all that you do. I accept myself because God has accepted me in Christ- not something or someone else. I should be cast off but Jesus has forgiven me, how can I be harsher with this person than Jesus has been with me? The power of marriage is the Gospel! And it is lived out by one who is filled with the Spirit. It’s the fuel that drives the engine, the oil that ends the rub- n unselfishness created only by the Spirit. It’s cause and effect.

Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-trained researcher and author, in her book, “The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce”, details groundbreaking findings from an extensive eight-year study on marriage and divorce. Among other things, her research found: The actual divorce rate has never been close to 50% “The 50% figure came from projections of what researchers thought the divorce rate would become as they watched the divorce numbers rising in the 1970s and early 1980s when states around the nation were passing no-fault divorce laws”, and those who attend church regularly (the ones who have access to the Spirit of God) have a significantly lower divorce rate than those who don’t. “‘The Good News About Marriage’ also reveals the divorce rate among those active in their church is up to 50% lower than among non-churchgoers.” SO, the power of the Spirit makes all the difference.

2. The Posture in Marriage (v. 21) Here, the qualifying participle (of the main verb, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit”) is “submitting” in v. 21. It is mutual submission “out of reverence to Christ”. So in marriage, our greatest concerns are the needs of the other person. This is radical. This of course, involves the need for forgiveness and restoration of the relationship in the case of sin, which is inevitable in all relationships. Christopher Lasch, was an author, professor, who famously labeled us as a “culture of narcissism” explained that most people do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together- but instead as the union of two people who somehow fulfill one another’s needs. Instead, marriage creates a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world”, Lasch calls it. Paul says, mutuality does not mean sameness in roles. The husband is Head, as Christ is Head of the Church- Husbands are the first servants in the home and bear the ultimate responsibility for the marriage before God. What does this look like? It all comes down to this question: “How can I help?”

3. The Purpose of Marriage (5:22-30) is (what Tim Keller calls), “Gospel re-enactment”. Marriage points to Christ & His Church. Marriage is the union of two good forgivers, growing servants. God takes your selfishness and biases and He forces you to deal w/ them in marriage. For the first time in your life, you can’t run. God will not let you run. Marriage brings light to your selfishness, So in marriage, we find the most powerful potential for change. This is why God’s purpose in marriage is not to satisfy you, but to sanctify you.

Keller points out that the Christian answer to the idea that you will find another to satisfy you- the myth of the right person- is that no two people are compatible. He sites Duke University Ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas, who has famously made this point: “Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.

We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married. But there’s another reason we never find the “right” person. Any two people who enter into marriage are spiritually broken by sin, which among other things means to be self-centered – turned inward for self rather than outward for God and others. Marriage is not designed to bring ultimate satisfaction but sanctification.

4. The Priority of Marriage Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24 – “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.” (vv. 31-32). We find here also the exclusivity of marriage. Marriage is not only permanent, sacred, intimate, and mutual; it is also exclusive (Gen. 2:22-25; 1 Cor. 7:2-5). This means that no other human relationship can interfere with the marriage commitment between husband and wife. For this reason, Jesus treated sexual immorality of a married person, including a husband’s lustful thoughts, with utmost seriousness (Matt. 5:28; 19:9). For the same reason, premarital sex is also illegitimate, since it violates the exclusive claims of one’s future spouse.

Sex outside of a loving, committed relationship is sin because it goes against God’s design and your own design. If sex is money then it is a massive devaluation of the currency. It is cleaving, a public commitment, honoring the parents of the individuals. Marriage is not merely a human agreement between two consenting individuals (as in a civil union); it is a relationship before and under God (Gen. 2:22).

5. The Projection of Marriage (vv. 22- 33) Here “projection” is the act of showing, presenting, especially to an audience. Marriage points to something greater than itself. As we love one another like Christ has love us, we point others to Him! (v. 33) Marriage as “Gospel reenactment” points people to God through Christ. In Jesus Christ we’ve been married to God! SO:

The ultimate purpose of marriage is to point to something else (the Gospel) and to Someone else (Jesus). And a watching world sees in a married couple how Christ love us. And guess who has a front row seat of this Gospel reenactment? The children in the home!

