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Faith's Firm Foundation: Thoughts on Building A Strong Godly Family

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts on Building A Strong Godly Family

     I was thinking the other day of the spiritual disciplines and habits which strengthen a life and a family, of things that I would say to a young wife or mom if I was sitting having tea with her in my home...things started to pop into my mind, like popcorn--this is the rough outline, although many other thoughts which would be points under the main points came to mind, too, but here's the "short" list. If anyone's interested, I may expound on these later. (I won't be posting this weekend, but after the Marriage Conference I may share some.  Speaking of which, pray for all of us (38) couples--if the rest of them have had the buffeting that we've had this week, it must be some powerful stuff that we're going to hear--pray that God will bear much fruit through it.)  So, until Monday, this is kind of a list of some of the principles and thinking that guided our raising of our family.  We didn't have Godly mentors and advisors when we were first married, so much of it came later, but if I'd had it to do over again, I would have lived this way from the beginning of our marriage. So here's the condensed list of "What We Did," and would recommend for you and your marriage and family.
  • Turn your hearts to Home
  • Stay Home
  • A Rare Thing: Someone else puts the children to bed
  • Almost Never: Go away and leave them with Anyone
  • Let your husband be the provider, completely
  • Children thrive on "routine"--Same thing every day/and every week:  It makes them feel secure
  • Make your Children Live out "Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends"(see book info at bottom of post): Children play together--all ages; Making forts under blankets, playing "store," puppets, skating, "Capture the Flag," Sledding, No church "programs," No sports "programs" (or very little)
  • Children take music lessons together
  • Simplify your life
  • Picture a Godly Grandma and Grandpa scene: Aim for that
  • Write out what you want your children to become (Biblical): Picture the Godly adult that you want them to be and describe him/her on paper
  • Build Spiritual Disciplines into your life:  1)Read the Bible Daily (Read through in a year) 2)Pray--Organize your Prayer Life; pray Morning, evening and mealtimes together 3)Go to Church Every Sunday--Don't Miss 4)Fast weekly 5)Tithe and Give Offerings 6)Honor Parents and Elderly--Be under authority as children and under Counsel as adults 7)Do Good Works (not to be saved, but because you're saved) 8)Be Baptized (Not to be saved, but out of obedience and following the Lord's example--encourage your children to be baptized by immersion soon after they're truly saved)
  • Read Edifying Books Aloud--as a Couple and later as a Family
  • Get rid of the TV
  • Listen to Godly Teaching (Tapes, Stories):  e.g. John MacArthur, Elisabeth Elliot
  • Listen to Fine and Godly Music: Put no vile thing before your eyes (or ears); Edifying melodic music, Excellent Classical music--e.g. Handel, Vivaldi, etc.
  • (Always) Go Places as a Family--Make this a Non-Decision--Love Being Together As A Family!--"We go everywhere together" (If you go places to get away from your children, your children will do the same for you when they enter the teen years)
  • Do Things Together:  Games, Puzzles, Field Trips, Serving
Why Serve?  Serving promotes a selfless attitude, becoming other-centered; it makes you aware of the needs of others, fulfills the gospel, gives opportunities to witness through words and actions, makes you aware of people you can pray for, and it makes you thankful!

Couple and Family Serving Ideas
(All of these ideas have been tried and tested out by a Family--Ours!)
  1. Widows: Find a grandma or your grandma--visit, sing a hymn, play your piano piece, make cookies, play a game, sit by them and look at their pictures, or color, or read a story; bring sandwiches and eat with them; bring daisies from your garden or the grocery store
  2. Do all the above at a Nursing Home (or go with a group and sing for/with them on a regular monthly or bi-monthly basis)
  3. Go to a Food Shelf and volunteer (probably good for ages 8+ or mature younger)
  4. Fare for All:  (If you have this program in your area) Volunteer (ages 6+ maybe)
  5. Meals on Wheels: Take the whole family, but, if you have a large family, rotate taking only some of the children to the door--take your little ones!
  6. Pray for the people you meet through your volunteering!
  7. Call your small town City Hall and ask if they need help in any way (ages 8+) (We did this and folded and stuffed envelopes with our mayor.  He learned something about Homeschooling families and he was impacted for Christ, we hope, and we had an opportunity to learn about him and also the history of our community, which he had grown up in, which was very, very interesting!)
Be counter-cultural!  Be different because you believe in Jesus Christ!  Cause people to ask, What makes you different?  Why are you doing this?  And then
Tell Them About Jesus!

*"Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends" by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally.
Titles that I wish I'd read earlier: "A Full Quiver" by Rick and Jan Hess; "Shaping of a Christian Family" by Elisabeth Elliot; "A Peaceful Home" by Elisabeth Elliot (video) 

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Anonymous Natalie said...

A wonderful post.

November 20, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi Natalie!
I'm so glad to hear from you!Thanks for your positive comment; not everyone thinks that this is the way to go, even in Christian circles these days. Or when our kids were little, either. There are many people and things which would lure you away from family and being close and strong. A wife and mom gets a lot of pressure to be involved in many things, leave her kids a lot, and get out and do things "because you need it" and "you deserve it" and "you'll go crazy if you don't"--but that's not really the truth. While a lunch out once in awhile is nice, too much "going" doesn't help things at home or build up the family, I've found.

November 20, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

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