God's Formula for a Successful Family
God’s Design For a Successful Family
The enemy does not want the family to flourish. As we look at our culture, it doesn’t take someone who is brilliant to realize that the family is not doing that well. Our culture is filled with chaos. Now the enemy would love to see the family suffer and be ineffective for God’s kingdom. But when God sees chaos, He sees order waiting to happen.
God’s Priorities for a Successful Family
#1. God first
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” God must be first in our family. He is the foundation; as it says in Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
Ephesians 5:1 tells us: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.”
When we become born again, we’re adopted into God’s family. I’m now a child of God. I learn what a family is from the ultimate family—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church….”
The husband is to be the spiritual leader of the home. Your relationship with your spouse supersedes every other relationship. The devil wants to take away and crush and crater your family because he knows the family is where it’s at. The number one way he attacks you is by getting in between you and your spouse.
Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
We have to teach and train them to leave. That’s the definition of parenting in Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Genesis—teaching and training them to leave.
How do they know how to relate to the opposite sex? Family. How do they know about forgiveness? Family. How do they know about generosity? Family. How do they know about the importance of the church? Family. How do they know about daily quiet time? Family. How do they know how to handle difficult times? Family. How do they know about answered prayer? Family.
Ways to Become a Successful Family
When your family unit pulls together as a group and puts certain parameters in place, it becomes uniquely suited to accomplish what God has in store for each member individually and the family as a whole. There are several things you can do to operate in harmony:
- Pay attention
Pay attention to God, attention to our spouse, and attention to our kids. How do we give our spouse attention? Date night, mate night.
What you used to get her is what you use to keep her. What you used to get him is what you use to keep him. Too many guys, we just retire.
When I say romance the word ‘man’ is in romance. If your wife is 99.9% wrong, husbands, you are to initiate the reconciliation. Because remember, you’re to love your bride like Christ loved the church.
- Establish a schedule
We’re made for order, not chaos. As I said earlier, when God sees chaos, he sees order about to happen. How about your schedule? Establish the weekend as worship. I mean, we’re just agreeing with what God says. So that means if someone says, “Hey, what do you want to do next month on Sunday?”, your first thought should be, “I’m going to church.”
Yet I had coffee recently with someone who pastors a massive church. He said, “Ed, our most active people attend once every six weeks.”
How are you going to build a successful Christian family by showing up once a month? Or once every six weeks? No guilt, I’m just throwing it out. We schedule one night for date night and one night for the family. And we schedule Sunday for corporate worship.
We have to make the decision before the decision; it’s non-negotiable. It’s a priority. That’s why I like priorities. The word “prior” in priorities means we make the decision to schedule our time for family prior—it’s a priority. We schedule our time for church.
- Incorporate romance
Don’t save romance for the one day a year called Valentine’s Day. We should do Valentine’s Day about once a month. I’m talking to you, guys.
4 Considerations for Successful Families
Don’t O.D. on options.
So many options are out there—don’t overdose on the options. Every day is an opportunity to be engaged in a new, shiny option. Prioritize your time to make your family the first option.
Use a kid lid.
You know, when our kids were small, and now with our grandkids, we’ll go to a restaurant, and when we order something to drink for the kids, we’ll put a lid on it. If not, we’d have some serious spillage. Too many of us are drowning because we don’t have a lid on our kid. Your marriage relationship is first, then your kids.
Downtime is good time.
And good time emerges from downtime. Schedule time to do nothing. Too many families run from one activity to another and don’t spend time just “being.” You won’t believe what will emerge from doing nothing.
Don’t quit your job.
Fathers and mothers, don’t quit your job. What am I talking about? Your number one job is to be a husband and a father. Your number one job is being a wife and a mother. Don’t quit. Teach and train your kids to live because the ultimate fight is in the family. The family is the ultimate proving ground.
Your Family Is Worth the Fight
Family is about the kingdom of God. Family is about glorifying God. Matthew 6:33 is not some benign verse. It’s not some verse that’s just flippant. It’s not some weak verse. It’s a verse full of testosterone. It’s a verse that is about fighting and battling because that’s what it takes. The fight, though, is well worth it. The family is the ultimate fight. Are you fighting for your family?
Finally, see what God says in Psalms 37:5-6, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
This is God’s formula for a successful family.
But maybe your original birth family, or your blended, adoptive, or foster family, didn’t live up to God’s design for a successful family. Rather than resent the past, ask God to heal any brokenness and unforgiveness that remains.
Then pray about the steps outlined above. Give your family the fighting chance it needs to succeed.
We’d love for you to join us in person or online at Fellowship Church, where we support God’s plan for the family and grow in faith together.