Tuesday, April 14, 2015

6 Ways I Help My Family Thrive

I recently started a Twitter account for the blog (@delighting_days). I have to admit that I love a love/hate relationship with Twitter like I do with Facebook. But since I'm tweeting for the church I wanted a little more room to play around with whatever it is you're supposed to do on Twitter. I would like to do social media well, both for the blog and for church. But you know what? It's far from being my most important work. 

This family work that happens in our home outside the scope of notice- no likes or favorites or shares- depends on me. Of course my husband is important but I'm the one that's here. I have been given a special charge for loving these people and this home. (Titus 2:3-5, Proverbs 31:27)

How can my family thrive under my care? I don't want them to just "get by." I don't want to only provide the bare necessities for life. I want them to bloom in this home: to develop and grow. I want this place to be more than a hotel would be. Here are a few ways I try to accomplish this. 

1. I must flourish in Jesus myself. If I don't put something in I have nothing to give out. I must have a growing relationship with God myself that I am feeding and developing every day. It is the only way to success. (Joshua 1:8) If I want to show God's love for my family I must know God's love for me. I must live in it. (See Ephesians 3:14-21: I need to be filled with God so that godly things overflow from me.)

2. They must know they are important. I must choose them. Choose them before the television, before friends, before this blog. I want them to know that I love them. I want my husband to know I'm his number one fan. I want my kids to know that they are treasures from God and I delight in them. People don't thrive where they don't think they matter. 

3. They must know they belong. We are all a little weird. I want our home to be a belonging place. Their place. I want to welcome my husband home. I want to make our home a place that reflects him and where he feels comfortable. I want it to be his favorite place. I want to fill it with their projects and loves and interests even if it makes a non-magazine home. I want them to have a spot in our family and to accept one another. 

4. I must have the right attitude, not a "well, I have to do this" attitude. I don't want them to think that I'm always slaving away to care for them. It's work but it's priceless work. Everyone works and we get to choose who we work for and how we do it. I want to work enthusiastically, sacrificially. I choose to put my lifework into this family. I could go get a job but that's not what we want for our family now.  

5. My words and my tone matter. What do I tell these precious people? Do I build up my husband? Do I look him in the eye when he talks? Do I speak life-giving words about him? Do I care enough about my children to correct them properly? To speak kindly? Do I affirm the way God made them? Proverbs 16:23 is a great starting place for this topic. I can't just babble out anything I think. 

6. I need to recognize each member as an individual. We are all different and need different things. I need to meet them where they are and not where I would like for them to be. I don't want any of these men to feel like I'm not proud of how God made them. Or that they need to be someone else. I want them to grow in confidence in who God made them to be and what He wants them to do. Not in what everyone else is doing. 

I want to do everything I can for my family and pray that God does the rest. The fact that so much of it is beyond me does not release me from the responsibility of what's in my grasp. 

How do you help your family thrive? 

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