With the decline of the family all around us, one of the great needs in our culture is healthy homes. The church is the one place that should become the model of healthy homes. I believe that one of the most effective tools of evangelism and outreach to a community is the influence of the family.
Here are 10 practical ways we can build healthy families:
1. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and is the base for a great family
"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate…” -Matthew 19:6-8
-Commitment is a great atmosphere for health
2. Difficulty and trials can make your marriage and your family stronger so that people in the neighborhood can find strength when they need it
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." -James 1:2
-The right perspective will create a positive attitude
3. Be a servant to your spouse and the rest of the family will follow your example
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." -1 Corinthians 13: 4-5
-Parents are the models for spirituality and servanthood in the home
4. Learn to forgive and the atmosphere of your home will be charged with joy and everyone who enters will sense the kingdom
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, you Father will not forgive your sins." - Matthew 6:14-15
-Forgiveness brings laughter and relationship
5. Admit when you are wrong, and seek reconciliation with your family immediately
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." - Matthew 5:23-24
-Relationships need immediate attention and deserve priority
6. Don't be surprised when things do not turn out the way you planned. It will help you relate to everyone else who is struggling.
"There is a time for everything under the sun...a time for every purpose under heaven” -Ecclesiastes 3
-Learn to value flexibility and understand that life is filled with variety
7. Communicate with your spouse and compliment the strengths of each other daily
"Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” -Luke 6:41-42
-There should be more positive comments coming out of our mouth than negative ones
8. Don't depend too heavily on your family to bring you spiritual fulfillment
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, and depends on flesh for his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD." -Jeremiah 17:5, I Corinthians 12
-There is a also a need for spiritual formation from the body of Christ and the church family
9. Every person in the family must fulfill their God-given roles
" Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. As the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy…and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless..” And, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord…” -Ephesians 5:22-28, Galatians 6:1
-When our roles are met and we each play our part, each member of the family makes the whole much healthier
10. Be as creative as possible with your recreation and family time
-Family devotions, vacations, weekends, activities, and discussions do not need to be expensive. Just memorable.
Healthy homes will spark spiritual revival in every community. When a healthy family is visible in the community, everyone is attracted to it. As Proverbs 11:10-11 says, "When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices..."