At the beginning of this school year, it’s a good time for you to consider how to be intentional with your family and not lose yourselves in the activities of a new school year. Years ago, Stacy and I decided that our family would be marked by these traits. Consider posting this somewhere in your home and talk about it together. Then practice these things diligently and you’ll see God move mightily in your family this year.
1. We have an irrational commitment to each member of the family.
We will display an illogical love for one another, spread lavishly and without discretion. (1 John 3:1)
2. We communicate with truth and grace.
Mom and Dad model Ephesians 4:15 and create an atmosphere where truth can be discussed, regardless of how difficult it may be to talk about.
3. We affirm the value and uniqueness of each member of the family.
Each person is loved for free and without judgment. (Romans 15:7)
4. We vow never to abuse, shame, control, or intimidate one another.
Understanding that children are fragile, no emotional, verbal, or physical abuse is tolerated in any way and is immediately confronted. (Philippians 4:5)
5. We share a strong spiritual foundation.
Parents recognize that a “mild dose” of God and His Word will never cultivate a life that has Christ at the very center, guiding every aspect of life. (Deuteronomy 6:4–9)
6. We teach respect for others.
Racism, arrogant superiority, or disrespect for people who are different is never tolerated. (Matthew 22:39)
7. We instill a sense of responsibility in one another.
Each member knows that they must take responsibility for their own actions and face the consequences of their poor choices. The consequences do the teaching. (1 John 1:8–10)
8. We play together.
Laughter and fun mark a family that builds strong relationships with one another. (Proverbs 17:22)
9. We mark moments and celebrate traditions together.
We know that the love and commitment of the family will never change—this year, next year, forever. (Job 8:8–10)
10. We seek help when we come to an impasse.
We understand that all families have issues that may need outside or professional help and we are not afraid to ask for help when needed. (James 5:14–16)