In recent years, we have seen so many changes occurring in the family, even in homes of faith. Some changes have been good but some have contributed to the breakdown of the family altogether. So how do we go about strengthening families and combating the breakdown of our homes in 2020?
Join me as Tabatha Hull from Joy Fueled Journey delves into this topic for us today!
My grandparents have seen a lot of change over the span of their lifetime. Perhaps the absolute most change of any generation in our American culture in their 75+ years.
As children they experienced the devastating effects of World War II. As young adults they encountered the civil rights movement.
While some of these changes have been healthy, others have had quite the opposite effect. Unfortunately as they’ve aged into becoming grandparents and great grandparents, they’ve also witnessed the crushing reality of the breakdown of the family.
It comes as no surprise that today’s American family looks a bit different than it did 50 years ago. Long gone are the days of sipping iced tea on the front porch while chatting with passersby…
Family picnics at the park…
Friendly neighborhood block parties…
Friends riding bikes around town just for the fun of it…
Long conversations full of laughter at the dinner table…
Children playing endless games of baseball on a warm summer day…
To Strengthen Families We Need to Know Why Are Our Families Falling Apart
Why has so much changed over the last few decades? Why do we struggle to enjoy simple quiet conversations and time spent together? Why are our families falling apart faster than we’re able to give an answer for?
Although I believe that the increase of fatherless homes is playing a part in the breakdown of our families, I equally believe that families with both the mother and father present are struggling just the same.
Why is this? What has changed so drastically to make such a negative impact on our families? I believe the answer is quite simple.
We have become too busy.
With each passing year we seem to find ourselves busier and busier. Before we know it we have lost that precious time we once spent with our families.
For some reason we believe the lie that a busy life equals a successful life.
We believe that working repeatedly long hours means we’re diligent workers. We believe that driving our children around to endless extra-curricular activities means that we’re all-star parents, even if we only eat together once a week. We think that helping others in need, even at the expense of much needed time spent with our own families, means we’re genuinely good people.
We have been conditioned to think that having some “me” time is a complete necessity because we’re so exhausted and need a break, even though that requires even more time away from our children and spouse.
Friend, God desires for us to be hard workers. He is pleased when we support our children in their endeavors. He delights to see us helping those in need. And He even understands when we genuinely need a break in order to recharge. He created rest after all.
However, until we realize that our families are the most important work, we will always be doing it wrong.
We cannot keep ourselves so busy with life that we neglect to spend that much needed time investing in our children and marriages.
[ctt template=”8″ link=”dMn36″ via=”yes” ]We cannot keep ourselves so busy with life that we neglect to spend that much needed time investing in our children and marriages. [/ctt]
Strengthening Families – 7 Ways to Combat The Breakdown Of The Family
1. Remember You Have an Enemy– All too often we forget that we have an enemy who will do everything in his power to destroy our families. I Peter 5:8 reminds us to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Friend, Satan hates God with an infuriating passion, and desperately wants to hurt Him. He does this by going after us, God’s beloved creation. By destroying us, deceiving us and convincing us that we don’t need a Savior, we let him win. Please be watchful. Be on guard. And remember that you have an enemy… but that your God is so much greater.
2. Understand Your Role As Parents– Being a parent is an incredible blessing. However, it isn’t without its trials. Our role as parents isn’t simply to love, protect, provide for, and make our children happy. We also need to be faithfully instructing, correcting, disciplining, and guiding them. This takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. And often brings with it many trials and difficulties. Please realize the weight of your role as a parent. God will hold you accountable for how you love and lead the precious ones He has put into your care. Seek Him for wisdom and patience to raise your children for His glory.
3. Slow Down and Lay Aside the Distractions– We live in a fast paced society that thrives on constant noise and distraction. This is not healthy. This is so far from God’s original design for our lives.
We are missing out on the most important things in life because we are so distracted by the cheap substitutes.
Friend, please put your phone down, close your laptop, turn off the television, and turn down the music. Instead, look your children in the eyes. Look your spouse in the eyes. And truly see them.
Strengthening families begins with being the parent and spouse that God created you to be, not the one who is too busy and distracted to truly see them and care.
The idea that you’ll have all the time in the world to be with your family is a lie straight from your enemy. Our time is fleeting. Our children are growing up and will soon leave our home. Our very breath is a gift that is not promised tomorrow. Please live for eternity and not merely the temporary earthly pleasures that can never quite satisfy.
4. Lead By Example– No matter how old they are our children will always be watching us. What a blessing it is to know that God created us to have such a great amount of influence over these sweet gifts He’s given us. The truth is that we will fail our children sometimes. There will be days when our flaws are fully exposed before their eyes. And yet God still desires to use us in a powerful way to impact our children’s hearts and point them directly towards Him.
The most important aspect of our parenting is our faithfulness to share the gospel and God’s Word with our children. May we be so in love with our Savior that we cannot help but speak of Him throughout the day and share His faithfulness in our own lives with the little ears around us. May our children see us on our knees in prayer and reading our Bible more often than they see us with a phone in our hands scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest. May they see a genuine joy in our hearts and love for others that draws them to the very Source of that joy. May they see us as a light in a dark world sharing hope with those around us who desperately need it.
5. Plan and Spend Time Together– If we do not specifically plan time together with our loved ones it will rarely happen as often as it should. We need to be more intentional with the time we have with our families. Plan individual “dates” with your children as well as time spent together as a family.
These dates don’t have to be fancy. They don’t need to be costly. Shoot some hoops with your son. Take your daughter out for lunch. Discover a new park and go hiking with your family. Or simply enjoy a nice evening in together with a tasty meal and dessert and a fun board game afterwards. Our children don’t care if it’s a grand outing and everything is perfect. They just want to be with us. They need to be with us and know that we truly care.
6. Support Your Children and Show Interest In Their Interests– I think we sometimes downplay the importance of this one. Although our children’s interests and hobbies may not always intertwine with our own it is so important that we show a genuine interest in what makes them smile. Our children’s talents are a gift from their Creator and something to be celebrated and supported.
If your son is an athlete and thrives in sports, encourage him and be his biggest fan! Ask him questions about his favorite teams, players, stats etc. Play some one on one ball with him. Take him to a game. If your daughter is artistic, make a craft together. Draw, paint, and create together. Praise her for the creativity of her work.
Supporting your children will go such a long way in strengthening your bond and trust.
7. Fervently Pray and Seek God’s Guidance- Even if we were somehow able to perfect all of these other areas as parents, we will still fall short.
Strengthening Families in a Distracted World
Our families are designed to have God at the center. So the key to strengthening families is to keep seeking Him and His guidance!
He alone can make us whole. He alone can bring true peace, contentment, and comfort, and joy. Please make prayer a top priority for your family. Pray for wisdom in raising your children in a culture that is increasingly attempting to pull them away. Pray for grace and patience for when the hardships arise. Search the Scriptures for answers and guidance on this parenting journey.
And then rest assured that He hears you.
He sees you.
And He will carry you through.
Do you have any keys for strengthening families you’d like to share? Please share in the comments!
Tabatha is a stay at home and homeschool mom of two sweet kiddos just trying to stay focused on what truly matters in life. She married her best friend 8 years ago and doing life together has been a wonderful journey. A few of her favorites include: hiking with her family, cooking, working out, cuddling with her puppy, and all things peanut butter. For more information please visit her blog at https://ajoyfueledjourney.com/ where she talks about family, faith, food, and fitness. You can also connect with her via Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest @ajoyfueledjourney