January 17, 2013 by eric echols
Yesterday, I wrote about the organizational shift that occurs in families once a baby is born. You can read the post here. But to sum it up…when a child is born, the marriage relationship takes a backseat role in our modern families.
The good news is that God has given us His design for our families.
A successful family is one that PUTS God FIRST. Our faith in Christ must guide every decision we make. We must first and foremost be fully committed to God. We must be committed to pursuing God and experiencing spiritual growth in every aspect of our lives.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Exodus 20:3-4 (NIV)
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
The best example we can set for our children is to be parents of personal faith. Our kids are more likely to follow Christ if we do, more likely to pray if we do, and more likely to read Scripture if we do. In other words, our children will model their walk with God by the model they first observe in us.
If our goal is to “raise adults” and train our children to leave our homes then one day they will do just that and only two remaining in your home will be you and your spouse. That is why the marriage relationship must have a place of prominence in the family.
God put it this way in Genesis 2:24, “24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Statistics tell us that children in homes with parents in strong marriages are more successful, mentally stable and have more self-esteem on average than children in homes with parents in weak relationships.
By working on our marriage relationship we are providing for our children an environment where they can mature and grow physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
One of the best things we can do as parents is to have an amazing marriage. A loving marriage brings hope and security to our children. And at times, this means putting our spouse’s needs ahead of our children’s needs.
God’s design for a successful family is one where our relationship with our spouse takes priority over our children. And our relationship with God should take priority over our spouse. This does not mean that our children aren’t important or that we shouldn’t love them sacrificially.
It simply means that our love for God motivates us to love our spouse as Christ loved the church, and then that Christ-like love for our spouse serves as a model for our children.
Practical steps to RE-organize your family according to God’s design:
- Spend time with God on a daily basis – begin each day reading God’s word and praying.
- Connect with your spouse daily – don’t just grab the remote or start checking email once you put the kids to bed.
- Limit extracurricular activities – take back the priority over your family. The rule in our home is one extracurricular per season per child.
- Date your spouse – at a minimum, you should have a date night twice a month. Given our busy schedules, I know this is hard to do. But if you don’t have a target, you’ll hit it every time.
How do you maintain or regain proper order in your home? Leave your comments below.