Building a healthy, happy home takes work. Here are some simple practicals and principles:
1. Healthy Homes Work At It – Ephesians 6:1-4
If you’re going to have a healthy, happy home, you must be intentional at building it. Successful families don’t just happen accidentally. Parents must be intentional in developing the type of atmosphere that glorifies God.
When you think of your home environment…is the home filled with praise and encouragement? Or is it filled with yelling, anger, sarcasm and negativity? Who would want to come home to the latter?
Ask yourself these types of questions: How much time and effort do I put into my family? Do we have dinners together? Pray together? Talk to each other? Laugh together?
God designed family to be a safe haven, for both parents and kids. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 is a great place to start in evaluating the home environment.
Practical: Talk to your family and discuss what each family member would like to see change. Then go after it!
2. Healthy Homes Are Committed – Joshua 24:14-15
Without commitment, relationship quality fades. Children need to see their parent(s) committed to the family. You cannot be an absentee parent. You must be engaged.
My wife and I have made sure that our boys felt our love and commitment to them. We consistently tell them how much we love them and are proud of them. We’re an affectionate family…we hug each other a lot. Obviously, this is one way to show your commitment to the family…but boy, it’s a good way.
Another way to show your commitment is through prayer. There’s a saying, “a family that prays together, stays together.” So true. As a family are you consistently praying with each other? Do your kids see you depending on God for strength and guidance? Try it, you’ll like it.
Ask yourself these types of questions: Is everyone in the family committed to making the family the best it can be? Are Mom and Dad committed to each other and committed to raising their children in the Lord? Healthy homes are committed to each other
Practical: Start expressing to your family what you would like to see change. Share your heart and dreams with them.
3. Healthy Homes Put God First – Deuteronomy 6:1-9
There are some families that have God in the family, but the problem is that God is not first. In the Old Testament, Moses’ parents put God first (Exodus 2:1-11; Hebrews 11:22-25). In the New Testament, Jesus called us to seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
According to Deuteronomy 6:1-9, God designed for the parents to be the original teachers of God’s law. It’s hypocritical of me, as a dad, to tell my boys to do something or be a certain way, when I’m not willing to do the same things myself. For example, if I’m not committed to reading the Bible or going to church consistently, how can I, with a clear conscience call my children to those expectations? I can’t.
Ask yourself these types of questions: As a parent, am I really putting God first in my life? Do my children see me reading the Bible, praying and going to church consistently? Can my family members say that I’m putting God first in my heart and lifestyle?
Practical: Make the decision to put God first. Be consistent and seek out spiritual help.
Building healthy, happy homes start with building your home upon the principles that God has set forth in His Word. The results don’t come overnight, but over time you will reap the rewards of the work you’ve invested.
As I close, I want to say, that if you live on the Westside of Los Angeles and you’re looking for help and spiritual strengthening, come out and join us. There are many families you can meet who are working faithfully and trying their best to build healthy, happy homes for God.
To your success and God bless.
By Anthony Galang, Family Minister, Westside Church of Christ