We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (KJV)
God's Love Makes a Family Work - Gloria Copeland
God's love is the spiritual force that makes a family enjoy life together. Being a member of a family that loves God and one another is the most wonderful blessing. If strife exists in a Christian home between children and their parents, what should a family do?
First of all, every parent needs to make the quality decision, I'm going to walk in love with my children. I won't be overbearing, nor irritate or provoke my children to anger (Eph. 6:4 AMP).
Each child also needs to make a quality decision. They should receive God's Word about honoring their parents and settle it in their heart: From now on, I'm going to obey and honor my parents.
The love of God is the one force that will overcome every strife-filled situation, every age barrier and every generation gap. God's love is what helps a family to work together as a strong unit.
Our family is a strong unit knit together by love. Our children love us; we love them; and they love one another. We're not in strife with one another. We support each other, pray for each other and help each other.
That's the way it should be in every family - the love of God continually manifested in our midst. When acted upon, love will overcome all failures and resistance.
Learning to walk in love has to start somewhere. Parents ought to forbear their children, rearing them tenderly in the admonition of the Lord - always in the love of God. Children ought to forbear their parents, obeying them and showing them honor. And neither parents nor children should wait for the other side to start doing their part first!
Don't be placed in the class of people who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers (Prov. 30:11, AMP). Be counted with those who obey God's command to honor their mother and father. Then you can boldly claim God's promise: "Thank You, Father, that all will go well with me as I live long on this earth!"
Raising a Strong Family - Oretha Hagin
When the Lord told Kenneth to begin traveling in ministry, we decided that I would stay home and provide a proper home atmosphere for our children. Raising children is a calling in itself. And there are many challenges involved.
I had to be both mother and father while my husband was gone. I kept the children in school and provided them with a good home. I also made sure they had a good church family.
Even when Kenneth was away ministering, I took Ken Jr. and Pat to church practically every time the doors opened. We attended church faithfully, and our children never put up a fuss. They had been trained all of their lives that attending church was not an option!
The Right Company
My children weren't perfect, and I didn't know everything they did, but I did my best to see that they were keeping the right company.
If children begin socializing with the wrong crowd, they will start picking up bad habits that can be very harmful to them. That's why I made it a point to know the friends my children were associating with. And I usually knew where my children were and what they were doing, because they would often invite their friends over to our house for fellowship!
There were many, many weekends and afternoons after school that our house was full of young people! But I liked it that way. I always told Ken Jr. and Pat, "Bring your friends here for fellowship. Anytime you want to have them over, the house is open."
That's what a home is for . . . to be lived in and enjoyed. After all, who was I making a home for if not for my family?
I also let Ken Jr. and Pat have fun when they brought their friends to our house. I wasn't afraid the house was going to get dirty, and I didn't constantly nag them about it. Yes, sometimes the house got a little messed up. But I taught my children how to clean up their messes, so that was never a problem!
I never did bemoan the fact that we were in the ministry and that we had to make sacrifices. Yes, there were times when we had no money and very little food and the children didn't have many clothes to wear.
But we never failed to make it through the hard times. The hard times were never greater than God's grace for us. And we taught our children that it is wonderful to serve God.
I never told our children we couldn't afford to buy them the things they needed. Kenneth and I continually told our children that God would meet our needs. So if I told them we couldn't afford the things we needed, they would think God didn't come through for us. I didn't want them to think that way because God will always come through for us when we look to Him and trust Him. He is faithful.
Spiritual and Natural Training
We did our best to raise our children according to the Word of God, and from the time they were very young, we began teaching them about their Heavenly Father. I remember before our children ever started school, Kenneth would read Bible storybooks to them. Later, when he was away, the children and I never failed to read the Bible and pray each day before they went to school.
You see, children need to be taught how to live the Christian life, and they need to learn how to believe God's Word for themselves. They don't learn those things automatically.
We also trained our children in natural things. For example, I taught Ken Jr. and Pat how to do housework when they were young. I would put them to work helping me wash and dry the dishes. Children should be taught how to handle responsibility because that builds confidence in them. And they need to be prepared to get out on their own when they grow up.
