Family is God’s genius idea and has been around since creation.
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” Genesis 1:27-28
The importance of family is often heightened during the Christmas season. If we are going to experience a Healthy Home, it requires every member playing their part in a way that prefers the other people in the home. With growing pressures on the family unit, here are some simple but profoundly practical and Biblically based tips that will help you to enjoy harmony within your family!
1. Be quick to say sorry
“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony.” Psalm 133:1 (NLT)
The first to say sorry is usually the one to bring peace in the midst of a possible storm. Saying a genuine sorry requires humility and strength. It is this humility and strength that maintains unity. Unity within the home brings with it a pleasant, untroubled atmosphere.
2. Be quick to forgive
Jesus said this about forgiveness… “Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NLT)
Forgiveness is a choice regardless of our feelings. Forgiveness is God’s idea and brings with it that same sense of harmony that saying sorry does, within the home. I am amazed that even in Jesus’ darkest hour as He hung on the cross, He made the decision to forgive.
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34 (NLT)
Let’s decide to have homes of forgiveness.
3. Carry the load
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” Proverbs 3:27 (NLT)
As the saying goes, ‘many hands make light work’. A healthy home has every member playing their part. A great way forward in creating a healthy home is making sure everyone is aware of the part they need to play.
4. Use words that build up and encourage
“… an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25
Words can either be used to build up or tear down. A piece of simple advice that could work to maintain a healthy home… if you are tempted to say something that could really hurt someone in your home, put your hand over your mouth and decide that whatever you planned on saying in the heat of the moment is not worth the pain this could cause.
A home begins to flourish when the people within its walls speak words of encouragement and receive words of encouragement. A healthy home is a home of encouragement.
5. Be trustworthy
Follow through on your word. The Bible puts it like this…
“… let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’.”
Mathew 5:37 (NKJV)
A positive way to contribute to a healthy home is by being a person of your word.
6. Celebrate others
“Good people celebrate when justice triumphs…”
Proverbs 21:15 (MSG)
Imagine a home whose members cheer each other along and applaud each other’s achievements. It’s a simple thing to do but it’s amazing how easy it is to overlook doing this. A great way to develop a happy home is to remember to celebrate one another daily. When we are celebrating each other there is little room for the opposite to take place.
7. Be slow to get angry
“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Proverbs 15:1 (NLT) “… be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 (NLT)
Great advice straight from the Bible! The results will divert a possible family catastrophe.
8. Love unconditionally
“… love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” – Jesus (John 13:34 NLT)
Love is like the glue that holds a family together. Love is a decision. Love is an act of the will. Love is a powerful force. A family who makes the decision to love each other will remain together.
9. Be generous
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 (NLT)
Imagine a home where the family members devise generous plans to bless the other family members.
10. ‘Play’ Together
There is a saying that goes like this… “A family or team that plays together stays together.” Solomon from the Bible (referred to as a very wise man) said it like this… “So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (NLT).
A family should enjoy being a family. Regardless of the differences and unique personalities, find common ground and do activities together that everyone enjoys. These activities don’t have to take a lot of time, but done regularly could help make living within your family a lot of fun!
When was the last time that the sound of laughter resounded throughout your home? When was the last time you created happy memories on purpose?
‘Playing’ together doesn’t have to cost a lot financially, but it sure will pay great relational dividends if we make it a part of our family routine.
God bless you this Christmas season!
Joel & Julia A’Bell