The structure and dynamics of the family are not the same today as they used to be. Sure, families had issues in the past. There has always been conflict and tension in the home for many if not most people. But today, there are so many different kinds of brokenness and pain that exist in homes all over the world.
So many broken or failed marriages. So many kids without a father or mother or both. So many spouses and children who feel neglected. So many people who don’t truly know those they call family because they don’t spend time together.
The result of this brokenness is an emptiness that can’t be filled by material things and a searching for something that seems impossible to find. The children of broken families are really searching for spiritual truth. They’re searching for a father – their heavenly Father. They just don’t realize it. So instead, they try anything else they can think of to fill the void left by their family.
Sometimes the cause of this brokenness and pain is obvious, like in a family where there’s physical or emotional abuse. For some children all they know is getting yelled at or that they should stay away from dad when he’s been drinking, or that mom doesn’t care about anything they do.
More often though, it’s a subtle thing. The children feel they can never measure up to their parents’ high expectations. The parents don’t ever have kind or encouraging words to say and always have a bad attitude. The parents provide an example of unhealthy behavior like getting angry all the time, even if it’s not directed towards their children. The parents don’t spend time with their kids because they are too busy with work and distractions.
These things almost seem the norm in today’s society, but in truth they are damaging our family culture and the next generation.
The solution, however, is not simply stopping the negative behavior and lifestyles. Just as it’s much more effective for someone stuck in sin to focus on God and doing what’s right instead of focusing on NOT sinning, it’s much more effective to focus on doing the right things in our homes. If we focus on the good and on trying to bless our families, the negative behaviors and choices will eventually go away as God helps us work through them.
Either way, we do have to make a conscious choice to make things better, to leave a legacy of blessing on our families and children. It’s our choice, and we have to make it. God won’t make it for us. But what we choose will affect generations to come.
If we’re going to build a house of blessing, as with any type of build, we need a good foundation. For us, of course, this foundation is Jesus Christ. The foundation of our home needs to be Jesus. Otherwise, all of our grand plans for improvement will fail.
After we have that foundation, there are three things we can do to build that culture of blessing in our homes:
1. Pray together
If we want to bless our families, we need to pray for blessings. It’s not just enough to pray by yourself about this, though. That’s important, but spouses also need to be praying together for blessings for each other and their families.
If spouses could just carve out a few minutes a day to pray for three simple things together, the dynamics of the whole house could change and they would start to see God move.
- Pray a blessing over each other.
- Thank God for something about the spouse or that the spouse has done.
- Repent for something you did against your spouse or that may have hurt them.
Prayer can move mountains. It’s amazing how often we forget to use such an easy yet powerful tool God has given us.
2. Share a family meal
Family meals used to be so common in the home. Over time though, work obligations and crazy, overly filled schedules have gotten in the way of that. It’s not that all of these activities are bad or should be dropped completely, but families shouldn’t miss the opportunity of coming together for a meal.
When every member of the family sits down together to share something enjoyable like food, and there’s ample time to talk and share and have some laughs and just simply get to know each other, barriers are torn down and bonding happens. Then the real blessings can begin.
When we have these meals together, even if it’s only once or twice a week, we should make it part of our routine to bless each other. You can instigate this by looking each of the other members of your family in the eyes and telling them how much you love and care about them, how much you are blessed by your spouse and children.
To bless means to empower or prosper. So when we bless our families, we are empowering the next generation to be spiritually successful in their own lives and future families.
3. Bring peace
Lastly, we need to speak peace into our homes. The climate of the home is largely based on the parents’ attitudes. If we enter our homes with positive, peaceful attitudes, made possible only by allowing the Spirit to fill us and transform our minds, we will bring that peace with us. Then that peace will overflow into the lives of our spouses and children.
We can’t control everything that happens to our family members or the choices they make, but we can make our own choices. We can choose to bless our homes. And when we choose this, it will affect lives for generations to come.
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- Raising the Next Generation of Children in Today’s World
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