God’s purpose for the family is not to satisfy us, but to sanctify us.

There are no “relationship problems” or “marriage problems”- there are only “people problems”. The Bible calls this “sin”. The only relationship that fixes us is the relationship with the One who brings forgiveness and redemption into our brokenness. We are in need of rescue and this is what we all have in common: We cannot rescue ourselves. But being in Christ means that you are now made holy. Don’t miss this. You’ve been “holied”.

If you have never received Christ’s gift of grace, you will never experience the kind of relationships you were designed to have. And you will never be sanctified, made righteous on your own. But in Christ, you are made holy. Made righteous by Jesus. “For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” Hebrews 10:14. If you are in Christ the process of sanctification is not becoming something you’re not, but becoming who you already are in Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixer Upper

What do you do when you’re in the right location but you’ve got the wrong design? You’ve got to fix it up! On their wildly popular show, Chip and Joanna Gaines walk us through the process of transforming dilapidated, but potential-rich houses into showcases. This is an apt analogy for those of us who know we’re in the right family (by God’s sovereign design) but stand in need of help. Every family needs to be fixed up.

In Ephesians 5:21-6:4, God’s Word gives us principles to help us see how this happens.

In the end, here’s the radical truth that will change your family:

 To fix your family up, you need power down.  

Throughout this passage we see the word “submit” and the little word “as”, referring to Christ and His submission to the Father and His love for us over and over. Submission to one another in the family is what makes it work. We are to be “as” Christ in our relationships. In order to stay the course, and not bail when a remodel or redesign is necessary, we need exactly what God teaches us in Ephesians 5. A family that has “staying power” is a family that follows these biblical principles. Our culture continues to debate, define, and re-define the family. We’ve been asking the wrong questions: How can my relationships make me happier? How can my spouse fulfill my needs? How can my children make me happy? How can marriage be more fulfilling for me? What’s in it for me? God shows us a very different perspective on the family because:

God’s purpose for the family is not to satisfy us, but to sanctify us.
“Sanctify” is a word that means, to make holy, to set apart, to be made righteous. God’s original blueprint for us is to be created in His image and display His glory in all we do. We busted that plan up early on. Through God’s rescuing grace, we are brought back to His original design, sanctified. The process of sanctification then, is not becoming something I’m not, but becoming who already am in Him. My identity is secured. I am His “beloved”. The family serves as God’s subcontractors to create the environment within which this process takes place. We need families who will stay the course.

Staying Power

1. Stay submissive to Jesus Christ. (5:1-2) All of Ephesians up to this point is about God’s rescuing grace. The Gospel indicatives always lead to the Gospel imperatives. Paul moves to how we respond to God’s one-way love for us in Christ. Paul says, because you’ve been rescued from your sin, now submit to Christ.

2. Stay submissive to one another. (5:21) What does submission to Christ look like in the family? At the beginning of this entire passage on the family, he says we submit to one another out of reference to Christ. What does it mean to submit to another person? It means I will leverage my assets, my strength, my power, and my time for your benefit. This is Gospel reenactment in the family. It’s all I am for all that you need. Do you want to fix up your family? Power down. Submit to others, serve, and help one another. The radical, guiding question in the home becomes: How can I help? How can I serve you?

3. Stay committed to your marriage first. (vv. 22-33) The key to raising happy, healthy children is to give more time and attention to your marriage than you do to your children. Don’t forget that later is longer. You will be married long after your kids are gone and the days you have with your adult children will be long through the years. Stay the course and keep your marriage first in the child-rearing days. Keep dating. Get away. Keep growing.

