FAMILY BY ANG MORGAN
The concept of “family” originated in the heart of God. It was all His idea, and what an incredible unit a family can be! Take a man and a woman, unite them in love and add to them offspring. Grow them together, knitting their hearts and their lives, and you have a formidable team, full of legacy, destiny and untold potential. Consider Abraham and Sarah, and their seed, and the fruit that followed. Consider the power of the families in the book of Nehemiah, each rebuilding their section of the ruined walls of Jerusalem.
Labouring together, sweating side-by-side to achieve an outcome. Think about Mary and Joseph and how God changed the course of history through their genealogy! Lineage, legacy, heritage all forging a unit that greatly impacted society. The possibilities are endless!
Never in history, has the family unit been more under fire. Post-modern living has made the raising of good, strong families an enormously challenging task, and yet the need for robust families has never been greater. It does not take much to realise just how fragile and
frayed the fabric of society really is.
Marriages are falling apart, children are victims, and homelife for many is a living hell. Numerous families have become disfigured and dysfunctional, and the result is a weakened society. Read any news report, open your eyes to observe your community, and you are likely to find evidence that things are not at all well.
Harold B. Lee said, “The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.” I have thought about these words many, many times over the last 26 years of building my own beautiful family. As I pray for and with my unsettled child, as I change a diaper at 2am, as I trawl the grocery aisles buying food for my household, as I sit side-by side with my child helping him with his school project, as I lay the table for supper each night, and gather my family around a nutritious meal, as I speak words of courage to the heart that is broken, as I celebrate the victories of my children, and get alongside them in the challenges, as I honour my husband and set my heart on doing him only good, as I place the last teaspoon into the
dishwasher and vacuum the floors, I am doing the most important work of my life. Some days this work within our homes may seem mundane, insignificant and exhausting. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us fresh insight into just how valuable it really is. Growing people, moulding their futures, weaving relationships together to form a strong and cohesive unit, is no menial task. It is worship, it is promise, it is hope!
Proverbs 14:1 says that “the wise woman builds her home”. What does this look like, ladies?
It is all these things we do in our homes, and with our people. The atmosphere we create, the words we speak, the way we live. We either build or break, and the choice is ours. My encouragement to you today, no matter what the state of your family currently is, is to choose to build. Build by praying, build by encouraging (rather than tearing down), build by humbling yourself and asking the God of heaven to give you the grace you need to do things His way. Sow good seed into the lives of your nearest and dearest, and watch the fruit emerge. He is so committed to family,
and can redeem any mess you may be living in.
“Family” should mean safety, comfort and a place to grow. Anything of worth will require a consistent tending. In raising our four children, I have come to learn that consistency is essential. It is not what I occasionally do, but what I do day in and day out that builds and strengthens and brings forth fruit in my family. I’ve had to learn consistency in routine, love, discipline and giving. I’ve had to learn to “stay the course” on the days I feel weary and uninspired. I’ve learned to fall into the arms of Love to receive the grace and strength that I have lacked. I have not aimed for “bells and whistles” parenting, but have rather sought to do the basics well, and on a consistent basis.
In closing, I thought it may be helpful to share some of the habits I’ve created, here in our home and in our lives, that have built a sound family:
If you’re a wife, honour your husband and treat him like a king. You’ll find yourself feeling like a queen, and your children are the obvious beneficiaries! The best thing you can ever do for your children is to love their Dad.
Give your family the gift of the table: Mealtimes, no matter how simple the menu, can be feasts for the heart. Use “table time” to get into your children’s worlds. Let them share their joys and pains in the safe space this gathering fosters.
Create and hold to a few special family traditions. The memories made on these occasions, will hold your youngsters through the roughest of storms. In our home, we always use birthdays to honour the individual. We have certain “birthday traditions” that we all look forward to. The same goes for Easter, Christmas and time away. Go the extra mile, make memories that your loved ones won’t easily forget.
Play together, pray together, stay together.
Make your home a place that your spouse/children most want to inhabit. Home should be their favourite place on the planet! Fill it with love, let the grace of God flow, make it a place of prayer. Attend to the small details of keeping it orderly, clean and inviting. Your children will carry in their hearts your home, and the memories made there, for all their days.
However “family” looks for you right now, dear Reader, may you know the help of heaven as you build the eternal.
Find out more about our contributor Ang Morgan click here.