2021 | Week of December 27 | Radio Transcript #1444
Family is not just the middle word in our organizational name. It’s the heart of our ministry. We take very seriously God’s plan for marriage and family, the foundational relationships for people and the foundational institution for every society. When we individually and collectively get marriage and family right, everyone benefits.
Strong families, starting with strong dad-and-mom marriages, are every church’s, community’s, state’s, and nation’s best natural resource. That God designed this to be so should be enough for us to take marriage and family seriously, but today, sadly, it’s not. Our day demands empirical data for such assertions. Fortunately, we have that—actually, we have a lot of data supporting the assertion that strong, married dad-and-mom families are essential to well-ordered, well-functioning, prosperous, sustainable societies. Not everyone believes the data, however, as too many policy decisions and headlines make painfully obvious.
Because we believe in God’s plan and know common sense, everyday observation, and empirical data support it, we want to do what we can to strengthen this bedrock institution. We truly believe the way to make America great is by making our families great. In that spirit, we offer some idea for New Year’s resolutions designed to do just that.
Resolution number 1 – resolve to spend more quality family time together. This isn’t just about having everyone under the same roof, but in different rooms doing different things. This is about the entire family unit intentionally setting aside time to do family activities. Vary the activities. Include fun, physically active times, times of service for others, family game nights and more. Build family bonds and memories.
Resolution number two – spend more time together around God’s Word. I’ve made this resolution intentionally pretty general. I believe family devotions—which you really don’t hear much about these days—is very important. Gathering as a family to read God’s Word, talk about it and how it applies to every-day living, and praying together does amazing things for families—assuming dad and mom are positive, upbeat and committed to it happening. Memorizing passages of Scripture together is a great way to hide the Word of God In hearts both young and old.
Also in this resolution is church attendance. Going to church together as a family is one of the most important safeguards to keeping a family together and on the right track. It’s about the example of commitment to the family of God, faithfulness in that commitment, corporate worship, and service to and with others.
Resolution number three – limit technology use. This is one I keep hammering on because I think it’s becoming more and more important—and not just for the young. Limiting technology use for families begins with dad and mom limiting their own and helping their kids by having some family guidelines—kind of a family compact—in this area. Smart phones offer access to every kind of temptation. Parents need to hold themselves accountable—and help ensure their children aren’t sucked into the dark side of the cyber world.
Resolving to have no technology at meals is a great idea. Ideally phones aren’t even in pockets during mealtime providing unnecessary temptations to respond to beeps or ring tones. Family meals need to be times of actually talking—to each other—face to face.
Resolution number four – Husbands and wives, purpose to make sure your children know you love each other. I often repeat the adage that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. It’s probably pretty safe to say that the flipside of that is true, as well. When children know their parents love each other, their sense of safety is greatly increased. In addition, marriage done well is catching! Children who see love, affection, respect, togetherness modeled in their parents will want that for themselves one day and will know much more about how to have all that in their own marriages.
Obviously these four ideas aren’t rocket science—but neither is strengthening your family unit. That doesn’t take brilliance; it takes dedication, purposeful planning, heart-felt commitment and a few ideas that you believe you can truly do. On the cusp of turning the page of the calendar to a pristine new year is a great time to ponder and pray, asking God what He wants you to do over the next twelve months to make your family great.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”