4. Stay clear about the family structure. (v. 22-25, 6:1-4) Understand the family structure and communicate it clearly to the entire family. If the key to a great family is mutual submission, then is anyone in charge? This is where it becomes counter-intuitive. Jesus is the Head of the Church and He gave His life for everyone in it. He came to serve, not to be served and He ultimately gave His life away. He was Servant Number One. Husbands are to serve their wives and children in the same way. We feel if we give up power we’ll lose everything but Jesus, who is the Head of Church, is precisely so because He gave His power. He gave His life away. To fix up, we need to power down. Here we see that God’s family flow chart shows us that the husband is the head of the wife (practicing mutual submission in their varied roles) and the parents are over their children. The simple role of the children is clear: obey. Instead, in many American families, children have taken over. We’ve put kids in the corner office. They’re driving the family bus and calling the shots.

Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, once observed this about American families: “The thing that impresses me about American families is the way the parents obey their kids.”

Put your kids first and you can be assured that they will become manipulative, demanding, and unappreciative of everything you do for them. You will guarantee that they’ll grow up believing it is unfair to expect them to do anything and it will further guarantee your child’s unhappiness because happiness is only achieved by accepting responsibility for one’s self, not by believing that someone else is responsible for you. See the health of the family as a unit and it all starts with the health of the marriage. The parents are benevolent dictators. We need are more parent-centered families and fewer child-centered families.

5. Stay close to your children. (6:1-4) Being parent-centered doesn’t mean you don’t spend time with your children. You must stay in close to your kids. Know their friends names, the music they like, their favorite shows, clothes, and sports. Stay near to their hearts. Let dinnertime become a time to catch up and find out where their hearts are. Sit down with your child, do homework together, play together, and pray together at bedtime. You must stay in relationship with them. The old adage is so true: Rules without relationship breed rebellion. Remember to keep the end in sight: emancipation. You’re raising them to leave. And in parenting the days are long but the years are short. Keep in the end in sight.

6. Stay centered in God’s family. Make the church your family’s epicenter. Let the church help you raise your kids. Single parents, and parents who may feel you are, you’re not alone. Just as God has been very clear about our families, He’s also been very clear about His own big family, the Church.

“How great is the love of the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

God invites you into His family. There’s no perfect family, but there is a perfect Father. Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in a family.” What does this submission to Christ, submission to one another look like in the home? I think it was Andy Stanley who brought this whole idea of submission down to a single question. I’ve discovered it can change everything:

How can I help?

And as you seek to serve others well, don’t forget this: no horizontal relationship in your life will ever satisfy. And as you seek to be sanctified, remember in Christ you have been made righteous already. You’ve been holied.

And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30

Sanctification is not becoming something you’re not, but something you already are. It’s living out the new identity you now have in Christ. Rest in Him. You’re already loved perfectly and have nothing to prove. And because you now have all the love you’ll ever need in Him, you can love others without any need for love in return. I can power down and love like Jesus.

“For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14

 To fix your family up, you need power down.  

 

The Ten Traits of a Healthy Family

The Ten Traits of a Healthy Family

1.  They have an irrational commitment to each member of the family. 

They display an illogical love for one another, spread lavishly and without discretion.  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.”  1 John 3:1 Driven by 1 John 3:1, stunning amounts of love, kindness, and forgiveness are shared to family member.           

 2.  They communicate with truth and grace. 

Mom and Dad model Ephesians 4:15 How we treat our spouse (and how we extend grace to our family members) will confirm or contradict what we believe about God. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”  Ephesians 4:15 Create an atmosphere where truth can be discussed, regardless of how difficult it may be to talk about.

 3.  They affirm the value and uniqueness of each member of the family. 

Each person is loved for free and without judgment.  His or her opinions and feelings are always honored. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 Celebrate the uniqueness of each child in our family. “I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”

 4.  They vow never to abuse, shame, control, or intimidate one another. 

“Oh, children are resilient- they bounce back.” No children are fragile and understanding that children are fragile- no emotional, verbal, or physical abuse is tolerated in any way and is immediately confronted.  Consider the power of words. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”  Philippians 4:5 Unkind words are not tolerated- “We do not talk to each other like that in our family.”  Parents: You must model kind words and challenge this early on.

