“Being family” calls for intentional effort. As parents, teens, or children, God has called you to be good stewards of those in your family. In fact, Scripture describes that one who does not “provide” for their family, especially their immediate family, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).
WOW! That is some strong language about family! The Greek term pronoeo (translated “provide”) does not only refer to food or shelter (*which is often how we think*) but it actually refers to thinking of beforehand in terms of caring. Thus, it means food and shelter but also emotionally, relationally, helping in difficulties, etc.
Here are a few ideas on being faithful to your call as family members:
- Casting a Family Vision
In our church and workplaces, there is often a vision…what about home? Where do we want to be at the end of the next 6 months or the end of a year? What do we want our life to look like? What do we hope to do in the next year? If you aren’t prayerfully seeking out a vision for your family, your family will still become something…it just might not be what you (or God) is calling it to be.
- Baggage Brought Home
What are you carrying from your work or daily life into your times with the family? Ironically, work is often the first part of a person’s day…leaving whatever relational and emotional energy that is left for the family. During stressful work periods, realize that this may leave you short-tempered, less patient, etc. How can you balance this? Can you leave some things behind and prayerfully put them in God’s hands?
Around the dinner table, whether it is daily or even a few times a week, practice having each person share “highs” and “lows”. What was your high point of the day? What was your low? It can be difficult to get these started but once you do, it becomes easy. In my family, it took time but now the kids will bring it up on their own.
It has been shown in family studies (and in any group) bringing change does not come easily…most of us know that but few of us recognize it. It’s why bad habits or poor conflict resolution skills in relationships do not change overnight. Families seek to maintain the “usual” or norm that has developed and change does not come easy or without stress. Thus we need to ask for help and prayer from our friends, pastors and even get professional help in order to bring about change. But DON’T GIVE UP!
Being good stewards of our families is not an option…it is a part of your calling in following Christ. Be faithful.
- Brian Majerus