“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you;
and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
Most people we know want to have a blessed family. Who doesn't? We all want a marriage made in heaven, don’t we? We all want kids that love the Lord, love each other and grow up to be normal, successful, God-pleasers. I know that’s what we desired when my husband and I met and were married.
We haven't done it perfectly. In fact, we've made a lot of mistakes over the years...but by God's grace, one thing we seem to have gotten right is raising a family.
The good news is that the Lord wants this for everyone, too!
The sad news is that many people don’t know about God’s promises for their marriage or family––let alone how to experience them in real life. The result is a rough road for many marriages and families.
The struggle is real. Social workers, medical professionals and public school teachers will tell you that dysfunctional families are the new normal. Whether it’s divorce, abuse, neglect, attention deficiencies, learning challenges, authority issues, obesity and health issues or a lack of coping skills––parents and kids are in trouble and in need of God’s help!
As I mentioned, our family is still a work in progress, but we’ve seen enough good fruit–– to encourage you with four secrets we’ve learned along the way…
Secret #1: Believe God’s Promise to Bless Your Family. One of the very first promises of the Bible is God’s promise to bless Abraham and his family––and through Abraham to bless all the families of the earth, “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” This promise for all the families of the earth belongs to us today because of our faith in Christ. Listen to this: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29) In other words, because we believe in Jesus, we are heirs of God’s promise to bless our families. God wants to bless your family––do you believe it?
Secret #2: Let God’s Word Be Your Guide. Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God’s mouth.” (Matthew 4:4) From the very beginning of our marriage, we decided that we were going to “live by” God’s Word. We set our hearts to seek the Lord, be led by His Spirit and He guided us with His Word as we made thousands of important decisions for our family. God wants to lead you and your family by His Word – will you spend time reading the Bible, obeying His Word and following His guidance? It always pays!
Secret #3: Live To Please the Lord. We prayed this prayer for our family, a lot: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…” (Colossians 1:9-10) As a family, this was our simple goal. We did our best to make decisions that would please the Lord; to treat one another in a way that would please the Lord. We knew He loved people and was focused on building His Church; so we did our best to make His priorities our priorities––to please the Lord. We weren’t perfect in any of these things, so when we blew it, we didn't beat ourselves up, we simply received His goodness, favor, grace and mercy, because that pleased the Lord! God wants a pleasant love relationship with you and everyone in your family – will you make “pleasing the Lord” a goal for your family?
Secret #4: Have Fun. This one is pretty obvious and even though we faced hard time like every family does, we were still very intentional about having fun, being silly, laughing a lot, taking family vacations (even when all we had was a shoestring budget) and hugging and telling each other, “love you” a lot! After all, God wants us to trust in Him and enjoy life. The Bible says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17) Sadly, these days there is a lot of pain and hurt in many families. As a result, parents and kids are not having fun. Instead they are depressed, empty, angry and full of resentment and bitterness. God doesn’t want that for any family. He wants your family to love one another and to have fun – will you start looking for the joy-filled side of life and help your family laugh more? Will you plan something fun for your family this week?
Say It: “Father, I receive Your promise to bless my family. I am in Christ, which means I am Abraham’s seed and an heir of this promise. Help our family to live by the guidance of Your Word; help us live in a way that pleases You and help us to have fun! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”