Set the Example
I think one reason some children are disobedient and rebellious is, they don't see the right example set in the home. They don't see the God-kind of love demonstrated by their parents.
If a husband and wife don't show love to each other, how can they expect their children to show love to others? And children need affection too. It's a sad thing for children to be raised in a home where no love and affection are shown.
Kenneth and I have always shown love to our children, and he and I have always been deeply in love with each other. The day we were married, the first thing Kenneth said to me after we left the church was, "We'll always be sweethearts." And it has been that way with us because we want it to be that way, and we work at it.
You Can Be Successful
Raising children is a big responsibility, but with the Lord to help you, you can be successful. There may be sacrifices you will have to make, but whatever you do, don't sacrifice the wellbeing of your children. Any sacrifice you make is not too great a price to pay to be sure they have the best life possible.
I have found that if you let Jesus guide your life, and walk closely with Him, you will set the right example for your children, and things will go well for you and your family. Even if you make a mistake and the circumstances don't look good, those circumstances will change if you will keep your attitude right and trust God to work things out for you.
I've also found that if your spiritual life isn't what it should be, then your physical life and your emotional life will sometimes suffer too. Your physical energy will be low when your spiritual life is low.
But life is just so much sweeter when you're walking closely with the Lord, loving Him and doing what He wants you to do. And life will be sweeter for your family too!
Take Your Family to Church - Buddy & Pat Harrison
An important way you can teach your family about God is by going to church regularly.
We can't emphasize church attendance enough. You need a body of Bible-believing people holding you and your family up in prayer in order to make it in today's world.
Now, some may say, "Oh, I don't need to go to church. I read my Bible and pray, and God teaches me everything I need to know." But when a family is content not to have a definite time and place to worship, that's a family which rarely worships at all.
God doesn't save us to be spiritual "Lone Rangers." When you accept Jesus as Savior, you are born into the family of God, the Body of Christ and the kingdom of heaven. Jesus came to establish His Church, and He told us exactly how it was to operate.
Nowhere did He say anything about Christians going off and operating on their own.
In Hebrews 10:25 (AMP) we read how we are to join together with other believers: "Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing—warning, urging and encouraging—one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching."
We are to be part of a church so we can encourage one another, pray for one another, teach one another and help one another. Jesus said: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:19-20).
The problem with Christians who go off and do their own thing is that when they run into problems, there is no one to help them. There is no one to hold them accountable or to pray for them. Jesus said there is power in numbers.
Where one alone has trouble fighting Satan, two or three believers together can put him on the run. Some people have the idea that they go to church to pay their dues. They say, "If I go to church, that means I'm a good person. If I don't go, I'm not being good."
But that's not why we go to church. We go because we are part of the Body of Christ, and that makes us accountable to each other. We are to fellowship and worship together. Then we can receive a direct word from God, and we can benefit from the spiritual wisdom and experiences of other members of the Body.
Now you may say, "But Sunday is the only time I get to see my husband. He's not a Christian, and he works six days a week. How can I take my kids and go off to church, leaving him behind?" Or maybe you say, "I have to work on Sunday. What should I do?"
We aren't so concerned that you be in church every Sunday as we are that you and your children are in church—period. If you feel you can't spend two hours away from your husband (or wife) on Sunday morning, maybe you could at least go for an hour during Sunday school.
Or maybe you could go to the mid-week service or a Bible study during the week. First, get your children involved in your church's youth activities. Then, if you can, join an adult Bible class.
The day of the week is not that important. You just need to receive the teaching of God's Word and find a place of fellowship for you and your family. You need to be committed to a local church body, to be a part of it and to be there as much as you can.
If you get so excited about church and God's people that you just bubble over, maybe your husband will want to go with you to see what's happening.
Just remember: attending church is important. And if you are in a position where it is difficult for you to attend, pray and ask God to help you. Ask Him to give you wisdom about the situation. Ask Him to help you arrange your priorities in the proper way. Ask Him to give you some creative ways to be an active part of His Body.
Your family will thank you for it!
We are serious about your family.
Contacts us, we want to pray for you and your family. God has a great things ahead for you and your family.
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