At FBC, we have a core value for creating strong families that states:
“We value strong Christian families by equipping husbands and wives to love and respect each other, parents to nurture their children, children to respect and obey their parents, and where the single, divorced, and widowed find love and joy in the family of Christ.”
So how do we go about creating strong families? Obviously, there are far too many to list, but I’m going to pick on a few that I think are exceptionally important.
Watch the tongue
Your kids are listening. So is your spouse. And your parents. Keep in mind what Paul says in Ephesians 4:29: “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” This includes what you say around them, to them, or even social media use. Printed words are just as deadly and dangerous as spoken words. In fact, they can be even worse, because once it’s online, it’s there for good. That includes the damaging thing you said about your ex. It even includes the shot you took at your boss or government. (By the way, in the past I’ve been guilty of the government one, but according to Romans 13, I’ve tried to change that).
One of the reasons I became so involved in church is that I saw it happening all around me. My mom and dad were both involved. It was second nature to me because it was normal. A lot of people never get involved because they’ve never seen it. It’s kind of a vicious cycle. Be the one to break it.
Create a home built on Christ
I know this sounds obvious. However, I am convinced that one of the main reasons that anyone leaves the church after high school or college is because they haven’t been taught a relationship with Christ. I believe that the parents think that they taught this, but instead taught “rules of church,” legalism, or “how to work your way to Christ in 3 easy steps.” These parents are incredibly well-intentioned, but we need to make sure that we build around Christ and not around rules.
Set the example
This ties together all of the previous points. Let your kids see the God in you. Let them see you pray. Let them see you get involved in ministry. Let them see you write a tithe check and explain what’s going on. Let them see you study Scripture. Always lead by example.