Thursday, April 30, 2015

Six Healthy Family Features:

Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'  (Jeremiah 6:16)

  1. Healthy Families Prioritize Family
We talk more about supportive families than supporting the family.  Our society is interfering with the family-first feature.  There just doesn't seem to be enough time to get together.  We may promise over and over to visit and to spend more time together, yet we seem to find less and less time to do so.   When families do get together, the result is a rapid attempt to solve problems rather than enjoying and getting to know each other.  If your family does not come first, your family will not last.
We are in familial bankruptcy and have fallen into the hands of receivers such as schools, businesses, recreational pursuits, and numerous institutional demands.  The issue is not one of setting priorities; the issue is one of making difficult choices for the family.  There can only be one number one.
  1. Healthy Families Have a Tolerance of Failures
The family should be a forgiving place.  It is the one place in our life where we can receive unconditional acceptance for just being us.  All families have their real characters, those family members who have idiosyncrasies that can stretch patience to its limit.  Even at the most difficult times, the family is the place where we can be forgiven, accepted, and given a fresh start.  My uncle may be crazy but he is my uncle.
  1. Healthy Families Look Alike
When a family forms, something biological happens beyond the biology of conception and birth.  Families are not just social institutions but physiological processes shared by all of the family members.  Something biochemical happens when families live together over time.  Each family member's physiology begins to mirror the physiology of other family members.  Being family means becoming more and more connected with one another on every level of our humanness.
  1. Healthy Families Share Life Together
The family system is uniquely designed to help solve the problems of daily living.  The family is a soul center.  It is the place we learn what everything means and how to make everything meaningful.  Within the family system are multiple generational resources, an appraisal system of life based on the history and circumstances of each family.  These provide the ability to rally around a family member having trouble coping.  Whether we like it or not, we bring their work, school and life problems home with us.  The family is the place where problems must be taken for appraisal, for solving. If the family does not have answers, we will turn outside to have our needs met.
  1. Healthy Families Empathize
Someway, somehow, families develop a special sense for and of one another.  They can feel one another and sense when something is going wrong.  There is such a thing as "FEP," or family extrasensory perception.  It isn't mystical or parapsychological at all.  Such perception is simply the result of caring deeply enough about others to take the time and make the effort to really see them, to feel "us.”
  1. Healthy Families Have a Spiritual Core
Everybody needs a place – that place must be a place for persons, for unique, growing, changing, creating, generating persons.  It must be a place where the Christian faith is lived and transmitted;  where faith becomes the primary dynamic that shapes values and relationships; where parents become priests of their children.  Passing on the faith is by example and heart.  It is caught more than taught. The old adage, The family that prays together stays together is a truth too few families have experienced.

Scripture to Claim:
Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. … Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 4-7

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