 5.  They share a strong spiritual foundation. 

Parents recognize that a “mild dose” of God will never cultivate a life that has Christ at the very center, guiding every aspect of life (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).  There is no abdication of spiritual formation- no outsourcing to the church. We create spiritual orphans, spiritual schizophrenics. Complete disconnect! What’s your goal parents?  There’s a big difference between a young person who goes to church & one who is truly sold out to God.

 6.  They teach respect for others. 

Racism, arrogant superiority, or disrespect for people who are different is never tolerated. Jesus added to the Shema that we should love each other as we love ourselves: “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’.” Matthew 22:39 When you see a child who is different than other kids ask, “What would it feel like to be that kid?” Teach your children to love and honor all people- adopt Martin Luther King Jr.s’ dream for our nation.  Help your children dream of the day when every person- Hispanic, black, Asian, European and all people will know that they are loved with the unprejudiced, unbiased, and unrestrained love of Jesus.

 7.  They instill a sense of responsibility in one another. 

Each member knows that they must take responsibility for their own actions and face the consequences of their poor choices. Self-esteem does not result from simply heaping large amounts of affirmation and praise. It happens when a child learns to be responsible. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”  1 John 1:8-10 Let the consequences do the teaching.  It’s God’s way- and parents too often get in the way of what God wants to do, simply through the consequences of choices made or not made.  Parents: Do NOT rescue your child. This takes courageous parenting- it takes faith- to believe that God will work in your children’s life as He sees fit.  When you let the consequences do the teaching you place that child in the hands of God.

 8.  They play together. 

This is so important. Laughter and fun mark a family that builds strong relationships with one another. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22

 9.  They celebrate rituals and traditions together.

This gives the family a sense of constancy and permanence.  They know that the love and commitment of the family will never change- this year, next year, and the next. “Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you?  Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?”  Job 8:8-10

 10.  They seek help when they come to an impasse. 

They understand that all families have issues that may need outside or professional help and they are not afraid to ask for help when needed. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16 God is very clear about the kind of families He wants us to have.  Let us follow His principles and seek to honor Him in our families.

The Power of a Father’s Presence (or Absence)

There are two ways to measure power. One is to see it at work (a weightlifter breaking a world record, a rocket launching into space, an Indy race car speeding down the final stretch). Another way to measure power is to observe it’s absence.  Some studies reveal that 1/3 of all children in the U.S.A. are being raised in a home where there is NO father.

“Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families…those boys whose fathers were absent from the household had double the odds of being incarcerated- even when other factors such as race, income, parent education and urban residence were held constant.” (Cynthia Harper of the University of Pennsylvania and Sara S. McLanahan of Princeton University cited in “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (Sept. 2004).

Fatherless homes:

75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes- 10 times the average.

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. Of Health/Census)- 5 times the average.

90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes- 32 times the average.

85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes- 20 times the average (Center for Disease Control).

80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes- 14 times the average (Justice & Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26).

71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes- 9 times the average (National Principals Association Report).

The Father Factor in Education:

Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

Children with fathers who are involved are:

  • 40% less likely to repeat a grade.
  • 70% less likely to drop out of school.
  • more likely to get A’s in school.
  • more likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities.
  • High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?)
  • Educational Attainment. Kids living in single-parent homes or in step-families report lower educational expectations on the part of their parents, less parental monitoring of school work, and less overall social supervision than children from intact families. (N.M. Astore and S. McLanahan, American Sociological Review, No. 56.

Suicide: 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?)

Behavioral Disorders: 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities? )

Juvenile Detention Rates: 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?)

Confused Identities: Boys who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely that those in father-present homes to have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity.(P.L. Adams, J.R. Milner, and N.A. Schrepf, Fatherless Children, New York, Wiley Press).

Aggression: In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed “greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households.” (N. Vaden-Kierman, N. Ialongo, J. Pearson, and S. Kellam, “Household Family Structure and Children’s Aggressive Behavior: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Elementary School Children,” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23, no. 5).

Achievement: Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. (One-Parent Families and Their Children, Charles F. Kettering Foundation).

