Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Foundation to Good Family Relationships

Several months ago I did a blog post about family relationships. It took me a while after that to figure out what the most important thing is that contributes to a better relationship with your family members. I decided that the first and absolutely most important thing that will change the way you relate to your family members (or with anyone else for that matter) is your relationship with God. If you have no relationship with God then your relationships with others will be strained to say the least. If we do not have a relationship with God then everything we do will be focused on us whether we realize it or not, and good relationships are not built by people who are entirely focused on themselves. When we have a right relationship with God our lives are transformed, and our biggest goal is to obey and follow Him.  We will not be as focused on ourselves. When we take our focus off ourselves we can direct our focus on others. God's love will permiate our lives, and it will transfer over to our relationships with our family members. When we begin to realize how much God has forgiven us it gives us grace to forvgive our family members who have wronged us. If we realize the patience God has with us then we will remember (hopefully) to have patience with our family members. I have found that when I have let my relationship with God grow cold I begin to have struggles with my family members; and when I am at peace with God, I am at peace with my family. So here are some suggestions that I have found helpful to strengthen my walk with God. Most of these you will probably have heard many, many times but if you are anything like me you need to be reminded time and time again.
  • Read and study your Bible EVERY day!! The Bible is God's Word. I hope you all realize that. When we read and study the Bible God is speaking to us and we learn more about Him. You cannot have a good relationship with anybody if you do not take the time to get to know them; and God is no exception. Make time in your day to read God's Word. I have found that I am more consistent in reading the Bible if I schedule a time that is the same every day and then stick to that time like a rock.
  • Pray A LOT!!  God is glorified when we pray to Him. He wants us to pray to Him and He has commanded us to pray to Him. Prayer is an obligation and a privilege. Prayer is talking to God. You will never get to know someone if you do not talk to them. Set aside time that is specificly for prayer but also send prayers to God all the time. You can pray anytime and anyplace. Whenever you are sad, tempted, happy, thankful, annoyed, lonely or absolutely estatic; pray. It is a good habit and one that I do not have. I have found that whenever I pray I feel like God is close to me and I am less likely to get mad at one of my family members if I have just finished praying to God for patience :):)
  • Memorize God's Word. We can pray anytime and anywhere but we cannot always be reading the Bible. Life must go on, and it is very difficult and impracticable to read the Bible and sweep the floor. But if you memorize God's Word it is with you wherever you go and you can remind yourself of His commands and promises whenever you need them. Memorizing is not hard. Start by just memorizing one verse. There are hundreds of wonderful stand alone verses in the Bible. If you can memorize a verse then memorizing a chapter is doable because a chapter is just multiple verses put together. If you are really brave and committed (which I have not arrived at this point yet) you can memorize an entire book because a book is just multiple chapters which are just multiple verses :):)
  • Pay Attention to the Sunday sermons. This is an area that I really have to work on. I have a very hard time sitting still for long periods of time and when I have to sit for long periods of time I get ADD. But there are three very important reasons why I (and you) should work very hard at paying attention to the sermons on Sunday. 1. We are worshiping God and it is VERY irreverent to allow our minds to wander while worshiping Him. It is like being in the presence of a king (or president) and not paying attention to what is going on, not listening to what he was saying and wondering what you are going to do once you leave. Now keep that picture in your mind and just replace the king with almighty God and you will understand my point. 2. The pastor is acting as the mouthpiece of God in teaching us. No, he is not coming with direct revelation but he is communicating truths and lessons from God's Word to us. To not pay attention to the pastor is to not pay attention to the lessons God is trying to teach us. ( The one exception to this is if the pastor is teaching something that is an error according to the Bible but I hope you do not attend a church where this is usually the case.) 3. The pastor's goal is to communicate God's truths to His people in a way that will strengthen them in their walk with God. If you do not pay attention you are missing a golden opportunity to be strengthened in your walk with God.
 I hope these are helpful reminders to you. They are definitely reminders to me just writing them down! :)

 "You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess."
Deuteronomy 5:33

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;"
2 Timothy 3:16

"One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:35-40


  1. Amen!! Totally agree, Em! Thanks for doing this post. ;)

  2. A very thought provoking post, Emilie. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. :)