Families.  God intends the family as a place of refuge and security, standing strong under pressures. It should be a place where members can grow to maturity, sharing good things and fun! There are many examples of this in the Bible – for example, Psalm 128.

What can we do to strengthen our families? What will help them to develop as God intended? Here are some ways which will help us to progress…

Put God first
If we put God first in our lives, other things will fall into place.

The Word of God
Studying the Bible, both alone and together, is very important. It is a foundation stone for the family. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Love
Read 1 Corinthians 13 to understand the type of love which we should have in our families. Do we have this love in our own families?

Responsibilities of family members
Read Ephesians 5:21–6:4 and then Colossians 3:18–21 to learn about our responsibilities as family members. What are these responsibilities? Do we really put them into practice?

  • As husbands, are we loving and not harsh to our wives? Do we love them as much as ourselves?
  • As wives, are we ‘companions’ to our husbands, supporting them in their role?
  • Children are a blessing from God. Do we see them as a blessing or do we think instead of the problems they bring? Do we encourage them or always criticise them?
  • Do we respect and obey our parents? As they become old, do we look after them? Do we look at the problems of their old age rather than the wisdom that it brings?

Sexuality
God wants us to enjoy the sexual side of our relationship with our husband or wife (Read The Song of Songs). But only with them. The Bible condemns adultery (Proverbs chapters 5 and 7).

Drunkenness
Read Ephesians 5:18. Drunkenness leads to many problems which attack the family: poverty, immorality, adultery, AIDS etc. Getting drunk may seem a simple way of escaping the problems of life but it actually makes them worse.

Money
Chasing after wealth causes some of the problems which attack our families. We put money before God and before our families, thinking that it will bring security and happiness. Not only is this wrong – it is not true. As we put God first, he will provide for our needs. Read 1 Timothy 6:6–10 and Matthew 6:33.

Think and pray about these things. Discuss them together with your family. How does your family life compare with these truths in the Bible? What could you do to improve things?

Finally, enjoy your family! They are a blessing!

Louise Pott is a member of the Footsteps Editorial Committee. She has spent some years living in Uganda.