Delinquency: Only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the biological mother and father are married to each other. By contract, 33 percent have parents who are either divorced or separated and 44 percent have parents who were never married. (Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Social Services).

Criminal Activity: The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O’Neill, Underclass Behaviors in the United States, CUNY, Baruch College.

A unique Swiss government study (presented in 2000) revealed:

If the mother & father attend church regularly:

33% of their children will end up attending church regularly

25% of their children will end up not attending at all

If mother attends church regularly & the father does not attend church at all:

2% of their children will end up attending church regularly

60% of their children will end up not attending at all

If the father attends church regularly & mother does not attend church at all:

44% of their children will end up attending church regularly

34% of their children will end up not attending at all. (NOTE: higher than if the mother and father both attend!)

Now look at the numbers from the survey released by the Baptist Press:

If the mother is the first to become a Christian in a household, there is a 17% probability that everyone in the household will follow.

If the father is the first to become a Christian in a household, there is a 93% probability that everyone in the household will follow!

God has given great power and influence to fathers. Dads, don’t squander it!

 

The Ten Traits of a Healthy Family

1. They have an irrational commitment to each member of the family. They display an illogical love for one another, spread lavishly and without discretion. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1 Driven by 1 John 3:1, stunning amounts of love, kindness, and forgiveness are shared to family member.

2. They communicate with truth and grace. Mom and Dad model Ephesians 4:15 How we treat our spouse (and how we extend grace to our family members) will confirm or contradict what we believe about God.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 Create an atmosphere where truth can be discussed, regardless of how difficult it may be to talk about.

3. They affirm the value and uniqueness of each member of the family. Each person is loved for free and without judgment. His or her opinions and feelings are always honored.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 Celebrate the uniqueness of each child in our family. “I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”

4. They vow never to abuse, shame, control, or intimidate one another. “Oh, children are resilient- they bounce back.” No children are fragile and understanding that children are fragile- no emotional, verbal, or physical abuse is tolerated in any way and is immediately confronted. Consider the power of words.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5
Unkind words are not tolerated- “We do not talk to each other like that in our family.” Parents: You must model kind words and challenge this early on.

5. They share a strong spiritual foundation. Parents recognize that a “mild
dose” of God will never cultivate a life that has Christ at the very center, guiding every aspect of life (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). There is no abdication of spiritual formation- no outsourcing to the church. We create spiritual orphans, spiritual schizophrenics. Complete disconnect! What’s your goal parents? There’s a big difference between a young person who goes to church & one who is truly sold out to God.

6. They teach respect for others. Racism, arrogant superiority, or disrespect
for people who are different is never tolerated. Jesus added to the Shema that we should love each other as we love ourselves:
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’.” Matthew 22:39
When you see a child who is different than other kids ask, “What would it feel like to be that kid?” Teach your children to love and honor all people- adopt Martin Luther King Jr.s’ dream for our nation. Help your children dream of the day when every person- Hispanic, black, Asian, European and all people will know that they are loved with the unprejudiced, unbiased, and unrestrained love of Jesus.

7. They instill a sense of responsibility in one another. Each member knows that they must take responsibility for their own actions and face the consequences of their poor choices. Self-esteem does not result from simply heaping large amounts of affirmation and praise. It happens when a child learns to be responsible.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:8-10
Let the consequences do the teaching. It’s God’s way- and parents too often get in the way of what God wants to do, simply through the consequences of choices made or not made. Parents: Do NOT rescue your child. This takes courageous parenting- it takes faith- to believe that God will work in your children’s life as He sees fit. When you let the consequences do the teaching you place that child in the hands of God.

8. They play together. This is so important. Laughter and fun mark a family that builds strong relationships with one another.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

9. They celebrate rituals and traditions together. This gives the family a sense of constancy and permanence. They know that the love and commitment of the family will never change- this year, next year, and the next…
“Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?” Job 8:8-10

10. They seek help when they come to an impasse. They understand that all families have issues that may need outside or professional help and they are not afraid to ask for help when needed.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

God is very clear about the kind of families He wants us to have. Let us follow His principles and seek to honor Him in our families.