[This is a photo of my goods friends the Mike and Susan Oatis Family]
Much of our joy, flourishing and effectiveness in life will depend on the strength of our family relationships. Over the years, in counseling couples and families, I have found the following principles and ideas to be a help to people.
Ten Bible Ways to Strengthen Your Family Relationships
1. Agree to live by the Book. Eph 5; Rom 12; Psalm 112
“…delight greatly in His commandments…” Sit down and agree on a Biblical family constitution.
2. When you are frustrated about your rights being violated concentrate on your responsibilities. (Phil. 2:5-11)
3. Listen to understand before you talk to be understood. (Phil. 2:1-4).
Use a “Talking Stick” idea. (James 1:19) “…let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…” One way to overcome anger and sinful reactions is by listening with your heart.
4. Seek forgiveness for wrongs immediately. (Ephesians 4:26)
“…let not he sun go down…” Work hard and be careful and patient when restoring relationships that are broken or damaged. (Proverbs 18:19) A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.
5. Always speak gracefully (Eph 4:32)
• “…Bless don’t curse…” (Luke 6:27ff)
• “…law of kindness… (Proverbs 31)
• “…keep your tongue from evil…” (1 Pet. 3:6, 10)
• “…bitterness, wrath, clamor…” (Eph 4:31)
6. Be careful what you let yourself think about. (Phil 4:8)
“…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks…” (Luke 6:45) What you think about is very likely to come out or stick out…
7. Try to please your spouse. (1 Cor. 7:33) But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife… (But if you can’t be sure you please God)
8. Respect your differences. (1 Cor. 12:14-23)
Gifts don’t despise the gifts of another, but leverage your mutual gifts to accomplish good things…
9. Have personal, marriage, and family revivals regularly.
I believe God designed us to live in a healthy rhythm between work and rest, the mountaintop and the marketplace. The nation of Israel was commanded to have regular times away to stimulate spiritual life and worship God. Through the years people have had their spiritual lives powerfully stimulated by camp meetings, conferences, retreats, camps, Bible and Missionary Conferences and Revival meetings. These are often times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
10. Pray together. Seek the Lord together. Serve together. Worship together. (Psalm 34:3) …exalt His name together…
I’d love to know what has been helpful to you to strengthen your family relationships.
April 27, 2016