The past Sunday was Mother’s Day! When my children were younger, their physical, emotional, and spiritual health was the greatest Mother’s Day present for me. Gradually, my thinking has expanded from focusing on their wellness to building a healthy family with them. There is no perfect family on earth, but the Bible gives us the blueprint for establishing a healthy one (Ephesians 5: 21-6:4, and Colossians 3:17-25).
First, it begins with an attitude of service. “Whatever you do, work heartily.” (Colossians 3:23) A genuine desire to serve one another brings nourishment to every family member.
Second, an intimate relationship between a husband and his wife provides emotional security for their children. A husband loves his wife, and a wife respects her husband (Colossians 3: 18-19). A rapport is established with authentic sharing of thoughts and feelings between the couple.
Third, parents are responsible to teach and train their children. The early Hebrew model advises parents to teach their children as they are getting up in the morning, commuting from place to place, sitting around in the home, and preparing to rest at night (Deuteronomy 6:7). Whenever parents and children are together, there is an opportunity for teaching and training. Role modelling is the most effective instructional method at home, and children learn from their parents’ words and deeds.
Lastly, all families have rules and there are consequences for violation. When parents discipline their children in a spirit of love, their children learn obedience. When parents espouse the virtues of kindness, love, honesty, forgiveness, integrity, hard work, and treating others with respect, children who obey their parents will reap the benefit of living under wholesome authority.
The word “FAMILY” can be interpreted as Father And Mother I Love You. A healthy family is characterized by a heart of service to one another. The relationship between a husband and wife is knitted together with love and respect. Teaching and training evolve based on the developmental growth of children, and they need to learn obedience through boundaries and discipline. Blessed is a home with these qualities.